Here Be Monsters: Carry the Scent

Robert does not work with law enforcement. He’s not certified to do this work by any professional agency. He says that he has to work alone to do his best work, outside of the red tape of official search and rescue teams and law enforcement agencies.


The day after their Lollapalooza 2016  performance, the Philadelphia-based rock band sat down with Kevin Warwick (Chicago Reader, AV Club) for stripped down, intimate conversation about the trials and tribulations the band faced in their past that ultimately paved the road to recent big successes they’ve found in the present.

Parquet Courts

Following their sold-out show at Thalia Hall the night before, Parquet Courts headed to the Chicago Athletic Association for a night of storytelling. Listen to them discuss life on the road and their writing process with Kevin Warwick, Chicago Reader associate editor and A.V. Club music contributor.

Over the years the increasingly popular Parquet Courts have built what feels like a Chicago residence. We here at the Chicago Athletic Hotel have gotten to see them sell out shows, not to mention perform at a giant music festival like Lollapalooza (which is just a stone’s throw from us in Grant Park).

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Since the early ’90s, Ted Leo has been one of the most progressive forces in East Coast independent music, with a unique combination of punk and folk, soul and hardcore, and tradition and experimentation. Originally rising to fame in the late-’80s New York hardcore scene by playing with Citizen’s Arrest and Animal Crackers, Leo left New York for Washington, D.C., in 1990, when he founded and fronted Chisel, one of the first mod/punk revival outfits to gain national renown.

Bethany Widick + Anne Sullivan

Bethany recently received her Master of Science in Historic Preservation from SAIC, making a mid-career shift from financial services law and compliance to historic preservation. Her master’s thesis is entitled, “Inside the Cherry Circle: The History and Restoration of the Chicago Athletic Association,” which examined the successful restoration and adaptive reuse of the CAA as well as provided an extensive history of the club, its members, and the structure itself. We cannot wait to hear what Bethany has to share about both herself and what she uncovered while writing her thesis.

Cindy Pritzker and Bill Kurtis

Mrs. Pritzker served as Founder and President of the Chicago Public Library Foundation.  Along with her late husband Jay Prtizker founded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a distinguished prestigious award that has been compared to the Nobel Prize.

Training Attack Dogs

For a podcast I'm working on I was lucky enough to assist in helping train an attack dog. Unfortunately the covering was a little thin for the dogs teeth and I had some punctures for a few weeks.

Henry Kupjack, Artist with Lindsay Mican

In celebration of his Miniature Rooms exhibit on display at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel since October, Henry Kupjack hosted a Storytelling hour in the hotel’s Drawing Room with the Thorne Miniature Rooms Keeper Lindsay Mican Morgan. Kupjack and Morgan shared their insight on the deep-rooted family connections with the miniatures, and the Art Institute of Chicago who house the collection, as well as what it means, and the patience it takes, to curate some of the world’s most miniature room representations.

Test Your Imagination (2017 Radio Race)

Renaissance Faire’s are more than super-glued sequins, leather and greasy turkey legs. What on the surface may appear to be simply a dizzying display of cheap escapism and fantasy kitsch is, when you dig a little deeper, an exercise in personal creative freedom and a new way to define community. This piece was produced by Lee V. Gaines and Alex Kime as part of the 24-hour Radio Race hosted by KCRW’s Independent Producer Project.

Kate McQuillen

Kate’s sculptures and images refer to environments that are faraway or untouchable, such as skies, starry nights, and smoke, and speak about possibility, the unknown, intimacy, and wonder. Her installation, “White Sands,” uses illuminated tissue paper to create a glowing, bursting cloud, visually hovering between smoke, flowers, and explosions. Within the case structure, she plays with opposing themes of explosiveness and containment, beauty and alarm. She is interested in the classical notion of the Sublime, in which views can experience opposing emotions of the formidable and the beautiful, resulting in a sense of the awe-inspiring.

JR Nelson, Writer and Music Critic

Tim Kinsella of Featherproof Press lead conversation with J.R Nelson in the Drawing Room, chock-full of stories, delving deep into Chicago’s music & literature scene while provoking some serious belly laughs along the way.

Sam Bailey, Actor and Director

Naomi Huffman of Featherproof Press lead conversation with Sam Bailey; a writer, actor and filmmaker. Bailey’s screenwriting and directing credits include the Tribeca Film Festival and Gotham Award nominee: You’re So Talented (Best Breakthrough Series Short Form Nominee). She is a frequent contributor at The Paper Machete. Other writing credits include the podcast PleasureTown (WBEZ) and 2nd Story.

Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony is best known for his multimedia collages, printmaking, paintings, and drawings. Fitzpatrick’s works are inspired by Chicago street culture, cities he has traveled to, children’s books, tattoo designs, and folk art. 

Chris Connelly, Industrial Music Pioneer

We invited Chris Connelly in to talk music among many other markers and milestones in the tenured musician’s wildly successful career.  The conversation was moderated by Chicago-based musician and 15 years+ Reckless Records manager, Matt Jencik.

Carlos Javier Ortiz, Filmmaker + Photographer

As a documentarian, Ortiz has focused on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities for well over a decade. Ortiz’s projects have been widely printed, screened, and exhibited. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including a Pulitzer Center Grant (2013), a Black Metropolis Research Consortium Fellowship at The University of Chicago (2015), and a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video (2016). Ortiz has worked in a number of communities across the US and internationally, but he is primarily a Chicagoan.

National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has spent his 38-year career exploring and capturing breathtaking images of the wonders of Earth’s vast oceans. He has logged over 10,000 hours underwater and his work was selected as part of National Geographic magazine’s “50 Greatest Photographs” series. Shortly before his National Geographic Live appearance at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Skerry joined Ship to Shore Productions at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel for a discussion of his incredible work. As a sponsor of the series and partner of National Geographic Live, CAA is hosted Skerry at the hotel and will welcome more Nat Geo explorers in the coming months.

Petra Bachmaier

Luftwerk duo Petra Bachmaier (BFA 1999) and Sean Gallero (BFA 1999) opened their public light installation Turning Sky, which incorporates LED lights with Chicago's 606 bike-path bridge to create visualizations of weather shifts. The project was unveiled January 7 and will stay up for five years. 

Listen in as Lifestyle Journalist Ari Bendersky is led through the Museum of Contemporary Art by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator. Inside, Darling takes Ari on a tour of “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg,” a retrospective exhibition of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami curated by Darling.

Produced By: Alex Kime