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Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Hot + Rio 2: hot and cold

Posted By on 07.29.11 at 10:17 AM

For nearly two decades the Red Hot organization has been producing eclectic anthologies "to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues." Most of these releases have been built around some intriguing concept: Red Hot + Riot (2002) paid homage to Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and Dark Was the Night (2009) focused on early American gospel, blues, and folk—the title is derived from the classic Blind Willie Johnson song "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground."

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The Pluses of Google Minus

Posted By on 07.29.11 at 09:34 AM

Feeling great today! I’ve yet to find the meditweeting book I'm looking for, but I’ve received an exclusive invitation to join Google Minus. This new networking service lets me do “everything you can do on Facebook, and less.” If I don’t feel like connecting with anyone, I simply log in, choose “aloof,” and it takes me to a blank page! Which is very soothing. I can Foe people as well as Friend them.

I like all of Google’s products. I’m a big fan of Google Earth, and lately have been using Google Fridge to exhume my leftovers and Google Hamper to sort my laundry. (If you want to see the satellite view of my laundry, let me know.)

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How to . . . excel at crosswords

Posted By on 07.29.11 at 09:10 AM

  • Lori L. Stalteri
The best and most befuddling crossword puzzles feature sly puns, internal jokes, and tricky clues. The least befuddling rely on synonyms and crossword cliches that regular solvers will see again and again. As a public service, we present a selection:

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

This week on the B Side

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 02:54 PM

For all the talk about how the Internet is revolutionizing the way artists can find audiences, most musicians still do it more or less the same way they have for generations: playing shows, recording albums, and making connections with industry people who can help them level up. If you squint very hard you can see the basic outline of that path in the trajectory followed by local eccentric and polymath Willis Earl Beal in what I guess you'd call his "career" so far, except that instead of shows he's used hand-drawn flyers posted around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Chicago, asking strangers to call him, and instead of industry insiders giving him a boost it's been Found zinester Davey Rothbart, and instead of actually releasing his recordings he's yet to do more than leave burned CD-Rs in public places. But look at him now: Found's putting out a box set of Beal's music, art, and poetry, and he's on the cover of this week's Reader B Side, which is not too shabby at all.

Also on this week's B Side, I take a look at Danny Brown, the "hip-hop illuminati," and DJ Khaled—which are, respectively, my favorite rapper of the year, my favorite conspiracy theory of the decade, and the man responsible (somewhat) for my second favorite ringtone ever. (It's hard to beat my first favorite.) An especially entertaining installment of In Rotation brings together Peter Margasak, Drag City cofounder Dan Koretzky, and Miguel "DJ Dirty Migs" Castillo, who you may recognize as the former bassist for Catfish Haven. (True story: I actually own the guitar that Derek Kenney from Jihad played on that split with Ottawa.) Three Beats has news on a long-overdue solo debut by a ubiquitous jazz sideman, a beef over band names in the local indie-pop scene, and the latest Chicago label to start dabbling in cassettes. Gossip Wolf's scoops this week are a unique blend of darkwave, twee pop, and old punks. We also have a guide for the Logan Square love-in known as the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. And Soundboard plans out your next week of live music with shows from Jill Scott, Richard Buckner, Omar S, Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, and more.

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The Apple Comes to the Neo-Futurarium Tonight

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 01:52 PM

The Neo-Futurists are nearly three-quarters of the way through their annual series of what Reader critic Kerry Reid called "slapdash but full-out performances of ostentatiously bad movie scripts." Tonight at 8 PM, they offer up their own, live version of The Apple, a futuristic, Old Testament-inspired disco opera written and originally directed by Menahem Golan. Here's the trailer for the 1980 movie, thanks to Donnell Williams, who choreographed tonight's show.

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Birth centers closer to opening in Illinois

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 01:25 PM

  • jonny.hunter
The AP reports today that birth centers, freestanding institutions that offer women a delivery option between the poles of home and hospital, are another step closer to opening in Illinois: the state Health Facilities and Services Review Board held a rules hearing during which the centers faced no opposition. Some are expected to open before the end of the year.

Birth centers were illegal in Illinois until a 2007 legislative measure allowed for the construction of ten new ones. In 1997, Angela Bowman wrote in the Reader about Illinois's resistance to allowing the centers—at that point they were legal in 34 other states. Why not here? Bowman also included a lengthy discussion about evolving standards of care for women in labor, an evolution with a Dark Ages-like 1950s that gave way to the natural-childbirth movement:

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Sales This Weekend

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 01:20 PM

Right now Krista K, 3530 N. Southport, is holding an end-of-season sale—clothes and accessories are 50 to 75 percent off.

On Saturday, local designers Anna Fong and Evil Kitty team up for a studio sale of samples and fabric from 1 to 6 PM at Creative Lounge Chicago, 1564 N. Damen, suite 303. Nearby, Dovetail and Eskell join forces for a flea market with clothes, jewelry, books, and the like. It runs Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM and Sunday from noon to 5 PM in the back lot of Eskell, 1509 N. Milwaukee.

And finally, the massive Randolph Street Market is back Saturday and Sunday with vintage vendors, fashion designers, furniture, antiques, and housewares. It's 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday and 10 AM to 4 PM Sunday at 1340 W. Washington; admission is $8 online, $10 at the gate.

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As Preckwinkle renews call to decriminalize pot possession, police arguing amongst themselves

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 12:49 PM

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made headlines again yesterday when she reiterated what she'd told us a few weeks ago: it's time for the Chicago Police Department to stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

But the police department isn't ready to do anything different just yet, because some of the guys in the upper ranks continue to see pot busts as a way to get "gangbangers" off the street.

Preckwinkle, facing an estimated budget gap of more than $300 million for the 2012 fiscal year, says it's too costly to detain people for marijuana possession. She told a group of reporters yesterday that she's made this point to CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy but has yet to hear back. “I suggested to him that although the law is pretty clear that such possession is a violation of the law, that since the judges routinely and almost universally dismiss such low-level drug charges that the police might stop arresting people for this since it clogs up our jail and these people their cases will be dismissed out anyway,” she said.

In an interview with Ben Joravsky and me a couple weeks ago, Preckwinkle was even more blunt, saying she'd asked McCarthy to "stop arresting people for small amounts of drugs, because you're wasting our time."

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A new library for Humboldt Park

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 11:10 AM

Richard M. Daley branch library
  • Chicago Public Library
  • Richard M. Daley branch library
The dedication ceremony for the new Richard M. Daley branch library (733 N. Kedzie, 312-743-0555) is Thursday, July 28, at 2 PM.

Per the Chicago Public Library: "The Richard M. Daley Branch is named in honor of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who during his 22 years as mayor provided unprecedented support to the growth of libraries in the City of Chicago. During Mayor Daley's term in office, the City of Chicago built or renovated 59 new libraries across the City of Chicago."

It seems Daley was as passionate about libraries as he was about trees.

Saturday at Summerdance: the hillbilly forro of Matuto

Posted By on 07.28.11 at 10:51 AM

  • Matuto
On Saturday evening, as part of the city's Summerdance program, New York guitarist Clay Ross brings his band Matuto to town for the first time. When the South Carolina native moved to NYC in 2002, he was intent on making his way as a jazz musician, but he soon reconciled that desire with his own roots in southern folk. A few years after arriving, he found work playing with Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista in his eclectic band Beat the Donkey, an experience that gave Ross an obsession with roots music from northeastern Brazil, particularly the city of Recife in Pernambuco, where's he traveled four times since 2006.

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