Following in Williamsburg's footsteps, Chicago now has it's very own hipster grifters!
A fella who goes by the name of Mike Meadows has been hanging around Wicker Park, and outside of various venues like Schubas and The Metro, claiming to be a member of various bands and soliciting "donations" in exchange for CD's that turn out to be blank.
See, now, the way I found out about this is because the other day, my friend Ivan (of Mr. Russia), got an angry email from some dude who said he'd been sold a blank CD from a guy who said he was in Mr. Russia. They did some research (see here and here) and found out that this guy has been pulling this scam for a while now, previously saying he was a member of bands like Camera Obscura, Art Brut, Harvey Danger, The Kills, etc. We're guessing he probably got called out too often by people who knew what the members of those bands looked like, and has now decided to target local bands (you too, could be a victim!). And yeah, while you'd have to question the mental capacities of anyone who thought a dude in Camera Obscura or whatever was in Chicago for spanging purposes... it's not cool to rip people off, and it's certainly not cool to go screwing with anyone's reputation like that.
And the hunt is on! Though I don't personally advocate violence, Mr. Russia is offering a reward for a picture of this dude with a black eye. So, you know, at least be on the lookout, let people know if you see him, and certainly don't give him any money. He's about 5'10" with very short brown hair (also seen bald), with brown bug eyes, and often seen in a grey hoodie with a Touch and Go t-shirt, is possibly strung out, and rides a beach cruiser. He has also been seen with his girlfriend, a short Asian-American girl with a half shaved head.
If you'd like a Mr. Russia CD, however, they will be given out for *free* at the previously mentioned show this Friday, at 7, at Sub-t. Good times will be had by all!