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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

G Herbo pays tribute to his fallen friend on Ballin Like I'm Kobe

Posted By on 09.30.15 at 03:32 PM

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On the brand-new Ballin Like I'm Kobe east-side MC G Herbo, formerly known as Lil Herb, repeats the acronym "NLMB." As he told radio personality and rap reporter Sway Calloway earlier this year NLMB stands for "Never Leave My Brothers," the 19-year-old rapper's collective of close friends. NLMB has acted like a shield for the violence that's responsible for the Terror Town, the stigmal nickname given to a patch of South Shore, Herb's neighborhood. Herb told Sway that NLMB isn't a gang, but a stabilizing presence among the chaotic violence: "I consider us a family at the end of the day."

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Mysterious electronic producer T.B. Arthur makes his North American debut tomorrow night at Smart Bar

Posted By on 09.30.15 at 12:00 PM

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If you prefer to listen to electronic producers who keep their personalities concealed you might take a liking to T.B. Arthur, who's kept fairly busy the past year while going to great lengths to keep his identity hidden. Since beloved Berlin electronic-music shop and distributor Hard Wax first started selling EPs by the unknown techno producer last fall, Arthur's secretiveness—and what little information he's let come to light, such as the 312 area code on those Hard Wax 12-inches—has sometimes been the subject of more interest than his music. But his tracks are quite good—good enough, in fact, that Argot Records founder and Little White Earbuds editor Steve Mizek ditched an investigative story on Arthur so that he could release his music.

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Did you read about the Chicago Police Department, Edward Snowden, and baseball collapses?

Posted By on 09.30.15 at 11:47 AM

"I often feel like somebody's watching me." - FLORIAN DAVID/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
  • FLORIAN DAVID/AFP/Getty Images
  • "I often feel like somebody's watching me."

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

Hey, did you read

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The best of the midwest: A roundup of Oktoberfests from the middle of the country

Posted By on 09.30.15 at 11:05 AM

Most of the Oktoberfests - JULIA THIEL
  • Julia Thiel
  • Most of the Oktoberfests

Technically speaking, no "Oktoberfest" beer brewed in the U.S. is actually Oktoberfest. According to European Union regulations, only six German breweries—all within Munich, the same ones that are allowed to serve beer at the annual Oktoberfest celebration—are allowed to make beer that carries the label. (That's obviously never stopped U.S. brewers from calling their beers Oktoberfest, though.) According to the Oxford Companion to Beer, the Prince of Bavaria once tried to bring beer from a brewery he owned to the original Oktoberfest, and even he was denied access.

But as strict as the regulations are for what can be considered Oktoberfest beer, the style of the beer has never been strictly defined—and it's changed several times over the past 200 years. Dunkel beer—a dark lager—was traditional until 1872, when the stronger bock beer started gaining in popularity. After World War II, marzenbier (a deep amber lager with a slightly lower alcohol content than bock) became traditional, only to be replaced in the 1990s by beer that the Oxford Companion to Beer describes as having "a golden color and a slightly sweetish malty nose, with medium body and a low to moderate bitterness."

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There's a face in a lava lamp on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 09.30.15 at 07:00 AM

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ARTIST:
Mister Kanos
SHOW: The Rewrites and Rai at the Caveyard on Sat 9/26
MORE INFO: misterkanosindustries.tumblr.com

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

In praise of the subtle, difficult story

Posted By on 09.29.15 at 05:37 PM

Good reporting lets readers draw their own conclusions, and that's a good thing. - SNOWFLOCK/THINKSTOCK
  • snowflock/Thinkstock
  • Good reporting lets readers draw their own conclusions, and that's a good thing.

After reading Aimee Levitt’s Reader cover story on rape at the University of Chicago, I sent her a note to say how much I admired it. What followed was an exchange of e-mails that exposed differences of perspective rooted in age and sex. I wondered if Aimee was beginning to think I actually didn't like her story much at all.



