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Sunday, November 30, 2014

The five best Pixar films (yes, it includes at least one Toy Story)

Posted By on 11.30.14 at 10:00 AM

  • WALL-E
This weekend, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as part of their ongoing "CSO at the Movies" series, performed the scores from select Pixar movies. Films made by the venerable animation studio have a distinct musical style, making them ideal fodder for "CSO at the Movies"—previous installments featured music from the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Metropolis. Despite a recent run of awful films, Pixar still holds tremendous currency with moviegoers, no doubt fueled by the studio's string of megahits in the mid-2000s. In total, Pixar has grossed more than $8 billion in ticket sales worldwide, a truly staggering number that probably doesn't even touch the dollars made in auxiliary merchandising. Despite being products of a commercial juggernaut, the best Pixar films represent some of the finest mainstream moviemaking of this generation. You can catch my five favorite after the jump.

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Chicago man says corporate risk management is more dangerous than it sounds

Posted By on 11.30.14 at 08:00 AM

Doug Cunningham
  • Doug Cunningham

A first-person account from off the beaten track, as told to Anne Ford.

"Allan Pinkerton founded the Pinkerton Detective Agency back in 1850 right here in Chicago. We were basically the original Secret Service. Now, even though people refer to us as private detectives, we don't do private work, like marital issues. We only work for companies, providing workers' compensation investigations, executive protection, things like that.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Well-dressed women celebrate Mag Mile style

Posted By on 11.29.14 at 09:00 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

Liz sporting an Oscar De La Renta dress and fur bolero
  • Isa Giallorenzo/ Josh Crow
  • Liz sporting an Oscar de la Renta dress and fur bolero

The Chicago History Museum's Costume Council is commemorating its 40th anniversary by presenting "Chicago Styled—Fashioning the Magnificent Mile," an exhibit curated by Petra Slinkard with the support of local fashion legend and Costume Council president Nena Ivon. There is plenty to celebrate: thanks to the Council's efforts, the Chicago History Museum now has the second largest costume collection in the world.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Drinking the Kool-Aid at Owen + Alchemy in Logan Square

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 04:16 PM

Drink your juice. Owen + Alchemy

Assuming you're not running with the bulls today at Target or Walmart, your priority might be to do something to offset yesterday's hours of holiday excess. And to that end maybe you're considering a $10 bottle of cold-pressed juice at Owen + Alchemy, Logan Square's "modern juice apothecary," a self-description that seems dangerously close to medical chicanery if you subscribe to the dictionary definition of apothecary as "a pharmacy or drugstore." But you can go to its website and click through the images of vibrantly colored liquids in clear glass bottles on sleek black backgrounds and read their ingredients and their vague curative powers ("rehydrating," "skin clarifying," "mood boosting")—plus nutritional stats—all numbered like elements on the periodic table.

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White Mystery play a Black Friday show at Red Line Tap tonight

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 03:30 PM


Whether you spent Black Friday hiding from shoppers or joining them in the fray (or reminding them that there are more important things to think about than deals on merchandise), the hours after the stores close are the perfect time for venting all your bottled-up seasonal stress. White Mystery make that easy tonight. The red-headed garage-rock duo headline Red Line Tap in Rogers Park during the Goose Island Tap Takeover, which is part
of the brewery's Bourbon County Brand Stout rollout.

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Saxophonist Michael Blake deserves to be heard by a wider audience

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 02:00 PM

Michael Blake
  • Chris Drukker
  • Michael Blake
The jazz world is filled with immensely skilled musicians who spend most of their careers in relative anonymity because they never manage to establish a truly original voice. They may be peerless sidemen—playing charts perfectly and delivering solid solos—but if and when they lead a band there's nothing about the music that distinguishes it from the past or present. There's a much smaller class of musicians who do distinguish themselves, but for one reason or another they don't attract a wide following despite earning the respect and admiration of fellow musicians. It bums me out that saxophonist Michael Blake seems stuck in this category, because over the last 15 years or so he's amassed a dazzling, distinctive body of work that's consistently brought me pleasure and provoked me to think about the various concepts behind his disparate projects.

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Local rapper ShowYouSuck pays tribute to classic sci-fi movies on new track 'Mars Attacks / XFiles'

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 12:30 PM

ShowYouSuck will play what he's been calling a "pizza party homecoming" next month to celebrate a return to Chicago after touring Europe. Ahead of that show, he's released "Mars Attacks / XFiles," a classic sci-fi creeper that features production from Mike Jaxx.

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The Brokedowns are back with more stellar midwestern punk rock

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 12:00 PM

Life Is a Breeze
  • Life Is a Breeze
Suburban punk heroes the Brokedowns have been at it longer than I can remember, and through the years they've only managed to get better and better. Over the past couple weeks new tracks from their upcoming Life Is a Breeze LP have been coming out of the woodwork, and these rippers prove one thing about this band that isn't changing anytime soon: when it comes to tough and melodic midwestern punk rock, the Brokedowns do it best. Life Is a Breeze, which comes out in December, will be the band's first LP since 2010's killer Species Bender—Brokedowns records don't come along very often these days, but whenever they do they prove to be worth the wait. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Joliet, the Maui Of The Midwest," the first tune to be released off the new record, and you can check it out below. As with pretty much every track these guys have ever written, the whole thing is a huge, over-the-top party, and all you'll want to do is belt the song's massive chorus.

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Did you read about Islamophobia, an Ebola vaccine, and Jewish ham?

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 11:38 AM

Is an Ebola vaccine imminent?
  • AP Photo/NIAID
  • Is an Ebola vaccine imminent?

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

Hey, did you read:

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Can Chuy beat Rahm in the race for mayor?

Posted By on 11.28.14 at 07:30 AM

Jesus Chuy Garcia turned in his nominating petitions on Monday.
  • Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photos
  • Jesus "Chuy" Garcia turned in his nominating petitions on Monday.
I can think of nine million reasons Jesus Garcia can't beat Rahm Emanuel, a number that grows daily as the gifts to the mayor's campaign fund roll in. On Monday, Emanuel's committee reported the arrival of a contribution from billionaire former hedge fund manager (and charter school advocate) John D. Arnold, who lives on Lazy Lane (really) in Houston, but cares enough about the mayor's race in Chicago to put a hundred grand down on Rahm. Garcia's following among Lazy Lane billionaires is thought to be smaller.

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