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Friday, November 30, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Swearin', "Kenosha"

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 12:00 PM

Swearins self-titled LP
  • Swearin's self-titled LP
I feel like I'm way too old to love Swearin' as much as I do. These kids from New York are playing straight-up emo, the kind of emo I listened to in high school—the kind of emo I haven't listened to since. I'm almost 30, so it feels a little silly to be listening to little kids singing tales of teenage heartbreak and summer nights and road trips to see old friends, but I haven't stopped spinning their self-titled full-length since a friend showed it to me after their stop in Chicago last Tuesday. I've seriously been listening to the record two to three times a day, every day, for the past eight days. I'm also kicking myself really hard for not going to the show. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Kenosha," my favorite cut off of the LP.

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Did you read about fracking, Raymond Carver's OKCupid profile, and Skrillex?

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 11:21 AM

Raymond Carver, just looking for a quick hookup.
  • Raymond Carver, just looking for a quick hookup.
Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

About how fracking is killing farm animals? Mike Sula

• About what we'd be doing in Washington if we were genuinely interested in addressing homelessness? Steve Bogira

• About the journalistic SWAT team looking into tax havens? Tony Adler

"The Man Who Charged Himself With Murder," Jennifer Gonnerman's riveting tale in New York magazine? Steve Bogira

• Raymond Carver's OKCupid profile, as edited by Gordon Lish? Jerome Ludwig

• A consideration of Chris Ware's oeuvre in the New York Review of Books? Tal Rosenberg

• About how Damien Hirst has jumped the shark? Kate Schmidt

• About the largest strike in fast-food history? Ben Sachs

• The New Yorker's review of a history of peanut butter? Mick Dumke

• This actually awesome, challenging, non-nauseating Skrillex video game? Asher Klein


On the restaurant scene: Interurban's hidden treasures

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 10:39 AM

Worth skulking around for
A first attempt to find Interurban Cafe & Pastry Shop may leave you wondering whether you're in the right place. The address is 2008 N. Halsted, but there is no 2008 on Halsted. It's supposed to be in an alley, so, um, maybe you get to it through the back of the 7-Eleven at 2004?

Save yourself a phone call: entry to the alley in question is off Armitage, convenient to the Brown Line stop and next to Charlie Trotter's, which is just one of the places chef-owner Christine McCabe has worked over the years. Interurban, open since early this month, is for now a takeout window fronting a surprisingly expansive production area. A kiosk in the Red Line station at Grand and State is in the works for next year.

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Here comes another city privatization deal forged behind closed doors

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 10:00 AM

Rahm Emanuel doesnt need a business degree--or a bidding process--to know when hes cut a good deal.
  • Sun-Times Media
  • Rahm Emanuel doesn't need a business degree—or a bidding process—to know when he's cut a good deal.
This is one of three posts to win a Peter Lisagor Award for Blog, Individual Blog Post, Affiliated.

One hundred and fifty-five million bucks is a lot of money. Or maybe it isn’t.

It’s more than most of us have to spend on holiday gifts this year. But is it the right price for letting a private company put up dozens of billboards on public land around the city for at least 20 years?

I don’t have any idea. You probably don’t either. And the people getting ready to authorize the deal certainly don’t have a clue.

That would be the aldermen in the Chicago City Council, whose budget and zoning committees are scheduled to weigh in on the billboard agreement Monday morning.

“Is it a good deal at $155 million? I don’t know,” says Joe Moreno, alderman of the First Ward. “Could we get $300 million? I don’t know. We’ve never leveraged these assets before.”

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The Flipside: a party for audiophiles

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 09:08 AM

Are you a music fanatic with a massive vinyl collection that you're eager to share with complete strangers? Well, you're in luck—on Sat 12/1 Lakeview's Town Hall Pub presents the Flipside, an all-night party where attendees are asked to bring in their favorite records to spin for the whole crowd.

Booker Ryan Ehresman, Town Hall Pub bartender Chris Robles, and DJ-about-town Rich Cole (aka DJRC) came up with the Flipside concept early in the summer; Ehresman says he was inspired by parties he went to in college where people would play tunes off their iPods. "I just upgraded [it]," he says.

Considering it's a vinyl-only affair, Ehresman, Robles, and Cole initially thought the Flipside could be more than just a gussied-up iPod party. "We joked around about it being a hipster date night," Ehresman says. He initially envisioned attendees comparing their records, trading insights about favorite bands, and maybe even exchanging numbers at the end of the evening.

