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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jay Andres

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 02:54 PM

Jay Andres deserves to be remembered as the Sun-Times remembers him Thursday, in a five-column farewell at the top of a page unfortunately labeled OBITUAREIS.

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This Week in Reader Music

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 02:50 PM

I didn't even notice when it officially became fall, but now that we've had a couple below-50 nights, my autumn allergies have come back, and there's an issue of the Reader with zero music-festival guides, it's starting to finally sink in. But why mourn the passing of summer when there's still so much music to enjoy?

Gossip Wolf's sporting a new look, with a wolfy mascot designed by poster artist Keith Herzik and the hottest news on local crust-punk and psych-rock happenings. In Sharp Darts I look at the new site Pay With a Tweet and ponder the monetary value of social-networking buzz. David Whiteis brings us the story of prewar bluesmen Joe and Charlie McCoy and a benefit concert to buy headstones for their unmarked graves in south-suburban Alsip. Photo Pit puts us in the middle of a raucous crowd for Mahal Rai Banda's World Music Festival show last week at Martyrs'. And in the List you'll find recommendations for Prince Rama, Swans, Eels, and more.

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The Now Underground Sound of Drag City

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 02:34 PM

Magik Markers
  • Magik Markers
On Saturday night Ronny's hosts a killer bill with two of the less hyped acts on Drag City Records. While I'd never say that the label has become more commercial during its august history, it's definitely broadened its scope—and there aren't many other imprints that release such a wide range of music while privileging no one type over another. The success of Joanna Newsom and Bonnie "Prince" Billy certainly helps Drag City put out records by Alasdair Roberts and Red Krayola—to say nothing of its stream of great reissues and the even more eccentric labels it distributes. Magik Markers and Sic Alps, who play on Saturday, are inheritors in a way of the legacy of the label's early years, when it presciently charted the outer edges of what passed for indie rock at the time (Pavement, Royal Trux, Gastr del Sol, Smog). Neither band sounds much like any of those Drag City acts, but they're both denizens of a bona fide underground—releasing loads of music in limited editions, either on tiny labels or by themselves, and more or less operating off the grid.

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Dinner & a Show: Thursday 9/30

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 02:31 PM

The Clean
  • The Clean

Show: The Clean's "place in rock 'n' roll history is indisputable; their cheaply recorded, exuberantly performed early-80s recordings for Flying Nun kick-started an underground-music explosion in their native New Zealand and set the template for legions of indie-pop combos on the other side of the world. But Kilgour, his New York-based drummer brother Hamish, and bassist-keyboardist Robert Scott (everybody sings) have never treated the band like a career," writes Bill Meyer.

9 PM, Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, 312-666-6775 or 866-468-3401,, $15, 17+.

Dinner: May Street Market From the sunny hostess to the chatty server to the chef-owner himself—Tru vet Alex Cheswick—everybody at May Street Market exudes goodwill: they even send you out the door with a complimentary treat.

1132 W. Grand Ave., 312-421-5547,

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One Bite: J.P. Graziano's House-made Truffle Mustard-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 01:32 PM

Jim Graziano
  • Jim Graziano
  • The Mr. G

This week in Food & Drink I talked to Jim Graziano, fourth-generation scion of the dynasty behind J.P. Graziano, the great West Loop Italian food wholesaler, grocery, and sub shop about how he plans to keep the business going for another 70-some years.

Graziano cooks a lot, and chances are that even if you've only stopped in a few times he's given you advice on what to do with whatever you're shopping for. Thing is, he's an intuitive cook and doesn't use recipes, certainly not each morning when he mixes up a new 48-ounce batch of the truffle mustard-balsamic vinaigrette that goes on the majestic Mr. G sub (sharp provolone, hot soppressata, Prosciutto di Parma, Genoa salami, marinated artichokes, basil, lettuce, hot oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano).

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Notes on Reaching Rock Bottom

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 12:06 PM

Here's some good news.

From a BBC report on the rapid progress being made to rescue 33 miners trapped 2,000 feet underground in Chile:

"Construction work has even started on a huge platform to accommodate up to 1,000 journalists from around the world who are expected to descend on the mine to report on the rescue."

I wouldn't have thought there were 1,000 journalists to be found still working at places with travel budgets.

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Meet the New Candidate for Boss

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 12:05 PM

The inevitable, saith "AP sources."

I don't think I can improve on this:


From 2002, Ben Joravsky looks at where Rahm came from. So what does he think about TIFs?

One mystery remains for me. Apparently Rahm's mom once owned a rock club, but I haven't been able to figure out which one.

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Dept. of Worst-Case Scenarios

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 11:57 AM

Reading about the Quinn-Brady debate and yet another bond downgrade reminded me that I'd been meaning to check out what happened to Arkansas, the only state that actually defaulted during the 20th century. The answer? They worked off federal money, but it wasn't good times:

In 1933, Arkansas defaulted on its bonds — the only state to do so during the Great Depression — and its state government essentially functioned on federal money for two years. It started digging itself out only when it passed a sales tax, and even then, the state had to stop building roads for 16 years.

Multiple states, meanwhile, defaulted during the mid-19th century.

Reuters's Felix Salmon argues that in a worst-case scenario states will get bailed out; it's municipalities that have the most to fear, not least from pinched state budgets. Salmon is working off a report by Meredith Whitney, who ranks Illinois as the second-most fucked state in the country: ahead of California, tied with New Jersey and Ohio, and just behind Michigan.

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National Endowments Mark 45th Anniversary

Posted By on 09.30.10 at 11:05 AM

Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson
Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both have played a crucial role in the development of America's nonprofit arts movement. On September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, the legislation that established the NEA and NEH. To quote from that legislation: "Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants."

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