CELEBRATING EARTH & RECORDS IN CHICAGO

We had a extra good time this year, celebrating conservation and this ball of fun we live on… while supporting those independent record stores that keep the recording industry connected to the fans, via bricks and mortar and real people with thoughtful recommendations.

EARTH DAY + RECORD STORE DAY 2013

Mr. Bright Beat and I started the day at one of our favorite’s – Record Breakers, located above Reggie’s Music Joint on South State Street.  We bought some vinyl, including Mercury Rev, Calexico, Phish (Lawn Boy)… and just as we got to the cashier, we were treated to a wonderful serenade by CLOUD CULT! Not only a great band, but one truly dedicated to a sustainable lifestyle and ethos – as evidenced by the practices of their homegrown label, Earthology Records.  (The video below was shot on my phone as we paid for our records)

We then headed to Township to enjoy a great Indian-tinged brunch and some light reading (liner notes).  The wire art on the wall above our table looked strangely familiar… (Matt & I, or Mick & Keith?)

After brunch I headed to volunteer at the Wicker Park Bucktown Green Resources Fair, where Erik Grossnickle from Bartlett Tree Experts told tales of the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer, and identified those holes in this Chinese Elm as the tracks of a sapsucker bird.  Alderman Moreno introduced me to Doug Wood, who did the first plantings to restore the actual “Wicker Park” back to its natural beauty (how cool!), and I met Art, who will now be installing a native plants/wildflower/rain garden/butterfly waystation at our house.  I was there to talk about the neighborhood sustainability projects I am involved with… and probably sticking my foot in my mouth as this photo was snapped, for calling people out on their ‘less than eco-friendly’ actions.

THEN, IT WAS BACK TO THE MUSIC…

BLIND PILOT: NATURE CONSERVANCY “ALL HANDS ON EARTH” PICNIC

The first time I saw Blind Pilot was in a video on the Nature Conservancy website.  They have this cool “All Hands On Earth” curated music partnership with a handful of musicians who are inspired by nature, and actively working to protect it.  I was naturally drawn to this concept, as my own similar inspiration lead me to start BRIGHT BEAT, seeing music as the link between fans and eco-conscious behavior, with mindful musicians leading by example.  So… I met up with Theo, who crafted the concept with his friend Geoff (co-founder of Gist Lab), and enjoyed a beautiful set by the band.  I enjoyed their trumpet-playing keyboardist, and the girl who played banjo and uke with tons of feeling.  The vibes just might be the “secret sauce” of the band, though their harmonious vocals are what lift you up and carry you away.  The photo above links to a short video of my favorite song of theirs.  TELL ME you can’t help but smile as you listen?!

It was a beautiful day, as I left the Picnic and walked past the bean.  The little green dot in the middle (below) – that’s me!  HAPPY EARTH DAY.  AND RECORD STORE DAY.  4-20, YO!