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Chicago? I’d Hit That (That’s What She Said)

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What happens when you combine one talented comedian and singer and one rocking pianist and improviser? You get LA-based lesbian cabaret duo, That’s What She Said. Comprised of pianist Kathryn Lounsbery and singer Amy Turner, the two have been wowing LA audiences since 2007. Now it’s Chicago’s chance. Thank goodness they brought their rainbow jackets!

Our Town What brought you together?
Kathryn Lounsbery I was looking to do something different [when] I saw Amy perform [at Second City], improvising amazing and funny songs. I knew I had to work with her.
Amy Turner After the show, Kathryn gave me her card, and we started working on songs that were already written. Then we started writing our own.
KL And they happened to be about lesbians.
OT You two are a couple. Any challenges?
KL Of course!
AT You answered really fast.
KL See what I mean? Can you imagine living AND working with this attitude?

Last year, Chicago Opera Theater asked locals a simple question: "Why do you deserve free tickets?" Those who best answered the question in video form on YouTube got just what they asked for -- free tickets.

The promotion was such a success (or maybe just a source of office entertainment), COT is bringing it back, this time with a new question: "How do YOU make opera less ordinary?” Submit your three-minute interpretation of one of the operas of COT's 2010 Spring Festival Season ("Jason," "Moses in Egypt," "Three Decembers" and "An Evening with Frederica von Stade") by April 9 for the chance to win two free subscriptions to the entire run. All submission details can be found here. Need inspiration? Check out the kick-off video below.

Last month, we told you about Chicago Opera Theater's YouTube contest, which offered free spring season subscriptions (up to a $570 value) to those who most creatively answered the question, "Why Do You Deserve Free Tickets to Chicago Opera Theater?"

The four winners were announced today, and we have to say, we agree with the selections. Check out the top vote-getter below, and view all the entries here.

Jealous? Tickets for the season are still available.

Turn on camera, win free opera tickets

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If you're like us, you've thought of going to the opera once or twice — just because it's something a cultured human being should experience every now and then, eh? — but then you saw the ticket prices. Mamma mia! That would cover, say, "Iron Man" 10 times in the theater and 25 times on pay-per-view!

Well, here's your chance to get a freebie. Not Lyric Opera but Chicago's other acclaimed opera company, Chicago Opera Theater, is offering free tickets for its 2009 Spring Festival Season (April 18-May 26) to the person who makes the best plea in a YouTube video. Just turn on the camera and answer the question "Why Do You Deserve Free Tickets to Chicago Opera Theater?" The contest started today, so be the first to state your case here.

Meanwhile, COT interns kicked-off the page with this innuendo-packed reel about their first time ...

'I can't stop having these visions'

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Here's the new video for Kanye West's "Welcome to Heartbreak," directed by Nabil, via Vimeo.

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Cool, eh? But, Kanye, dude — the Cosby sweaters. Really? Really.

Put yourself into the new Plain White T's video

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OK, the jaded side of us understands that this whole thing is driven by marketers and PR people who are really starting to get how this whole Interweb thing works. But the romantic side of us can't help but gush a little at the Plain White Ts' sweetly tuneful new song, "1,2,3,4," the beautiful wintertime footage of Chicago in the video and the cute way you can now add yourself to the video just in time for a lil' Valentine's Day dedication. Hey, it makes Chi town look good and it scores us a few love points. It's win-win.

The backstory, from the crafty PR people: "This past December, Plain White T’s vocalist Tom Higgenson and director Mike Venezia hit the streets of Chicago to shoot a quick, inexpensive video ('just something fun to throw on YouTube,' says Higgenson) for new single '1,2,3,4.' ... Shot in 18-degree weather, the video follows Higgenson around his hometown of Chicago as he busks for passing couples. Captions identify each couple, along with tidbits about how and when they met. 'We were armed with only a camera and a guitar,' says Higgenson. ' "1,2,3,4" is a simple love song, and so we wanted to capture various love stories throughout Chicago.' ”

The hook: You can (a) make your sweetheart swoon and (b) help this local band's video go totally viral by hitting the video's Web page and personalizing it with your own photos and captions. The interface is easy to use, then you can send the video to your loved one (or your desired loved one). Easy, cheesy, not sleazy.

Vote for Hollywood Holt's South Side video

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Hollywood Holt, despite his Cali moniker, is a South Side rapper whose video — for "Hollywood," above (he likes that word) — just hit mtvU. Like it? Tell MTV by voting here (via We Do Not Follow).

Animal Collective last night at Metro

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YouTube's already got video of last night's Animal Collective show at Metro (and don't you love how people still sometimes refer to it as Cabaret Metro?).

Jim DeRogatis' review of the show has been posted for a while here, complete with photo gallery.

More good stuff at Metro this weekend: the Most Dangerous Race tonight (hey, look, we posted video for this show, too!) and some serious wordplay tomorrow night in the Windy City Story Slam All-City Championships.

MGFest screens Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne

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The city's Motion Graphics Festival presses play this weekend, and tucked in the cutting-edge film event — among all the art showcases, workshops, classes, panel discussions, studio tours, theater screenings and industry mixers — are some intriguing screenings available to the public.

As part of the Ohm Multimedia Series in the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E. Randolph St., are these two events:
— The Chicago Motion Graphics Screening, 6:30-9 p.m. Friday: "This screening features three works, including NASA's 'Money,' Nine Inch Nails' 'Ghosts 8,' and 'LE:60 1-Minute Film Festival.' Featured artists include Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Shepard Fairey, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and more."
— Audio-Visual Performance Showcase, 6-9 p.m. Sunday: "This event showcases VJs, visual system programmers, musicians, and DJs in a theater setting. Featured artists include Vir Unis, Stoptime341, Peter Kirn, Merkaba, Ontologist, Glen Stephani and more."

Admission is free, but seats are limited.

The Most Dangerous Race @ Metro 1/23

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Missing out on slightly scary dance-rock ever since Chicago collective Ministry announced its "retirement" (at least until their "reunion" ...)? UR Chicago found this video of The Most Dangerous Race, a Chicago duo featuring Matt Walker — who's worked with Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, even Morrissey — playing Metro on Jan. 23 ...

I love a rainy night, I love a rainy night

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From the wacky YouTube video dept., here are a bunch of WGN weatherfolks ... er, singing.

If you have perfect pitch, click away immediately.

Leather and lace, without the lace

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Imagine our surprise one afternoon as we sauntered through our neighborhood, full of shoppers and families, to come upon — the Leather Archives and Museum. Indeed, right on the south edge of Rogers Park, a veritable treasure trove of fetish history on display. And they just started a new exhibit all about masks. And we’re not talkin’ cute Halloween masks. Watch this homey video and then check the place out, if you dare, at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. (773-761-9200).

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