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Who's Who Chicago: Centerstage People
Ben Rubenstein
Get Under the Covers with Ben Rubenstein.
Ben is not a native Chicagoan, having moved here from the Boston area in 2000 for college (at Northwestern). He believes his outsider status helps him to appreciate what the city has to offer, which is why you will never, ever see him wearing a Cubs or White Sox hat.

Ben joined the Centerstage team in late July 2007 after a year or so of freelancing from his kitchen table (you may remember his Under the Covers column on free music). He appreciates the company in the office, but misses the live music from his next door neighbors. In addition to helping keep the site in order, Ben picks Must-See Music every week, covers all the local festivals as the Festivals Editor, and writes other things when he can.



 

Articles by Ben

Musical Accompaniments
06/11/2010.
When you're choosing food at the Taste of Chicago, don't disregard who's on stage.

Earth Day Events in Chicago
Live Well. 04/08/2010.
You can't save the world all by yourself, but these local events will help you do your part.

Best New Ravinia Acts of 2010
Music Guides. 03/17/2010.
Ravinia's welcoming some fresh faces this year; here's the best of the lot.

NYE Picks: Kid-Friendly
12/11/2009.
Got little ones in tow this year? Here are some celebrations the whole family will enjoy.

NYE Picks: Dinner
12/11/2009.
If your ideal New Year's Eve celebration involves multiple courses, book a table at one of these top Chicago restaurants.

NYE Picks: Cheap Choices
12/11/2009.
Saving up for 2010? These low-cost New Year's Eve celebrations should fit the bill.

NYE Picks: Splurges
12/11/2009.
It's New Year's Eve, so why not go all out? Here are our picks for the best events over $100.

NYE Picks: Concerts
Music Happenings. 12/11/2009.
Want to see music on New Year's Eve? These concerts should have you grooving into 2010.

Ha-Ha Hunters
In The Spotlight. 12/09/2009.
The Found Footage Festival creators discuss their adventures in video-scavenging - and on Chicago cable-access.

Beaujolais Nouveau in Chicago
Nightlife Guides. 11/18/2009.
Local French restaurants celebrate the return of the seasonal vintage.

Race Elation
Nightlife Happenings. 09/30/2009.
Run, don't walk, to these Chicago spots for Marathon-related deals.

High Holiday Menus
Dining Guides. 09/14/2009.
Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with dishes from these Chicago-area restaurants.

Campus Road Trip: Evanston
Campus Road Trips. 09/13/2009.
Northwestern may get no respect on the football field, but boy these smarties can party.

Out of This World
09/11/2009.
The 2009 Chicago World Music Festival has nearly every country covered - here's what's worth the trip.

The Nude Abides
In The Spotlight. 08/31/2009.
Big Lebowski Burlesque creator Ann Marie Weinert aims to one-up Jackie Treehorn with her new show.

Fan-tastic Voyages
Nightlife Guides. 08/24/2009.
Chicago bars will boost your optimism for the season with fantasy football draft packages.

Get Schooled in Cool
Music Guides. 08/15/2009.
Left out of the Lolla lineup? Start practicing for next year at one of these music schools.

Lollapalooza's Grid Wars 2009
Lollapalooza. 07/31/2009.
We make the tough schedule decisions, so all you have to do is enjoy the music.

Virtual L: Addison (Blue)
Virtual L Guides. 07/28/2009.
Go Northwest for affordable, international eats and zero attitude.

Pitchfork's Grid Wars 2009
Pitchfork Music Festival. 07/13/2009.
Got schedule anxiety? Leave the decision-making up to us.

Eat to the Beat
06/19/2009.
Taste of Chicago 2009 offers plenty of opportunities for creating that perfect pairing of food and music.

Hip-Hop Stops
04/22/2009.
Hit these Chicago clubs to get your regular fix of beats and rhymes.

Blues Clues
Music Guides. 04/17/2009.
We pick the best Chicago blues clubs for every occasion.

Ranking Ravinia 2009
04/16/2009.
The top 10 shows to see this summer in Highland Park.

Best Beats 2/16/09
Best Beats. 02/17/2009.
You'll be a Brazil nut Friday during a special edition of Sonotheque's Braziliance.

Raving About Ravinia
Music Guides. 04/17/2008.
This outdoor amphitheater's summer lineup might just have Lollapalooza beat. Check out our list of can't-miss performances.

Bar Madness
Nightlife Guides. 03/17/2008.
Quench your thirst for some tournament action at these watering holes.

Common
Music . 10/25/2007.
The Chicago vet stops by for a red-carpet affair; just one of many to come, if you ask him.

