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Friday, October 30, 2009

Morning Art: Karen Becker and Peter Hamm

Posted By on 10.30.09 at 08:00 AM

A drawing by Karen Becker and Peter Hamm from the drawing performance “Wetware Render Machine,” the precursor to Exquisite: A Series of Corpses, an interactive art-making event Fri 10/30, 7-11 PM, at Saint Paul’s Cultural Center, 2215 W. North, 773-278-7677.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steve Timble Leaves Reader

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 11:42 PM

The appointment of Jim Warren as publisher of the Reader has made the position of associate publisher redundant, in the view of the Reader's owners, and Steve Timble, who held that position and has been acting as publisher, has left the paper. Given the economy, what we all know about the state of print journalism, and the Reader's recent history as part of a chain of weeklies that just came out of bankruptcy, this paper's in fairly decent shape: ad sales goals are in reach, with classifieds showing surprising strength, and the return rate of distributed copies is minuscule. This is progress, it happened on Timble's watch, and I thank him and wish him well.

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Italian Film Festival in Stone Park

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 08:25 PM

The Italian Film Festival at Casa Italia in Stone Park culminates Friday at 7 PM with a free screening of Salvatore Maira's Valzer (The Waltz), a film released earlier this year that tells the story of an older man who believes he will meet his daughter after twenty years of absence and instead finds an unknown woman who has taken her identity.

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Free Things To Do On (Or Around) Halloween

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 06:44 PM

Free Halloween events from a War of the Worlds tribute to a bike tour to "movieoke." For our complete roundup of Halloween events, click here.

North Halsted Halloween Parade 2008
  • James Walsh
  • North Halsted Halloween Parade 2008

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A Snapshot—Musical and Visual—of the South Side in the 70s

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 06:25 PM

Chicago’s invaluable Numero Group label has always complemented its superb collections with beautiful packaging—thorough, fascinating liner notes, rare archival photographs, lovely slipcases. In fact, over the imprint’s history it seems as though the physical presentation of each release has become more important and more elaborate, which makes sense considering how easy it is for most folks to simply illegally download something for free. For the label’s next knockout release, Light: On the Southside, the music is actually a complement to the art: a stunning 12-by-12, 132-page hardbound book featuring gorgeous black-and-white photographs shot by Michael L. Abramson at a handful of south-side blues clubs and lounges between 1975 and 1977.

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At Chicago Shakespeare for Just Five Days

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 05:55 PM

The Walworth Farce
  • The Walworth Farce

Enda Walsh's 2006 play starts out weird and very funny. An Irishman and his two grown sons bounce off the walls of the seedy London flat where they apparently squat, acting out an elaborate farce in which a contractor pretends that the mansion he's been working on belongs to him, then resorts to fancy maneuvers when the real owners show up. The acting style is vaudevillian by way of Bugs Bunny and Charles Ludlam. One son wears a dress and switches flouncy wigs depending on which devious slut he's playing. The other keeps the top of his head shaved and holds his mustache on with an elastic band. And Dad?

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The Runaway Returns

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 03:25 PM

Nami Mun
  • Nami Mun
Columbia College professor Nami Mun picked up a $50,000 Whiting Writers' Award in New York this week for Miles From Nowhere, her powerful little book about a child struggling to survive alone on the streets of that city.

Born in South Korea, Mun emigrated to New York with her family when she was eight years old and was living on the streets of "all five boroughs" by 13. Though she could be telling her own story, she says she's not; she won't discuss her family or her own experiences on the street. But she says that eight years ago, when she began working on the first of the linked stories that became the book, she was surprised to find herself writing in tears. That story, "Club Orchid" (now the third chapter of the book), relates the initiation of a child prostitute, desperate to make enough money to put a roof over her head for a night. "When you're a runaway, you don't look back," Mun says. "And, until then, I never had."

The circumstances she describes are sordid, the writing stripped down to a deceptive, often poetic simplicity. In deference to her protagonist, Mun says, she axed anything "writerly" in the text. The result is like an easy reader guide to hell.

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Don't Believe the Date Rape Drug Hype

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 03:03 PM

This week, a study in the British Journal of Criminology announced that “date rape drugs” are “largely an urban myth,” as “there is a stark contrast between heightened perceptions of risk associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault and a lack of evidence that this is a wide-spread threat.” Several sites for women met the news with skepticism. Feministing suggested that the study may have engaged in victim-blaming. The Frisky warned that the study “needs to be viewed with caution. I don’t think we want women to start leaving their drinks unattended, just because the chances of getting roofied are slimmer than they may have thought.” TresSugar hailed the report as “depressing.”

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The Beatles Babies

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 01:45 PM

The trailer for Sam Taylor-Wood's upcoming John Lennon biopic Nowhere Man is out and it looks decent, zooming in on Lennon's teenage years and first stabs at music-making with the Quarrymen. But if there isn't a line on par with the "We're not a skiffle band. We're a rock 'n' roll band" line from Backbeat there isn't much chance of it becoming my favorite Beatles movie to quote to people who have no idea what I'm talking about.

Video after the jump:

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Mix Hell Is Mix Heavenly

Posted By on 10.29.09 at 01:30 PM


The obvious reason people were so shocked when Igor Cavalera started DJing dance music (with his wife, Laima Leyton) was just, omigod, the dude from Sepultura is DJing dance music? But the real shocker is that Mix Hell is actually way more berserk and amazing than it has any right to be.

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