If it's December, it's list-making time! Here are some of the cool things I found through the library in 2013. Some are from this year, some I was a little slower in getting to, but they were all 2013 experiences for me. Although they're 5 through 1, I honestly feel I could have put them in almost any order. Enjoy!
A bi-monthly overview of popular culture, trends and just plain odd stuff. It's the kind of magazine where you spend a couple of hours just hopping around, absorbing tidbits here and there.
Orr was my childhood sports hero, a blend of seemingly superhuman talent and genuine humility. At long last he's written an autobiography. It's respectful (no tell-all scandals here!), straightforward and a pretty darn good read--just what you'd expect, I guess.
Blissfully spaced-out music. Lots of pulsing synthesizers, fuzzed guitars and a general sense of floating through the universe. The kind of album Tangerine Dream has refused to make since 1977.
Not quite a history nor a memoir, this is Sun-Times columnist Steinberg's exploration of what it means to be "a Chicagoan" and what it means to have the job of covering the city for a living. Along the way, Steinberg gives lots of interesting glimpses into otherwise unnoticed people and places and demonstrates a true love for his adopted home.
The late Conny Plank was a critical figure in the 70s "krautrock" scene, having worked as a producer/collaborator with bands like Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster. He later went on to work with new wave bands like Ultravox, Devo and Eurythmics. This 4-CD set gives a broad sampling of his studio work (with some unfortunate omissions), some great live recordings and handful of moderately successful recent remixes.