The Bleader | Blog + Reader, the Chicago Reader's blog

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dispatches from girl world

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 12:30 PM

girls_from_corona_del_mar.jpeg
  • Random House
Most of what I know about close, lifelong female friendships—the all-consuming kind, that start in the sandbox, continue through confidences about first periods and first gropings with boys, and survive marriage and children (though of course the friends are maids of honor and aunties to each other's children)—comes from books. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, Betsy and Tacy, other characters from way more mediocre novels whose names I can't remember now, but who also share a deep and abiding, though strictly platonic, love. Reading about these friendships made me feel lonely, especially when I was younger, like I was missing something essential in life, even more essential than marriage. Men come and go, sometimes die. But friendship is forever!

Recently, though, I've read two books that reconsider and challenge the saccharine notion of eternal female friendship, and for them, I am grateful. One, The Girls from Corona Del Mar by Rufi Thorpe, just came out this summer. The other, Dare Me, by Megan Abbott, is a couple years old; I was drawn to it after reading her latest, The Fever.

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Listen to 'Birthday,' dreamy shoegaze pop from Bay Area trio Night School

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 12:00 PM

Heart Beat
  • Heart Beat
The shoegaze-revival scene keeps cranking out great bands, and today's 12 O'Clock Track is another shining example of just that. It's called "Birthday," and it's the debut track from brand new Whirr offshoot Night School. The Bay Area trio use heavy guitar tones and dreamy melodies, much like their shoegazey peers. But they add a bit more of a pop-rock quality with upbeat tempos and the girl-group vibe of their beautiful, layered vocals. "Birthday" is off of the Heart Beat EP, which is set to come out on Graveface Records next month, and if this tune is any indication, it'll be the perfect soundtrack for the end of summer. Check it out below.

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Did you read about Rick Perry, The Shadow Hero, and Hot Doug's?

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 11:29 AM

Now a member of the Hot Dog Hall of Fame

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

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Out of the closet, out of the shadows, and the rest of this week's screenings

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 08:30 AM

Love Is Strange
  • Love Is Strange
In this week's long review, Ben Sachs describes the filmmaking of French director Philippe Garrel as "a cross between Romantic poetry and the experimental cinema of Andy Warhol." Garrel's latest feature, Jealousy, screens all week at Gene Siskel Film Center. Friday brings the opening night of Noir City: Chicago 6, a weeklong festival of film noirs presented by Music Box and the Film Noir Foundation. And we've got recommended reviews of Laughter, a 1930 comedy that opens Jonathan Rosenbaum's semester-long lecture series "The Unquiet American: Transgressive Comedies From the U.S.," and Ira Sachs's Love Is Strange, with Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as an aging gay couple in New York who are forced to live apart after their legal marriage brings unintended consequences.

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Mechanic says police, not drug dealers, threatened him during murder investigation

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 08:00 AM

Chicago police officials announce murder charges against Jason Austin in 2008. The charges were later dropped, and several witnesses allege that they were coerced or beaten into implicating Austin.
  • Sun-Times Media
  • Chicago police officials announce murder charges against Jason Austin in 2008. The charges were later dropped, and several witnesses allege that they were coerced or beaten into implicating Austin.
Gustavo Granados said he told the police what little he knew when they came by his west-side auto shop on August 15, 2008.

They were curious about a car he'd worked on—a 1996 Buick Regal owned by a 26-year-old West Humboldt Park resident named Jason Austin. The police indicated that it was connected to the double murder of a cop and a social worker the day before.

"When I saw it was a delicate case, at first I tried to help them," Granados recalled.

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To Catch a Thief, White Material, and other Reader-recommended movies to watch online this week

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 07:36 AM

To Catch a Thief
  • To Catch a Thief
Each Friday, we recommend seven Old Movies to Watch Now, all of which come recommended by one of our critics and can currently be screened online. Read the review, watch the movie, feel accomplished.

