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Battle for the Soul of Chicago Nightlife: ChicagoNow vs. GlitterGuts

By JoshMogerman in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 24, 2010 7:00PM

2010_10_24---GlitterGuts.jpg Everyone loves the nightlife in these parts---there was even conjecture it would be enough to bring LeBron (sigh, no need to rehash that mess). But what does the scene look like in Chicago? Ask ten people to describe it and you will get ten different answers. We are decidedly in the beer and shots crowd, but when we want to get a peek at what some of the more socially-motivated folks in town are up to, we head online where two sites offer very different looks at the city’s nightlife: ChicagoNow’s Shots in the Dark blog and GlitterGuts.

On the surface, they do something similar: go to parties and take pictures.

But the similarities end there.

Shots in the Dark describes itself thusly:

Pretty people -- they're everywhere! Lucky for you, this blog is on the scene.

Its photographers primarily troll north side and downtown clubs to get quick candid photos of drunken folks, often squeezed into very tight outfits, posing for the camera…

GlitterGuts denizens have their own tight outfits, though they are more often rubber, Lycra or leather. This crew sets up elaborate photo backdrops at parties all around town and caters to a more diverse (in every sense of the word) crowd.

So, how do they stack up? The ChicagoNow shots are indeed pretty people (or people trying desperately to be pretty) at their exuberant clubby best. But we prefer what we see on GlitterGuts---folks representing an array of scenes and weirdness, just being themselves. Sure, there’s a level of freakiness that might be a bit much for some: shots from “T&A Tuesdays at Exit” or “Carnivale Delirium” are not everybody’s bag (and a few are NSFW, not that you needed to be told). The exciting mix of quirky and charismatic Chicagoans at these parties is amplified by fantastic production values---these photos look like magazine shots, not party pics. While it probably won't help woo NBA superstars, that glossy/grimy combo seems to suit Chicago awfully well. We are ready for our turn in front of the camera, where’s the next party?