Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The last and final ‘Trump Plaza’ sign will be removed, and other Chicago news

Posted By today at 06.00 AM

Activists gathered near the Trump Tower in July to protest GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. - ASHLEE REZIN, SUN-TIMES
  • Activists gathered near the Trump Tower in July to protest GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

  • Weather: Rainy and dreary

It will rain off and on throughout the day and evening. It will also be cool, with a high 53 and a low of 48, but it might feel like the temperature is in the 40s all day. [AccuWeather]

  • City Council officially strips Trump of his honorary street designation

The City Council Transportation Committee unanimously voted to remove GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's honorary street designation near his Chicago tower. "We can actually use his own words against him: 'When you hit us, we hit back,'" Alderman Anthony Beale said. One of the honorary "Trump Plaza" signs was already stolen, so the city only has one sign to officially remove. The city can't legally do anything to remove the massive "TRUMP" sign off of the tower's south end, but that hasn't stopped Alderman Brendan Reilly from asking Trump Tower residents to ask Trump to remove the sign. [Sun-Times]

  • Clinton's campaign team considered attacking Rahm Emanuel

The campaign team for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton considered attacking Clinton supporter Mayor Rahm Emanuel after her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, slammed the mayor in a tweet, according to campaign chair John Podesta's hacked e-mails. "Bernie is beating us up over Rahm's record on schools in Chicago," senior policy adviser Ann O'Leary wrote in an e-mail before weighing options for a response. [Politico] [h/t Politico Illinois Playbook]

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Can Cubs fans bleed blue while seeing red over the Ricketts family’s support of Trump?

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 03:50 PM

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said his family's financial support of pro-Trump super PACs is "no big deal." - EVAN VUCCI; MATT YORK
  • Evan Vucci; Matt York
  • Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said his family's financial support of pro-Trump super PACs is "no big deal."

During game six of the National League Championship Series, the Ricketts family counted two big wins. The Cubs, the team they've owned since 2009, advanced to the World Series for the first time since 1945. The wealthy clan also capitalized on a sizable national TV audience to advance the political fortunes of Donald Trump, whom they've supported since he became the Republican nominee in July.

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Former Swans drummer Thor Harris trades aggression for hypnosis

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 12:00 PM

Thor & Friends - CONOR Q WALKER
  • Conor Q Walker
  • Thor & Friends

Until Swans embarked on their current tour—promised to be their last, at least for this iteration of the band—they'd gotten some of their crushing power from drummer Thor Harris, a rhythm machine of awesome magnitude. Last year he stepped away from the group after five grueling years of touring, and he's now focusing on his own music, which delivers a much different sound. Last month he dropped the debut full-length from his new project Thor & Friends on LM Dupli-cation, the label run by A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost, both of whom appear on the record. Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich also contributed to the album, which was recorded earlier this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Tomorrow Never Knows announces its 2017 lineup

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 10:00 AM

  • Courtesy the Artist
  • Title Fight

Summer is gone, but it hasn't quite taken music festivals with it. This weekend, hip-hop and EDM stars descend on Toyota Park for the three-day Freaky Deaky—a production of React Presents, who've also booked the two-day Reaction New Year's Eve at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. And early next year, the folks at Lincoln Hall and Schubas bring back Tomorrow Never Knows for its 13th iteration. The festival kicks off Wednesday, January 11, and takes over Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Metro, and the Hideout for five days. (The Reader is a media sponsor.) Highlights on the bill, announced this morning, include postrock heroes Tortoise, emo heartthrobs Title Fight, and acerbic rapper Open Mike Eagle.

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Much Ado dissects Shakespeare line by line

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 09:00 AM

APT's 2014 production of Much Ado About Nothing - AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE
  • American Players Theatre
  • APT's 2014 production of Much Ado About Nothing
Schoolchildren are introduced to Shakespeare as literature, which might not be the best idea. I slogged through King Lear in college, and then again this summer on behalf of my book group. In the interim, I was riveted by Robert Falls's 2006 production at the Goodman. Lines I don't follow on the page I reread until I parsed them; onstage they tumbled by, revealed in the acting. As theater, King Lear surrendered its secrets.

One way to approach written Shakespeare is to see the words for what they really are: a portal to the drama. In 2014 Michael Lenehan spent a season standing at that door. He watched the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, prepare and then perform one of Shakespeare's favorite comedies, Much Ado About Nothing. The book he's just published about that experience, Much Ado, is full of lines and scenes from the play. But he approaches them less as texts to be interpreted than as problems—artistic but also practical—faced by the director and cast. 