But the story's greatest virtue was that it didn't tell me what I had to think about it. Some writers put their heads down, snort, and charge the reader. If ambiguity gets in their way they trample it out. Although rape invites didacticism, Aimee didn’t do that.

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Law & Order: SVU goes all Robert Durst in the Jinx'd season-17 opener

Posted By on 09.29.15 at 04:16 PM

Olivia Benson and her team are sick and tired of these bodies popping up. - NBC
  • NBC
  • Olivia Benson and her team are sick and tired of these bodies popping up.

It's fairly easy to write off any show beginning its 17th season, even the institution Law & Order: SVU. How many more sex crimes can there possibly be for Olivia Benson (the delightfully badass Mariska Hargitay) to solve? Didn't the show jump the shark when Benson was taken hostage by the guy from Orange Is the New Black? Is the show, in its awkward teen years, creeping into self-parody? All are valid questions, but thanks to the ceaseless cycle of terrible things happening in the world and some of the most talented actors on network television, the show continues to work.

For those who need to catch up, the previous 16 seasons are streaming on Hulu Plus, and I happened to watch all of them over the past few months without going completely insane. The best episodes are the "ripped from the headlines" stories, and last week's season-17 opener was no exception: the show's writers were smart enough to draw inspiration from this year's fascinating HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx, which explored the bleak saga of millionaire real estate heir and accused killer Robert Durst.

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Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue remains a powerful depiction of teen delinquency

Posted By on 09.29.15 at 01:30 PM

Linda Manz in Out of the Blue
  • Linda Manz in Out of the Blue

Tomorrow at 7 PM, Northwest Chicago Film Society will present a 35-millimeter print of Out of the Blue (1980), Dennis Hopper's third directorial effort, at Northeastern University. Hopper described Blue as a follow-up to Easy Rider, even though it contains none of the same characters or that film's fascination with motorcycle culture; rather, the connection is spiritual and stylistic. As Reader emeritus Jonathan Rosenbaum once wrote, the movie is defined by "the Hopper flavor: relentlessly raunchy and downbeat, and informed throughout by the kind of generational anguish and sense of doom that characterizes both of his earlier films [Rider and The Last Movie]." It's unmistakably a downer, beginning and ending with scenes of violent death and featuring numerous depictions of drug abuse and emotional violence along the way. It's also a haunting portrait of juvenile delinquency that ranks among the most powerful in American cinema.

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Listen to a manguebeat classic by Chico Science & Nação Zumbi

Posted By on 09.29.15 at 12:00 PM

Chico Science - COURTESY OF ACERVO CHICO SCIENCE & NAÇÃO ZUMBI FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Courtesy of Acervo Chico Science & Nação Zumbi Facebook page
  • Chico Science

Selecting a particular 12 O'Clock Track each week has a tendency to set me on natural associations, with one tune sparking the memory of another. Last week's song by Tribo Massáhi mentioned the Recife band Nação Zumbi, members of which worked with Seu Jorge on his 2010 album Seu Jorge and Almaz. That long-running group has made lots of great records. Yet nothing matches its first two albums, which were recorded when its highly charismatic frontman Chico Science (nee Francisco de Assis França) was still alive—he died in a car crash in 1997 at the age of 30, just as his group was starting to attract serious international attention. Together, and with fellow Recife band Mundo Livre S/A, they were pioneers of a powerful regional sound called manguebeat, which melded local maracatu rhythms with funk and hip-hop. 

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Did you read about corpse flowers, MacArthur "genius grants," and the Log Lady?

Posted By on 09.29.15 at 11:37 AM

"Even the ones who laugh are sometimes caught without an answer: these creatures who introduce themselves but we swear we have met them somewhere before. Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are they mirrors? I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire."
  • "Even the ones who laugh are sometimes caught without an answer: these creatures who introduce themselves but we swear we have met them somewhere before. Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are they mirrors? I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire."

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

Hey, did you read

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November 20
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October 22

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