Cheap Choices
Dining Guides. 08/20/2007.
It pays to be choosy at these fine dining destinations.

Beach Bum Bars
Nightlife Guides. 08/06/2007.
Got some sand in your joints? Wash it out with some drinks at these seaworthy spots.

The Sea and Cake
Music . 06/25/2007.
For the venerable supergroup, familiarity is both a blessing and a curse.

Koko Taylor
Music . 06/04/2007.
Despite health problems, the Queen of the Blues keeps a firm grip on her throne.

Zeleke Gessesse
Music . 05/22/2007.
The Wild Hare's owner lets the music guide his plans.

Happy Hour Heroes
Under the Covers. 02/26/2007.
Lubriphonic's weekly show passes the test with flying colors.

Dave Jemilo
Music . 02/12/2007.
The Green Mill owner along with his club.

This Is Our Country
Under the Covers. 02/12/2007.
With cheap beer and classic country tunes, Carol's Pub makes it easy to forget where you are.

Psalm One
Music . 02/05/2007.
The Englewood native is finding just the right formula for success.

Serengeti
Music . 02/05/2007.
The idiosyncratic MC finds inspiration in everything from O'Doul's to emo kids.

California Dreams
Under the Covers. 01/29/2007.
You won't want to cut your night short at this Humboldt Park hotspot.

Dark Star Orchestra
Music . 01/22/2007.
Reliving history, one show at a time.

Skip to the End
Under the Covers. 01/15/2007.
Stop by Smartbar for a smooth finish to the weekend...but don't count on much fanfare.

Fill 'Er Up
Under the Covers. 12/25/2006.
With intriguing sounds and cheap drinks, the Empty Bottle's free concerts make for a fulfilling experience.

Bobby Conn
Music . 12/18/2006.
Chicago's answer to David Bowie lives and dies for entertainment.

Joe Shanahan
Music . 12/11/2006.
The Metro owner comes clean about his labor of love.

Catching Some Zs in D Minor
Under the Covers. 12/11/2006.
Stop by the Cultural Center on Mondays for a lunchtime lullaby.

Fruit Bats
Music . 12/04/2006.
The grass is always greener for this ever-changing band.

Fists n' Fiddles
Under the Covers. 11/27/2006.
Tuesday nights at the Red Line Tap are all about tradition.

Tim Tuten
Music . 11/27/2006.
The Hideout co-owner looks forward while keeping one foot in the past.

C Is For Crazy
Under the Covers. 11/13/2006.
Go-go to Martyrs' to discover love for a lost genre.

The M's
Music . 11/06/2006.
Chicago's answer to the British Invasion takes a well-deserved break.

Getting Intimate
Under the Covers. 10/30/2006.
Get up close and personal with jazz at Green Dolphin Street on Sunday nights.

Saturday Night in the Garden of Good and Evil
Under the Covers. 10/16/2006.
Nick's Beer Garden offers a little something for everyone on weekend nights.

Verbal Kent
Music . 10/11/2006.
The Northside MC's big mouth can get him in trouble, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

Tagged and Bagged
Under the Covers. 10/02/2006.
Back2Basics traffics in true hip-hop culture, and sometimes that can mean trouble.

Early Exposure
Under the Covers. 09/18/2006.
There's plenty of good hip-hop at darkroom, but you might want to arrive fashionably late.

Up With People
Under the Covers. 09/04/2006.
People Lounge's Thursday night jazz offers plenty of sweet sounds...if you can pull yourself away from the screen.

Pugslee Atomz
Music . 08/30/2006.
One of the city's hardest working MCs is finally starting to see his efforts pay off.

The Primeridian
Music . 08/30/2006.
This hip-hop duo strives to teach, not preach.

Kurt Elling
Music . 08/28/2006.
The jazz vocalist's life may be changing, but his wild ambition is always a constant.

Taking the Floor
Under the Covers. 08/15/2006.
Chicago SummerDance provides family-friendly fun for the uncoordinated.

Glenn Kotche
Music . 08/08/2006.
Wilco's drummer lives life to a slightly different beat.

Near Northwest Side Story
Under the Covers. 08/07/2006.
Davenport's Show Tune Sundays appeal to the thespian in everyone…if you can find it.

8 Bold Souls
Music . 07/24/2006.
The bigger they come, the harder it is to coordinate schedules.

Chin Up Chin Up
Music . 07/18/2006.
Finally ready to move on, move on...to Pitchfork and beyond.

Eric Noden
Music . 07/17/2006.
This blues teacher gives musical lectures you won't want to miss.

Steve Dawson
Music . 07/03/2006.
The country crooner sings from the soul.



 
Venues Reviewed by Ben


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