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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kim Gordon talks fashion at the Chicago Humanities Festival

Posted By on 02.28.15 at 01:45 PM

Kim Gordon at the 25th Chicago Humanities Festival

So what was Kim Gordon wearing during her interview at the Music Box Theatre for the 25th Chicago Humanities Festival? A very French, very Françoise Hardy look—motorcycle jacket and all. She came off as a Francophile too—so laid back that her silences and half answers turned out to be the highlight of the evening. When interviewer Alison Cuddy said she hoped things got less awkward as the talk proceeded, Gordon responded with a doubtful look that made the audience crack up. This nonchalance is clearly reflected in her style, as well as in her streetwise X-Girl designs of the 90s. Those were memorable times in fashion, when things got real. According to Marc Jacobs, who lost his creative-director job at Perry Ellis after presenting a grunge-inspired collection—the same one that got him a CFDA Designer of the Year award in 1993—it was about "a dismissal of everything that one was told was beautiful, correct, glamorous, sexy." Imperfection was finally being absorbed into the mainstream, and the working class look became aspirational.

Meanwhile, a pregnant Kim Gordon was presenting her own collection just down the street with guests like the Beastie Boys and a fresh-faced Chloe Sevigny on the catwalk (this MTV House of Style coverage of the event is really worth watching). Sevigny was also the main star of Sonic Youth’s Sugar Kane video, featuring scenes of the infamous Marc Jacobs grunge show. Fashion's a small world apparently.

Oh and guess who Coco, Gordon's daughter, totally grew up to look like? See for yourself after the jump.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

And we have some winners—people!—in the Greatest Chicago Book Tournament

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 04:08 PM

We're still two rounds away from declaring the two ultimate winners of the Greatest Chicago Book tournament—the Greatest Book itself and the Reader reader who best predicted the judges' decisions and will get a trip to Mexico to celebrate his or her fine taste (or clairvoyance)—but we're pleased to announce that we have Reader reader winners of rounds one and two. More than 400 people entered the contest, but these two readers were able to successfully predict the judges' rulings in their rounds and survive an arduous selection process (a random drawing from the e-mail addresses of other readers who also made correct predictions) to win $50 gift certificates from Barbara's Bookstore.

The round one winner is Peter Strom. The round two winner is Staycie Flint.

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Guess your beer blindfolded Sunday at the Map Room

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 03:30 PM

The Map Rooms tap handles are exactly what you wont be able to see on Sunday.
  • Andrea Bauer
  • The Map Room's tap handles are exactly what you won't be able to see on Sunday.

Earlier this month I got a reminder of just how thoroughly the human brain conditions its sensory input. At an Andersonville restaurant, a friend was served the wrong beer, and it took me three samples at the bar to figure out what was actually in her glass—even though she'd been poured the same thing I'd been drinking not ten minutes before. Because I expected it to be something else, my brain stubbornly insisted that it was.

With that in mind, I figure Sunday's event at the Map Room will provide a serious challenge—even to nerds like me. Called "Beers in the Dark," it asks the bar's patrons to guess what it has on tap.

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The Sun-Times loses 15 staffers

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 02:54 PM

Among the employees who took buyouts, the guy who took this photograph
  • Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
  • Among the employees who took buyouts, the guy who took this photograph
Fifteen members of the Chicago Newspaper Guild have taken buyouts from the Sun-Times, and Friday is the last day for most, Monday for a few with projects to wrap up. Before the buyouts, I was told the Sun-Times was down to 73 Guild employees. Jerry Minkkinen, retired executive director of the CNG, recalls that when he took that job in 1976, a time when the Sun-Times was owned by Field Enterprises and its afternoon sister, the Daily News, was still publishing, he represented more than 600 Guild members at the two papers.

Among those leaving are TV critic Lori Rackl, feature writer Mike Thomas, reporters Francine Knowles and Art Golab, who's chair of the Guild's Sun-Times unit, sportswriter Seth Gruen, and five photographers. The choice many faced was between the Sun-Times's bleak prospects and the unknown. Thomas posted on Facebook, "What's next? Not sure. But if you know someone who needs a wordslinger, give a shout."

