Bleader | Chicago Reader

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Peter Margasak's favorite albums of 2015, numbers 20 through 11

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 10:00 AM


Read about picks 40 through 31 and 30 through 21.

Part three of this year's countdown:

20) Mette Henriette, Mette Henriette (ECM)
Young Norwegian reedist and composer Mette Henriette released one of the year's most distinctive and assured debuts—a double CD on the prestigious ECM label—and I hope it portends a great deal more to come. Henriette grew up focusing on improvisation, but she spent many nights composing at home by herself, writing delicate miniatures (mostly between one and two minutes) that serve as vessels for spontaneous, richly textured playing both serene and turbulent. She made the first disc with a nimble trio featuring pianist Johan Lindvall and cellist Katrine Schiøtt, and the shapes of its songs frequently recall the music of Erik Satie; the second disc, for which she enlisted the Cikada Quartet and a slew of Norway's best jazz artists (among them trumpeter Eivind Lonning and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen), opens up much bigger spaces. The intimacy and power of Henriette's playing comes through clearly in both settings.

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A spell-casting skeleton gets creepy on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 07:00 AM


Vance Kelly
SHOW: Graveyard and Earthless at Lincoln Hall on Sat 12/5

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

F Is for Family: The last show to binge-watch in 2015

Posted By on 12.29.15 at 12:30 PM

  • Netflix

The holiday season brings excess, whether it's food or arguing against your uncle's insane conspiracy theories. There's a threshold on the amount of holiday ham and government secrecy someone can indulge in before regretting all of his or her life decisions. However, there's a treatment: retreating to an empty room to watch television.

With the holiday season wrapping up, and as the New Year creeps in, one series eases this break from the holiday chaos. Comedian Bill Burr and Michael Price (writer-producer of The Simpsons) have created a new animated Netflix series, F Is for Family, and it should be the last show you binge-watch in 2015.

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Did you read about Lemmy Kilmister, Leslie Jones, and Peyton Manning?

Posted By on 12.29.15 at 11:21 AM

We'll miss you, Lemmy. - ALEJANDRO PÁEZ
  • Alejandro Páez
  • We'll miss you, Lemmy.

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.
Hey, did you read:

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Peter Margasak's favorite albums of 2015, numbers 30 through 21

Posted By on 12.29.15 at 10:00 AM


The countdown continues. Read about numbers 40 through 31 here.

30) Ricardo Dias Gomes, -11 (RVNG Intl.)
On his low-key solo debut, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Ricardo Dias Gomes—known best, by those who know him at all, as bassist in the excellent band Caetano Veloso has led for the past decade or so—creates a weirdly hermetic sound world, alternating between tender, introspective ballads, rude electronic grooves, and dissonant ambience. I sometimes wish for more follow-through, but I’ve come to love the album's diaristic intimacy and rawness.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Comedian Beth Stelling opens up about surviving rape and abuse

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 06:47 PM

  • Meghan Thompson
  • Beth Stelling

Stand-up comedian Beth Stelling, who got her start in Chicago, revealed details of a past abusive relationship on Instagram earlier today. In a post that included photos of her bruised arms and legs, she wrote that an ex-boyfriend had raped her, and that he had physically and verbally abused her.

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New Year's Eve events, John Oliver at Chicago Theatre, and more things to do this week

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 12:35 PM

Prepare to ring in 2016. - THINKSTOCK
  • Thinkstock
  • Prepare to ring in 2016.

Time to plan the final week of 2015. Here's some of what we recommend:

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A tribute to DJ Timbuck2 tomorrow night at Metro

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 12:00 PM


Hip-hop wunderkind Timothy Jones, aka DJ Timbuck2, passed away December 19, and his friends have banded together to put on a tribute show: tomorrow night's Timbuck2uesday at Metro. Jones launched a series called Timbuck2uesdays seven years ago at the Shrine, spinning hip-hop every week; he brought the night to Beauty Bar five years back.

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Did you read about women in sports, the middle class, and the death of pop-culture sites?

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 11:27 AM

It was Serena's year! - YANN CARADEC
  • Yann Caradec
  • It was Serena's year!

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.
Hey, did you read:

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Peter Margasak's favorite albums of 2015, numbers 40 through 31

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 10:00 AM

Starting today and continuing through Thursday, I'm counting down my 40 favorite albums of 2015. The usual caveat applies: I truly love all this music, but take the rankings with a grain of salt. And please bear in mind that I'm not trying to be definitive. (Also, I consider D'Angelo's excellent Black Messiah to be a 2014 release, which is why you won't see it here anywhere—due to a poorly timed move, though, I didn't manage to make a list last year.)

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