Numero Group: By The Numbers

Michael L. Abramson 1948-2011
March 22, 2011, 7:18 pm
Filed under: A Light On The Southside, Obituaries | Tags: ,

Early Monday morning, our friend and collaborator Michael L. Abramson peacefully succumbed to his long battle with kidney cancer.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Abramson had contributed photography to numerous national and foreign magazines and his work has been exhibited at museums and galleries including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Milwaukee Art Museum, and The Philadelphia Art Museum. In 1978, he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in response to documentary work on the South Side of Chicago.

Michael’s important historical photographs of Chicago nightlife in the mid-1970s were the centerpiece of Numero’s double album/book hybrid Light: On The South Side, which has received accolades globally—including a Grammy nomination—for this remarkable portrait of a rarely documented and lively Chicago scene.

Of Michael’s work, the writer Nick Hornby says:

“There is something extremely poignant about these pictures: there comes a point where the transience of the laughter and the music, the booze and the cigarettes and the drugs, pushes us into a contemplation of the mortality of the participants, and then on to our own. And life has always been shorter for the inhabitants of the South Side, too—at the time these pictures were taken, the average black male would just about see his sixtieth birthday, but not much beyond that. Carpe diem means that little bit more when the dies are in shorter supply. This is a special book, about one tiny corner of the world over a handful of evenings a long time ago; but that tiny corner of the world has, for decades now, meant a great deal to an awful lot of people scattered all over the world.”

Mike was a real mencsh, a true gentleman, and an important artist. We will miss him tremendously. If you’re out tonight, lift a snifter of Hennessy for him. He preferred Scotch, but it seems appropriate.

Emmy Jammy

Congrats to Marcus and the NBC gang on the Midwest Emmy win for:

Outstanding Achievement for Alternate Media/New Media Interactivity

Light: On The South Side: Marcus Riley, Steve Bryant, Deborah Brown, Suzanne Richter, Lora Johnson LeSage, Producers; Marion Brooks, Reporter. WMAQ

Click that link up there to see the project.

More Light, from the South Side and beyond

Nice interview that Richard Steele, host of WBEZ’s 848, did with our own Tom Lunt and Michael Abramson.

Joe Tangari chimed in yesterday with an 8.3 on Pitchfork. Seriously, what’s it going to take to crack 9? Are we going to need to reissue an entire city block circa 1968 replete with trees and dogs? Just asking.

Lastly, Blurt blurted a 9 star review this morning. Give it up for Jason Bugg who, when sending the link this AM, included this tidbit:

“I love your label. Seriously. Half of the songs on my wedding CD came from your releases. If I ever get divorced I’m leading off that CD with “Your Replacement is Here.”

If Jason wife is reading this, I’m pretty sure he was joking.

Light On The South Side with WBEZ’s Richard Steele
November 19, 2009, 4:35 pm
Filed under: A Light On The Southside | Tags: , , , ,

When Chicago radio legend Richard Steele interviewed Tom and photographer Michael Abramson for WBEZ’s 848 program this morning, we discovered he and Michael had something in common. They were both prowling the same South Side clubs at the same time. Here are Mr & Mrs Steele in front of Perv’s House, circa 1976 or so:

So Busy We Almost Forgot It Happened

NBC/UNIVISION threw a Light On The South Side party at the historic Bronzeville Parkway Ballroom last night. It was insane. I’ve never seen so many beautiful people in one room. Some of whom were sitting in my lap. Here’s the invite, followed by some pics Michael took at the party. And dig the pic of Herb Kent – yup, that’s him – in an afro wig.

Light At The Cultural Center

Somehow, amid all the chaos of the last two weeks, it totally slipped our minds that we’re having a release party for Light: On The South Side. With out further ado, the information:

The Numero Group presents:
A Light On The South Side
Release party, Discussion, and Social
Sunday, November 1st 2pm – 6pm
Chicago Cultural Center
Discussion with Michael Abramson and Rick Kogan in the Claudia Cassidy Theater
Reception in the G.A.R. Rotunda

Following the talk there will be a book signing and reception where Intelligentsia Coffee will be serving a special Numero-inspired creation, the 24-Carat Blend, and the Numero staff will be playing South Side classics in the G.A.R. Rotunda.

NY Times Showcase: South Side Blues
October 6, 2009, 7:15 am
Filed under: A Light On The Southside | Tags: ,

Picture 3

Above is a link to a slick showcase on the NY Times photography blog LENS, for our upcoming book, Light: On The South Side, which hits shelves or your front door in three weeks.  You can order it here.