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Saying good-bye to Herb Kent, radio’s greatest of all time

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 07:00 AM

Herb Kent works an evening shift at WVON in 1982. - KATHLEEN REEVE/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
  • Kathleen Reeve/Chicago Sun-Times
  • Herb Kent works an evening shift at WVON in 1982.

On the evening of Saturday, October 22, fresh off his weekly Wake-Up Club radio show and just hours before heading back downtown to do his Sunday-afternoon program on WVAZ, the immortal Herb Kent proved to be mortal.

Instead of hearing Kent clown around, reminisce about run-ins with R&B royalty, and play the dozens with opponents in his Battle of the Best contest, the WVAZ audience listened as Joe Soto (sometimes doing a reverently silly approximation of Kent's syrupy voice) and Kent's production team turned over the airwaves to fans, colleagues, politicians, musicians, and other folks who'd encountered the Kool Gent during his staggering 72 years in broadcasting.

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Aldermen won't be allowed to purchase Cubs World Series tickets at face value after all, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 10.25.16 at 06:00 AM

Fans in the bleachers hold "W" flags after a Cubs victory. - JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES
  • Fans in the bleachers hold "W" flags after a Cubs victory.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, October 26, 2016.

  • Weather: Cloudy and cool

Expect a high of 57 and a low of 45 Tuesday. It will be cloudy during the day, with a good chance of rain overnight. [AccuWeather]

  • Aldermen won't be able to buy Cubs World Series tickets at face value after all

A city ethics board has determined that aldermen can no longer buy Cubs playoff tickets at face value from the team. The board, run by Sidley Austin attorney William Conlon, said that to do so might violate "a ban on elected officials accepting gifts worth more than $50," according to the Tribune. After the Cubs offered aldermen and other select elected officials the option to purchase playoff tickets at face value, more than 70 percent of the City Council took them up on it. [Tribune] [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Rauner has spent nearly $46 million of his own money against Democrats in the state legislature 

Governor Bruce Rauner has spent $45.8 million of his own money in races against Democrats led by his nemesis, house speaker Mike Madigan, according to the Tribune. Rauner's friend Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Citadel, has also been helping Illinois Republicans with huge donations ahead of Election Day, including a $2 million check for incumbent comptroller Leslie Munger and a $3 million donation to house Republican leader Jim Durkin. [Tribune]

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicago’s Rude Guest bridged two-tone and third-wave ska in the 80s

Posted By on 10.24.16 at 05:00 PM

Since 2004 Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) has used the Secret History of Chicago Music to shine a light on worthy artists with Chicago ties who've been forgotten, underrated, or never noticed in the first place. Older strips are archived here.

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Art of Atari, Emporium's Haunted Hotel, and more things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 10.24.16 at 03:34 PM

Tim Lapetino celebrates the launch of his book Art of Atari at Logan Arcade on Thu 10/27.
  • Tim Lapetino celebrates the launch of his book Art of Atari at Logan Arcade on Thu 10/27.
Sure, you could spend the week fretting about the World Series, but there are plenty of distractions from Cubs mania. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Scatter my ashes at Wrigley Field

Posted By on 10.24.16 at 12:55 PM

The iconic ivy beckons at Wrigley Field. - CHARLES REX ARBOGAST
  • Charles Rex Arbogast
  • The iconic ivy beckons at Wrigley Field.

If Saturday night's baseball game had been an ordinary game, we might have said it was settled in the first inning, when a double, a single, and a dropped fly ball put the Cubs up 2-0 against the Dodgers, and the pitcher who'd shut them out the last time, Clayton Kershaw. Already the Cubs had one more run than they'd need.

But this wasn't a game, it was a quest, and it began in 1945; that's the last time the Cubs won a pennant, and not many people around then are alive now. Or it began in 1908, the last time the Cubs won a World Series. That team's fans have all left the earth, along with most people who even remember them.

Failure so enduring isn't easily dispelled by good fortune. The Cubs scored again and then again, and I felt a threshold was crossed with the fourth run. It's the one that diminished the haunting precedent of the sixth game of the 2003 NL Championship Series, when the Cubs were sailing along with a 3-0 lead and had their ace on the mound, but disaster struck and the Cubs lost 8-3. (And the next night they lost the seventh game.) As the last few LA batters took their cuts, and the TV cameras scanned the stands, the score by now 5-0, some Cubs fans sobbed but others looked braced and fearful. But suddenly the game was over, ended not by disaster but by a double play.

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