No one exchanged numbers when the trio debuted the Flipside back in July—at least not to Ehresman's knowledge—but Ehresman was nonetheless happy with the event and the tunes pumping out of the PA. Ehresman brought a Benny Goodman album to kick off the evening, Cole played some Brazilian music, and Michael Jackson's Off the Wall got plenty of play time.

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Check out Adolf's newest playlist on Spotify, and the rest of this week's movies

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 07:33 AM

A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Pythons Graham Capman
  • A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Capman
Wagner & Me, which opens Friday for a week-long run at Gene Siskel Film Center, follows British actor Stephen Fry (Gosford Park) as he tours Europe in search of Richard Wagner, the German composer whose mythical operas were embraced by Adolf Hitler. Our long review is here. Also this week we recommend Killing Them Softly, a crime film by producer Brad Pitt and director Andrew Dominik, who last collaborated on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Wuthering Heights, the latest adaptation of the Bronte novel, by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank). And check out our new reviews of Fat Kid Rules the World, starring Jacob Wysocki (Terri) as a giant, misfit kid recruited as a gag for a classmate's rock band, and A Liar's Autobiograpy, an animation feature that combines an unearthed recording of Graham Chapman (who died in 1989) reading from his eponymous book and new voices from five of his fellow players on Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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Twenty years of Black Friday at Walmart, as told by my aunt

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 06:49 AM

Happy because theyre not at Walmart?
  • Brian Davies/AP
  • Happy because they're not at Walmart?
My aunt Emily has soldiered through nearly two decades of Black Friday at Walmart. Every year, on the morning after Thanksgiving, she wakes up before the sun even begins to peek over the horizon and descends the hill from my grandmother's house in the old-school southern coal-mining city of Harlan, Kentucky—where she and my mom grew up and my grandmother still lives. She parks her car near the back of a lot the size of Delaware and huddles with the masses, not itching for it, but dreading the opening of the doors. Dreading a scene like this. I got her on the phone for a few minutes to tell me about her Black Friday experiences over the years:

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The Reader's Agenda: Fri 11/30

Posted By on 11.30.12 at 06:07 AM

The Coup
  • The Coup
Looking for something to do today? Agenda's got you covered:

At the Mayne Stage, left-leaning Bay Area hip-hop group the Coup perform songs from their latest effort, Sorry to Bother You, which Miles Raymer calls "provocative even by Coup standards." Japanther opens.

In an effort to raise funds for the Illinois chapter of the national literacy organization Reach Out and Read, the Playground Theater hosts the third annual Playground Improv Marathon, which features 30 hours of nonstop improv from some of Chicago's notable acts.

If you were ever curious to learn the shark's side of the story in Steven Spielberg's classic thriller Jaws, Theater Wit's production All That Jaws should provide some answers.

For more on these events and others, check out the Reader's daily Agenda page

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Chicago Tribune fixer-upper isn't fixed

Posted By on 11.29.12 at 06:24 PM

Click to zoom in on the website capture.
  • Click to zoom in on the website capture.
Lacking not only proofreaders but readers, newspapers make mistakes these days that don't get noticed and corrected.

Such as the Tribune's Wednesday headline, "Who's fault?" in the sports section.

OK. Stuff happens. But there it was Thursday, online. Sometimes the website is the first draft of the printed paper; other times, the paper's the first draft of the website. Either way, mistakes can get spotted and fixed. Doesn't mean they will be.

Then again, a Tribune search shows this one happening so often that maybe Colonel McCormick, back when he was reinventing spelling, gave it his OK. Whose fault? Possibly mine for caring.

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Hanky-panky with the hokey pokey

Posted By on 11.29.12 at 06:00 PM

The hokey pokey, disambiguated
  • puuikibeach
  • The hokey pokey, disambiguated
"The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia), hokey tokey (New Zealand), also known as okey cokey, or cokey cokey, is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure." —Wikipedia

Hokey pokey (disambiguation)

Hokey pokey can refer to:

Hokey pokey (ice cream)

Hokey Pokey (album), an album by Richard and Linda Thompson released in 1975

Hokey Pokey, the controversial Texas prison, closed in 1963, where the common practice of prisoners holding their arms out to receive meals originated a new dance trend

Hokey low-key, drugged to an artificial state of calm, as in spending the holidays with family

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery Water Tower Place
June 16
Galleries & Museums
Deborah Baker: 6B Firecat Projects
November 17

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