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Reader's Agenda Fri 8/29: Noir City, North Coast Music Festival, and Taste of Polonia

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 07:00 AM

North Coast Music Festival
  • NICK GERBER
  • North Coast Music Festival

Looking for something to do today? Agenda's got you covered.

It's day one of Noir City: Chicago 6, a week-long film festival devoted to international noirs from France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Argentina, and the UK. "These international entries may not conform to our visual sense of film noir, with its expressionist use of light and shadow, but the ones I've seen fall squarely within the thematic concerns of the genre, which sprang out of the postwar conviction that humanity was hopelessly tainted," says Reader film editor J.R. Jones. Too Late for Tears and Roadblock screen tonight back-to-back.

Lollapalooza isn't cool. You know what's cool? North Coast Music Festival. It kicks off in Union Park today with performances by Papadosio, Bassnectar, and Alesso. Aftershows at Concord Music Hall promise even more North Coast jams this Labor Day weekend, with Lettuce and Badbadnotgood performing tonight at 10 PM.

Another weekend-long celebration is Taste of Polonia at Jefferson Park's Copernicus Center. Live music blasts from 5 to 10:30 PM, while vendors serve up pierogis, stuffed cabbage, grilled pork hocks, and potato pancakes.

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

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, now with 5,000 percent more corpses

Posted By on 08.28.14 at 04:37 PM

Romain Duris and Audrey Tatou in Mood Indigo
  • Romain Duris and Audrey Tatou in Mood Indigo
As a fan of Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, which played at the Siskel Center a few weeks back in the 94-minute version that Gondry prepared for international release, I recently purchased a copy of the 131-minute version that played last year in France and Hong Kong. (The all-region Blu-ray available in Hong Kong—which, unlike the French edition, comes with English subtitles—runs for about $25 on Amazon.) In terms of plot, the longer cut isn't that different from the version that screened here. The events proceed in more or less the same order, and the story still switches from comic to tragic around the halfway point. Gondry and editor Tariq Anwar removed 37 minutes by cutting little bits here and there, typically minor details that occur at the ends of scenes. Yet the two versions feel markedly different in tone—the longer one is considerably darker, featuring references to death and destruction not even suggested by the international cut. It would seem to refute the common criticism that Gondry's work is uniformly cute or childlike.

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Bit Bash puts Chicago's indie-gaming scene in the spotlight

Posted By on 08.28.14 at 02:30 PM

Gamers Johann Sebastian Joust-ing
  • Brent Knepper
  • Gamers Johann Sebastian Joust-ing
You can hardly throw a game token ten feet without hitting a vintage arcade bar in certain Chicago neighborhoods. The arcade bar boom has been a boon for lovers of old consoles, and it's also piqued people's interest in new indie games created by up-and-coming developers (as evidenced by the popularity of the ten-player arcade console Killer Queen at Logan Arcade). On September 6 at Bit Bash, Chicago's first indie-gaming festival, it's all cutting edge all the time.

No tokens needed.

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Celebrate the life of Christopher Saathoff tonight at the Empty Bottle

Posted By on 08.28.14 at 02:00 PM

posterchris.jpg
Ten years ago, local musician Christopher Saathoff, a collaborator with Alex White and member of Chin Up Chin Up, was tragically hit and killed by a drunk driver on Western Avenue while leaving the Empty Bottle, and tonight that same club is hosting a celebration of his life and legacy. The show, headlined by a solo set from White, is a benefit for the Christopher Saathoff Foundation, a charitable organization opened up in his name to help children in need across the world. On top of a stacked bill of excellent locals like Brokeback and DJ STV SLV, the show also features raffles and prizes from a bunch of local shops and restaurants, including Big Star, Reckless Records, Dark Matter, and Vic's Drum Shop; there's also a chance to win free passes to Riot Fest later this month.

The show starts at 9 PM and costs $10. The Sweeps, Brokeback, Mount Saint Helens, and DJ STV SLV open. Further donations are obviously accepted, and please people, stop fucking drinking and driving.

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20

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