Monday, April 30, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Maga Bo, "No Balanço da Canoa"

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 12:00 PM

Maga Bo
  • Maga Bo
I don't spend much time keeping up on club music these days, but I perked up when I saw that New York-born, Rio de Janeiro-based DJ Maga Bo has a new album, Quilombo do Futuro (Post World Industries), due May 22. I first heard him in 2008 when he performed at Chicago's World Music Festival, and at the time I remarked on the scarcity of sounds from his adopted homeland on his album Archipelagos: "Though he's from Rio de Janeiro, little on the disc is recognizably Brazilian; using a laptop and a microphone, he's woven the contributions of singers and MCs from Morocco, South Africa, Portugal, Tanzania, and Senegal, among other places, into a thunderous programmed-and-sampled mix of hip-hop, dancehall, drum 'n' bass, and various traditional rhythms. When he incorporates live instruments like oud, qanun, kora, and tabla, they fit naturally, without diluting the propulsive power of his trunk-rattling beats—more evidence that he's got some of the smartest ears in the game."

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Street View 004: Flowers + Overalls

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 10:02 AM

Street View is a series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights fascinatingly fashionable Chicagoans.

Nick's overalls feel more like a pair of paper bag pants and suspenders, which is really cool. Everyone is really closing all their buttons now . . . very nerdy—good nerdy.

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Everyone wants to legalize reefer—except for people with the power to do it!

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 09:31 AM

Outgoing congressman Barney Frank
In honor of Drugs Week at the Reader, Congressman Barney Frank blasted President Obama for being such a wimp on the whole issue of marijuana.

Well, I think the timing's a bit of a coincidence. Not even sure Congressman Frank knows it’s Drugs Week at the Reader. Though I bet he's a big fan of the Reader.

As opposed to Mayor Rahm. And Mayor Daley. And a few aldermen, who aren't worth mentioning at the moment.

But let's not go on a tangent.

Specifically, Frank criticized Obama for making a "'grave mistake' by cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal in some states," according to an article in the Hill.

"I think it's bad politics and bad policy," Frank said. "I'm very disappointed."

Bravo, Congressman Frank. I wish you would stay around for a few more terms.

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Of course schools should teach creationism

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 07:20 AM

Why not teach this creationism? Odin and his brothers create the world
  • Earlier creationism: "Odin and his brothers create the world"
Amy Greene, a Tennessee novelist, is troubled by recent legislative developments in her state. Her op-ed in Saturday's New York Times noted a senate-approved measure "that would ban teachers from discussing hand-holding, which it categorizes as 'gateway sexual activity,'" and went on to discuss a new state law "that effectively allows creationism to be taught in our classrooms."

Greene wrote that Bill Haslam, the governor, had misgivings with this law but went along. I think he should have gone along enthusiastically. "What a great teaching moment," he could have said. "I want every graduate of the public schools of Tennessee to understand the theory of evolution and why people believe in it and the theory of creationism and why people believe in it. Science and faith are the twin foundations of America and our kids deserve to be as thoroughly grounded in both as their country is."

Would anyone have a problem with that? Only people who think of education as indoctrination and as a zero-sum game—the more we get of our doctrine in the classroom the less they get of theirs. Is that almost everybody?

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How do you create an arts hub?

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 07:04 AM

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
  • Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The University of Chicago’s new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts has been unofficially open for a month. On March 26, the Logan Center began a six-month preview period, allowing students and faculty to use the space before construction is complete. As I wandered through the building this past week, there were a number of classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and studios already in use. The space didn’t feel totally activated, but there were certainly signs of life.

As a University of Chicago graduate, my first feeling was jealousy. Why wasn’t the Logan Center there a few years ago when I could’ve taken advantage? And how can I sneak into one of the digital editing suites? Considering the center’s final price totaled $114 million, there’s a lot to envy.

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This week on the Bleader: A hard look at drugs

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 06:49 AM

In the past, the Reader staff has taken a look at drugs in lighthearted fashion, serious overview, or sometimes a mixture of both. But in our most recent issue, Mick Dumke's cover story on the effect that drugs and its concordant violence have had on the residents of west Humboldt Park provides a great deal of space for rumination and additional commentary. For this week's edition of "Variations on a Theme," we're approaching the world of drugs—all this week on the Bleader, look out every morning, and possibly at other points through the week, for writing on this subject.

And in case you missed it, you can take a trip to the suburbs, which is where we went for last week's "Variations on a Theme."

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bulls lose Rose in Pyrrhic victory

Posted By on 04.28.12 at 06:27 PM

Derrick Rose: a sickening loss.
The Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers 103-91 in the first game of their opening-round NBA playoff series. That gave them an impressive record of 13-2 on the season with their original intended starting lineup.

And while the Bulls' season will continue on, that's where that particular breakdown will stop. Derrick Rose, last season's NBA Most Valuable Player, snapped a ligament in his left knee making an abrupt stop late in the game and is done for the playoffs and quite likely the calendar year on into next season.

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Street View 003: Gold + Denim

Posted By on 04.28.12 at 07:49 AM

Street View is a series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights fascinatingly fashionable Chicagoans.

Coria mixed some of the best trends ever: neon, gold, and denim. Love the asymmetrical hem. It's so happening right now.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Pendejo Mayor buttons: get 'em while you can!

Posted By on 04.27.12 at 06:17 PM

The peasants should be allowed to laugh at the king every once in a while.
  • The peasants should be allowed to laugh at the king every once in a while.
The other day, I get a package in the mail from a man on the southwest side bearing a bunch of buttons making fun of Mayor Rahm.

It cheered me up, coming as it did just a day or two after the City Council's latest rollover—that would be the infrastructure fund vote.

Inside was an unsigned handwritten note that said: "See some of the activist stuff showing up on the streets this spring."

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Can the U.S. economy afford peace?

Posted By on 04.27.12 at 05:43 PM

Krugman and Brooks
  • Krugman and Brooks
Paul Krugman and David Brooks were at it again Friday on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Krugman lamented the follies of austerity. "Critics warned from the beginning [of the ongoing depression lite] that austerity in the face of depression would only make that depression worse," he wrote. But the powers that be in Europe and too many of them in America refused to listen, Krugman went on, and that is exactly what austerity did.

He didn't name himself among those critics, but their text is the one he's been preaching for years. And on the opposite side of the page, Brooks approached the subject in a loftier fashion.

"In 2009, we had a big debate about whether to pass a stimulus package," he wrote. "Many esteemed and/or Nobel Prize-winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summer and Christina Romer argued that it would help lift the economy out of recession." Others, Brooks went on to say, thought it would not.

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