* Atul Gawande reads from his new book, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, today at the University of Chicago. Gawande is a practicing doctor as well as a professor at Harvard Medical School, but he’s also a staff writer at the New Yorker and one of the best non-fiction writers on the planet. His website has a bunch of his articles, including many of his longer NY’er pieces. Even if you’re ambivalent about readings, check out his writing.
* I can’t stop listening to the Ponys’ Matador debut, Turn the Lights Out. It’s… well, it’s a really sexy rock album in subtle and wholly non-ironic ways.
* I’m embarrassed to say I missed, in my recent Lisagor awards roundup, that Steve Rhodes’s Beachwood Reporter snagged two nominations, one for the series Home for the Holidays (suggestion: link the posts to each other so they can be read sequentially w/o trouble) and one for the Barista! column. Seeing a web-only publication mixed in with the usual local rags warms my heart.
* In other Web developments, Molly Shanahan made the wise decision to post multimedia from the development of her new piece, My Name is a Blackbird, which premieres Thursday. She’s got videos and mp3, including one of her dancing an excerpt with gorgeous accompaniment by Andrew Bird. It’s a smart decision for an art form that frankly seems kind of inaccessible to a lot of people. I applaud her bravery in putting up what amount to sketches and drafts; it’s tough to broadcast incomplete works, but breaking it down into component pieces makes it a lot more comprehensible to a philistine like me.
* Chicagoist makes fun of city clerk Miguel Del Valle for letting his office’s domain name expire. I wouldn’t read that much into it. I have a couple domain names and keeping them renewed is like remembering to schedule a physical every year. Plus, Del Valle’s gaffe just publicizes the plan to stream City Council meetings, which I’m geeked about.