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MP3: New Foals "Orient," G.e.R.M. remix
MP3: New Kaiser Cartel "Ready to Go"
Beyond Earth Day: Great Wines for Sustainability
Bannos Rolling Back Prices to Celebrate Heaven on Seven's 30th
LOLLA 2010: Gaga, Strokes, Arcade Fire, Devo, Mavis Staples, Erykah Badu, Phoenix, MGMT, XX, Hot Chip, Jimmy Cliff...
Longman & Eagle Brunch Debuting New Cocktails
Can You Taste the Blood in Your Mouth?
Fun with Words ... Really?
Remember When Music Was Exciting?
Details Names Paul Kahan's Salsa Best in U.S.

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JUNE 14, 2006
The Tinpod iPod Case

If you're over all the wood-rendered, plastic-coated, gimicky iPod cases and feel like your inner art hipster is aching to be heard, you need to check this out.

The Tinpod is a unique new iPod case. Created out of tin (it looks and feels like an Altoids box), the Tinpod features three different multi-layered, limited-edition artistic re-creations by painter Kurt Ketchum -- "Die Blechdose," "L'Orange Lune" and "Change Attitude" -- and only 5,000 of each have been produced.

The Tinpod supports 3G, 4G and 5G iPods with the ability to plug in through the top. And the interior is padded with neoprene to cushion your iPod should you drop it while jamming out on the street.

Tinpod creators will donate $1 to CITYarts for every Tinpod purchase. And for a limited time, you can get two cases for $29.95.

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JUNE 06, 2006
2000 Mas d'en Cosme 'Baboix'

Last week at dinner at Scylla in Chicago, our server turned us on to a wonderful bottle of wine from the Montsant region of northern Spain in Catalonia. The Mas d'en Cosme Baboix is a blend of 20% Garnacha, 20% CariƱena, 15% Tempranillo, 25% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This was one of those wines that upon entering your mouth does a jig on your tongue, makes out with your cheeks and slithers down your throat leaving a silky, lush feeling. The blend worked well with everything -- lamb chops, seafood, the foie gras creme brulee (OMG, the foie gras was unbelievable and yes, I know it's now outlawed in Chicago but there's a grace period). There was so much bright, ripe fruit -- morello cherry, strawberry -- working with white pepper, vanilla, a little cinnamon.

I highly recommend heading over to the Wine Center and getting a bottle of this 2000 that rated 90 points by Wine & Spirits.

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Change Me Helps Fight AIDS

Last month, Getty Images, one of the world's largest stock photography houses, launched a promotion called Change Me, an amazing virtual fundraiser. For every image you select and write about, Getty will donate $10 to Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with a cap of $250k.

Seeing as this week marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS (actually, I think it's the anniversary of doctors officially naming the disease acquired immune deficiency syndrome, thus changing it from GRID -- gay related immune deficiency), I urge everyone to visit the Getty site and pick an image. Then head over to Change Me and help reach the goal.

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JUNE 01, 2006
Korin's Hakuji White Wave Plate

I'm not embarrassed to say I don't know a tremendous amount about Japanese home decor, but I do know that when my taster of pan-seared nantucket bay diver scallops with a cucumber-citrus vinaigrette and Vatapa (jumbo shrimp, striped bass, okra and cashews with coconut milk-lemongrass essence) at Aria restaurant at Chicago's Fairmont hotel, came presented on this gorgeous white wave plate, I had to have it.

Sadly for you, I licked the plate clean so you'll just have to imagine the gorgeous presentation on the clean, white space.

Each plate is $48 from Korin.

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Furni Introduces "Jacob, Jones and Brown"

Earlier this year when I saw some of the affordable home creations coming out of the Montreal-based Furni design studio, especially their desk and wall clocks, I immediately wrote them to find out if they were going to introduce a line of alarm clocks (at the time, none of the clocks had that functionality).

This morning, I got an email from designer/owner Mike Giles who informed me of their new project: Jacob, Jones and Brown, a line of high-end digital clocks made of only superior wood, which launched today.

Furni rolled out two JJB lines, the Gator SE (solid edition), which has two types of wood -- Murado and Walnut -- and Walsh (above), featuring teak and mahogany clocks with a larger digital face. While both styles will come with alarms, the Walsh line is still a prototype. When the clocks hit the Furni store this fall, they'll retail for US$288.

Another piece I particularly like is Furni's new Miller bamboo cutting board (below), part of their Hilo affordable modern line. Its raised, laminate surface has a hole that fits three interchangeable stainless-steel bowls, so whatever you're cutting can go directly into a bowl for stir-fry, sauteeing or serving.

I really dig Furni's hip, retro vibe, which permeates all their designs and website. It almost feels like the shop wishes it were born in Scandinavia in the '70s, but fortunately for us, they're here now.


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