Bleader | Chicago Reader

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy news for Mr. Mayor from the Reader

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 06:08 PM

In the spirit of the changes sweeping the Reader, I want to say something nice about Mayor Emanuel.

I think we'll all agree that I've been far too critical of him over the last few months.

Well, actually, I won't agree to that. Probably most readers won't agree to that either. But I'm sure we'll all agree that Mayor Emanuel will agree to that.

Anyway, time for a change!

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Rap blog beef alert

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 05:31 PM

Andrew Barber, friend of the Reader and founder of Chicago-centric rap blog Fake Shore Drive, is no stranger to rap beef, having played online host to many of them and participated directly in the recent Drake/Common tiff. But recently Barber's been targeted by an anonymous Internet denizen who's begun tweeting and blogging under the name Real Shore Drive. While there's no outright anti-Barber sentiment on the blog, both its name and its slogan—"No Fakery Needed"—imply virtual shots fired, and at least a few people on Twitter are getting in the mix, possibly because complaining about the XXL Freshman Class issue has already gotten stale and nothing more exciting has come along.

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WHPK's next Pictures and Sounds is Saturday

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 04:46 PM

Bill Orcutt
  • Bill Orcutt
Every year at about this time, University of Chicago radio station WHPK (88.5 FM) puts together a terrific program of experimental music and experimental cinema called Pictures and Sounds. This year's is on Saturday night at the school's Film Studies Center. The presenters have topped themselves by booking guitarist Bill Orcutt, who's making only his third second area appearance since the demise of his 90s band Harry Pussy (Orcutt played a riveting, visceral show at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Adventures in Modern Music festival in 2010). Since reemerging as a solo artist Orcutt has ditched wild noise rock for thorny, knotty acoustic fingerpicking playing that's equally raw and primal—his guitar style makes vintage John Fahey sound like smooth jazz.

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A call for sanity

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 04:37 PM

Please hold off on these for now
Reports are coming in of people gallivanting about in bare legs, shorts, and even flip-flops. People of Chicago, I know you are rejoicing in this fine, unseasonably warm weather, but I beg you: show a little restraint as far as your clothing goes. I offer several good reasons:

The harsh glare of the winter sun is not kind to most of us. Wait for the softer glow of springtime before you subject us to your thighs and calves.

Sandals, shorts, and gauzy dresses call for a background of lush green grass, colorful blooms, and leafy trees, not bare branches and dirty slush piles.

It’s supposed to go down to the 40s by this evening.

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One Bite: handcheese

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 04:07 PM

Landsberg handkase
In English the name sounds like a digital fungal infection but handkase (aka handcheese) is a general term for a family of semi-translucent, jellylike sour-milk-curdled German cheeses (among them Harzer, Mainzer, Olmuzter Quargel) native to Lower Saxony and Hessen. Though the name derives from its traditional hands-on production—quark formed into cylinders and allowed to ripen—you can imagine it comes instead from its limburgerlike power of transferring its pungent and persistent odor to the fingers.

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Hub=Good; District=Bad? Cultural Plan neighborhood meetings start tonight

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 03:25 PM

Mayor Emanuel's big idea for the arts—as laid out last spring in his transition plan—calls for the creation of "branded" cultural hubs around the city, starting with three neighborhood pilot programs. But last week a pair of civic planning experts told an audience at the Cultural Center, including members of the mayor's team, that designated arts districts are a bad idea.

"We argue against even using the rubric," said academic and consultant Ann Markusen, adding that the creation of such districts is "really problematic."

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Department of Corrections

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 03:11 PM

I take no pleasure in pointing out corrections acknowledged in other publications. We've been known to make a few boo-boos ourselves.

But then I saw this inexplicable howler in the February 2012 issue of National Geographic:

October 2011: World Without Ice
Page 109: Camels are artiodactyls, not perissodactyls.

How embarrassing! (Seriously though, love ya @NatGeo.)

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First Flush of youth

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 02:41 PM

  • jm3/Flickr
What is it about college that drives young men to pinball?

It's bright and noisy and tactile, and it offers something else to master when you're learning so many other things. Most of all, of course, it's cheap—or it was. What else were you going to do with those quarters but something dreary like the laundry?

Pinball played a brief role in my life, but while it lasted it was mainly devoted to a Gottlieb game called Royal Flush. I remembered it, at first, as Joker's Wild, but a quick check against the Internet Pinball Database (who knew?) corrected me.

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Gig poster of the week

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 02:06 PM

ARTIST: Josh Davis
SHOW: Death Ships, Paul Cary, and Emperors Club at the Hideout on 2/18

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We luv Davy 4-ever xoxoxo

Posted By on 02.29.12 at 01:46 PM

Monkees heartthrob Davy Jones died today of a heart attack in Indiantown, Florida, at age 66. Fans of the 60s TV series might remember him as the pretty one, his eyes literally twinkling when he glimpsed some tender young thing, or as lead singer on the band's monster hit "Daydream Believer." But his showbiz-trained baritone also shone on songs by Harry Nilsson ("Cuddly Toy," "Daddy's Song"), Neil Diamond ("Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)," "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"), Jeff Barry ("She Hangs Out"), and Gerry Goffin and Carole King ("Star Collector"). Though renowned as a ham, he could demonstrate a remarkably light touch, as on this great 1967 track "Forget That Girl."

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