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Jazz drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath sounds better than ever on the latest recording by his trio

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 02:00 PM

One of my favorite recordings from 2013 was the second album by the trio of veteran drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and relative young guns Ethan Iverson and Ben Street (on piano and bass, respectively). Tootie's Tempo (Sunnyside) turned the spotlight on the percussionist, one of the last great proponents of bop playing; but he's a musician capable of so much more. The trio's first recording was a terrific but loose live session from the New York club Smalls; the second release captured the group melding into a working ensemble, essaying a wide variety of standards drawn from the entirety of jazz history, with Heath given the latitude to explicitly impart his personality in every performance. The results were accessible, effortlessly swinging, and fun—no matter how hoary the chestnut, the drummer brought something modern and hip it.

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A new power-poppy jam from Young Guv's upcoming LP

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 12:00 PM

Ripe 4 Luv
  • Ripe 4 Luv
Toronto's Ben Cook—former front man for tough-guy hardcore act No Warning and current guitarist in progressive punk rockers Fucked Up—has been cultivating an under-the-rader solo career since 2009, releasing a nonstop stream of seven-inches and EPs under a variety of different guises and team-ups, including the garage-punk Young Governor and the retro-electro dance duo Yacht Club. On 3/10, his new LP, Ripe 4 Luv is coming out on Slumberland Records—no doubt his biggest solo release yet—and today's 12 O'Clock Track is a preview song off of it, "Crawling Back to You." This time operating as Young Guv, Cook channels the Replacements and Big Star on this smooth-as-hell, superpretty power-popper. Cook has always been great at mastering gigantic melodies and massive hooks, so it's no surprise that "Crawling Back to You" will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, from the first note to the fun chorus and all the way to the huge bridge. Check this unstoppable jam out below.

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Did you read about ISIS, Leonard Nimoy, and British reality TV?

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 11:47 AM

He lived long and prospered. RIP.
  • He lived long and prospered. RIP.

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

Hey, did you read:

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Chuy looks back on his (mostly) sunny election day

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 11:00 AM

Jesus Garcia, after voting Tuesday morning at Corkery elementary in Little Village.
In the three months of campaigning leading up to Tuesday, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia really couldn't tell if he was catching on with voters. The county commissioner was greeted warmly when he was out shaking hands, but, he wondered, what did that mean? Was everyone just being nice?

"As election day neared, I kept seeing more enthusiasm," he told me yesterday morning in his campaign headquarters on West Washington. "All these folks—'Hey, Chuy!'—like they knew me. Everybody wanted to take a photo. It was kind of embarrassing. I must have blushed in a lot of those pictures."

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Faheem Majeed brings the South Shore neighborhood to the MCA

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 10:00 AM

Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden by Faheem Majeed at the Hyde Park Art Center, 2012
  • Tony Smith
  • Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden by Faheem Majeed at the Hyde Park Art Center, 2012
When curator Steven Bridges invited Faheem Majeed to do a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, he was most interested in Majeed's work as an artist. Majeed, who lives in South Shore, takes photos and creates installations that both record the changes in his neighborhood and reflect on his role as an artist living in that neighborhood.

"Art brings attention to spaces," Majeed explains. "It moves things around, speeds things up. When I built a shack [as an installation], people asked, 'Why are you building a shack in the neighborhood?' I said, 'I live here.' They said, 'No, why are you building a shack in the neighborhood?'"

But Majeed is not just an artist. He's also an arts administrator—for six years, he was the executive director of the South Shore Community Arts Center—and a professor at UIC. He knows a lot of people.

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Taste the blood of Jemaine Clement, plus more new reviews and notable screenings

Posted By on 02.27.15 at 07:00 AM

What We Do in the Shadows
  • What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows, a vampire romp written by, directed by, and starring New Zealand clowns Jemaine Clement (HBO's Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark) may be the best horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead. It opens Friday at Music Box, and our long review is here. Also in this week's issue, Ben Sachs recommends Wild Tales, an Argentinian feature collecting stories of chance and revenge.

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