April 24, 2013 • 03:12:27 p.m.

5 Faves: Things we're excited about this week 4/11

(Michael Yarish/AMC)

Five things the Planit Pl@y staff is excited about this week.


Don Draper has issues. “Mad Men’s” sixth season returned Sunday, and although the two-hour premiere started in paradise, it’s clear there are dark times ahead for Don and Co. Death and anxiety look to be big themes for the characters this season – appropriate as the show enters 1968, a year of riots, drugs, counter-culture, assassinations and massive divisions across the country over the Vietnam War. Seeing how Don, Roger, Peggy, Joan, Pete and the rest find their feet as society undergoes seismic shifts should make for a fascinating season. “Mad Men” has always operated at a slow burn, unabashedly building tension until events coalesce toward the end of each season. The pace of the show is unlike nearly everything else on TV – it can be a little agonizing to the uninitiated, but the payoff is TV drama at its finest (and honestly better than just about anything you’d see at the movie theater). As always, there is plenty of beautiful scenery – and this season, that glorious ‘60s hair – to take in along with each subtle barb and sidelong glance. Drink up. Airs 9 p.m. Sundays on AMC. – Valerie Katzenstein

WEBSITE:†Love With Food

I have become a fan of Love With Food, an online gourmet snack company. You give the gift of a $10 monthly snack pack, filled with delicious and unique items (like chipotle pepper chocolates and wasabi pretzels). I gave the gift to my Dad for his birthday, and after three monthly deliveries, he’s still thrilled. It’s a small box, about a half dozen items, both sweet and savory. But the coolest part is this: For every box ordered, Love With Food gives a needy local child a good meal. They have delivered 50,000 meals so far nationwide, and donations from purchases in this area go to the Chicago Food Depository. Everybody wins.†Order at lovewithfood.com. – Sherri Dauskurdas

APP:†TuneIn Radio

The TuneIn Radio app is simply the best way to listen to broadcast radio. Whether you want to listen to music, sports, news or current events from any part of the world, TuneIn Radio offers more than 70,000 stations, 2 million podcasts, concerts and shows from which to choose. For free. You can search for stations by location, genre and more. The best feature is you can pause and rewind a live broadcast. I often start listening while I’m getting ready for work, pause and pick up where I left off in the car. The app also has just been optimized for the visually impaired by improving voiceover integration. A Pro version for $4.99 is available that allows you to record what you’re listening to. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Available on iTunes and on the official website.†– R. Scott Helmchen

DANCER:†Lil Buck

Defying the limits of the human skeleton, American dancer Lil Buck (Charles Riley) proves evolutionary in his technique, moving from the Memphis-born dance style of jookin’ to a crossover ballet performance of Camille Saint-SaŽns’ “The Dying Swan,” while on tour with Yo-Yo Ma. In 2012, he was named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine and also has been featured in the Janelle MonŠe’s music video for the “Tightrope.” Plus, he was a back-up dancer for Madonna during the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI halftime show and the singer’s MDNA Tour. Check out one of his dance turns at†shawurl.com/kd7. – Renee Tomell

STORE:†Reclaimed in Crystal Lake

This gem of a store opened in September in Crystal Lake, but I didn’t discover it until its presence exploded on Facebook. It seemed everyone I knew was checking in there, liking its newest project or sharing a picture of its one-of-a-kind, newly restored home furnishings. A few clicks later, I became a fan. The shabby chic vintage furniture is updated in modern colors, fabrics and hardware. Barn doors are turned into coffee tables, and spare wooden pieces become industrial-style console tables, desks and bar stools. See something you like elsewhere? They’ll build you one just like it. I needed a closer look. The store is small, but items climb the walls and even hang from the ceiling. I had an enjoyable afternoon browsing and finding things I’d missed my first, or third, time through. I left my first trip emptyhanded, but with a constantly updating inventory – all posted on Facebook where dozens clamor for first dibs – I was enticed back two weeks later. This time, in addition to the chair I saw online, I left with a car full of treasures and plans to check back in often. Located at 135 Beardsley St., Crystal Lake – Valerie Katzenstein

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