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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom Goes on Sale

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 03:37 PM

Whether you love him or hate him, Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), is out there now on bookstore shelves (if you still buy your books in actual physical bookstores).

I haven't quite finished it yet, but it is for sure big, ambitious, smart, acerbic, and worthy of all the attention it's getting: "the novel of the century"!

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Rick Bayless at Google

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 01:29 PM

Rick Bayless stopped by the Google campus as part of their Authors @ Google series to talk food, barbecue, the remarkable regionalization of Mexican food, and more. Via Ezra Klein.

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Posted By on 08.31.10 at 12:05 PM

It's hip to hate Manny Ramirez, but look at it this way. Shorter FanGraphs: DH Mark Kotsay. According to Baseball Prospectus, Kotsay has the second-lowest VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) on the team at -1.3, just ahead of Jayson Nix . . . who isn't on the team anymore . . . and the lowest WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) at -0.9. By almost any measure, Kotsay is worse than your typical major league hitter this year.

(h/t Steve Rhodes)

Chicago Fashion on the Radio

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 12:03 PM

UPDATED: Here's a link to the segment.

I'll be on WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight tomorrow morning to talk about Chicago fashion, including trends, the local industry, how stores and designers are doing in the economic downturn, and more. The show starts at 9 AM but I'll be on later in the hour.

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8/31—Free Kronos Gyros

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 11:54 AM

Kronos Foods, Inc. holds its second annual Free Gyros Day today at 54 Chicagoland locations, including Off the Tracks Grill (190 W. Wells), Original Maxwell Street ( 1157 W. 47th), Bread Basket (4725 W. Belmont), and Jeff's Red Hots (3901 N. Cicero). Kronos is providing donation boxes at each location so that customers can give to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides military families with housing near hospitals while their loved ones undergo treatment. Visit Kronos's website to find more participating restaurants and print a coupon for a free gyro.

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Saint Louis Blues

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 09:57 AM

Saint Louis Blues
  • Saint Louis Blues

On their way from Dakar, Senegal to St. Louis, seven travelers sing their stories in Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun), the 48-minute 2009 Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)-style musical and Sundance Film Festival selection by Dyana Gaye (Ousmene).

Zimbabwean dancer-choreographer Nora Chipaumire is showcased in Alla Kovgan and David Hinton's 35-minute 2008 short Nora. The New York Times said it "succeeds in combining a rough personal narrative with poetic, allusive imagery."

Saint Louis Blues and Nora screen tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the 16th Annual Black Harvest International Film and Video Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. $9.

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Jeff Equity Nominations Announced

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 09:34 AM

The Jeff Awards committee has issued its list of Equity nominees, covering union theater productions that opened in the Chicago area between August 1, 2009, and July 31, 2010. Drury Lane Productions leads the field with 26 nominations for four musicals, followed at a distance by Court Theatre with 18. The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held Monday October 25 at, coincidentally, Drury Lane Oakbrook. The full roster of 162 nominees:

Continue reading »

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Jack the Grabber

Posted By on 08.31.10 at 08:47 AM

Fort Worth Gazette, June 28, 1891. Classic exhibitionism is sometimes referred to as the "hands-off" paraphilia, but this Jack was that exceptional weenie wagger who couldn't keep his mitts to himself.
I was bemused to discover this Wikipedia page whose discussion of exhibitionism is almost exclusively devoted to women flashing their breasts. I'm like, huh? But then I got to thinking about the idea of female exhibitionism and I started wondering whether the gender distribution of this ultra-common paraphilia isn't closer to even than common sense would suggest. Unlike men, women can get naked for pay, and the "victims" of female flashers would be much less likely to report the incident, or even register it as an expression of sexual deviance for that matter. Then there's the whole issue of Halloween to consider. Perhaps the female of the species is hiding in plain sight. I suppose the whole question ultimately hinges on the intent of the exhibitionee (—ess?).

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Kanye and His Weird Circle of Friends Drop New Tracks

Posted By on 08.30.10 at 10:07 PM

Right now there's a small but nonzero chance that any given working musician in the world will get an out-of-the-blue invitation from Kanye West to fly out to Hawaii and contribute to one or another of his recording projects. Or at least that's the picture I'm getting from the tracks he's been releasing to the Internet, which highlight both his eclectic tastes and his occasional bursts of prolificacy. Like for instance this weekend he released two songs that include appearances from artists as varied as Rick Ross, Justin Bieber, Raekwon, and Bon Iver.

Friday night, hot on the heels of his announcement that he and Jay-Z are about to drop a five-track EP, he leaked one of the songs intended for it. Jay and 'Ye get top billing on "Monster," but Nicki Minaj runs away with the song, as she so frequently does. In terms of simply drawing attention, indie-folk standard-bearer Bon Iver takes the prize, by virtue of being the last person on earth whose name you'd expect to see right after Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj's.

And then, as if to prove that he's just fucking with us, this morning he dropped a remix of Justin Bieber's "Runaway Love" built around the beat to Wu-Tang's "Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit" and a verse by Raekwon, which again suggests that 'Ye is choosing collaborators by rolling dice or maybe throwing darts at a Pitchfork RSS feed.

Next up for Kanye is a track with Too $hort over a beat that samples Gang Gang Dance's "House Jam," with vocal contributions by Attila Csihar. Or something like that.

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8/31—Free Knitting Class at Three Peas Art Lounge

Posted By on 08.30.10 at 05:36 PM

Three Peas Art Lounge (75 E. 16th) offers a free, one-hour knitting class tomorrow at 7 PM to kick off its Tuesday night "Knit Tails" classes. Subsequent sessions cost $10 each and include a cocktail. Needles and yarn will be available for purchase, or you can bring your own. E-mail info at threepeasartlounge dot com for more information.

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