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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Michelle Fields, Donald Trump, and the slow death of actual journalism

Posted By on 03.31.16 at 01:59 PM

CCTV video footage released by Florida police shows Breitbart's Michelle Fields, center left, and her encounter with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. - JUPITER POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Jupiter Police Department
  • CCTV video footage released by Florida police shows Breitbart's Michelle Fields, center left, and her encounter with Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Michelle Fields has tweeted her thanks to women in media who have her back. They signed a letter asking the Trump campaign to fire campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, accused by Fields of jostling her with a disputed degree of severity when she approached Trump after a news conference in Florida March 8 to ask a question.

"I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken," asserted Fields a couple of days later. Lewandowski said he didn't lay a hand on her, an assertion contradicted by a video that eventually turned up that showed Fields being yanked, though she didn't look close to going down.

My own view of the incident is colored by the fact I'm in the midst of judging the annual Anne Keegan Award, which is for "distinguished journalism reflecting the dignity and spirit of the common man." When the journalism is anything but distinguished and dignity is nowhere to be seen, I notice. 

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Here's the lineup for the new Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Posted By on 03.31.16 at 01:30 PM

Ryley Walker kicks off the new Millennium Park Summer Music Series on June 6 with headliners Blonde Redhead. - DUSDIN CONDREN
  • DUSDIN CONDREN
  • Ryley Walker kicks off the new Millennium Park Summer Music Series on June 6 with headliners Blonde Redhead.

This morning the city announced the lineup for the Millennium Park Summer Music Series, which is a new name for a familiar program—the free concerts at Pritzker Pavilion. The series effectively replaces Downtown Sound, which covered a variety of different styles last year, and the Made in Chicago jazz concerts. If you're already agnostic about genre, the name change might not mean much, but if you'd only attended Downtown Sound or Made in Chicago, the Millennium Park Summer Music Series might surprise you with unfamiliar sounds or artists. One of the first shows, for example, pairs soul veteran Lee Fields with Chicago jazz drummer Makaya McCraven.

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Wham City meets Windy City

Posted By on 03.31.16 at 01:00 PM

Wham City Comedy - TRAVIS MARSHALL
  • Travis Marshall
  • Wham City Comedy


The latest viral video to take over Adult Swim's 2 AM slot (home of such disturbing classics as The Salad Mixxxer and Too Many Cooks) is This House Has People in It, an 11-minute horror-comedy short shot on surveillance video cameras. It's the work of Wham City Comedy, a three-man Baltimore group who create nonsensical multimedia anticomedy with a dark twist. 

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Any chance of a peaceful French dip at Cochon Volant? When pigs fly!

Posted By on 03.31.16 at 12:59 PM

Duck confit dip, Cochon Volant - MIKE SULA
  • Mike Sula
  • Duck confit dip, Cochon Volant

If you want to put an instant stamp of credibility on your new French restaurant, you sign on Roland Liccioni.  

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Chicago State University tells employees to turn in their keys, and other news

Posted By on 03.31.16 at 06:00 AM

Chicago State University students and supporters demonstrated in the Loop in February. - RICH HEIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Rich Hein/Sun-Times
  • Chicago State University students and supporters demonstrated in the Loop in February.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, March 31, 2016.

  • Weather: A strong thunderstorm and lots of rain

March is going out with a bang. A big thunderstorm, with possible damaging winds and flooding, is headed our way around midday. The weather should clear up by the late afternoon, and it will then be warm, with a high of 64 and a low of 40. [AccuWeather]

  • Chicago State University has employees turn in building keys

Chicago State University has been one of the most visible victims of the state's ongoing budget impasse. With no solution in sight, the school is preparing for layoffs to begin as soon as April 30 and has asked employees to turn in their keys to campus buildings. [Tribune]

  • Rauner slams Chicago Teachers Union one-day strike

It's no surprise that Governor Bruce Rauner is unhappy about the Chicago Teachers Union's plans to strike Friday. The governor slammed the union, saying that the students should come first. CTU president Karen Lewis has been a vocal critic of Rauner, even calling him a "sociopath" in November. The feud isn't over—Rauner says he'll have more to say about the controversial walkout Friday. [CBS Chicago]

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The week in local rap today: Ty Money, Chella H, Lucki Ecks, Giftz, and Noisey's new Chicago screwup

Posted By on 03.30.16 at 04:00 PM

Viceland's Noisey: Chicago would've been improved by including Ty Money, who dropped a new EP last week. - RYAN LOWRY
  • Ryan Lowry
  • Viceland's Noisey: Chicago would've been improved by including Ty Money, who dropped a new EP last week.

Viceland, Vice Media's TV channel, debuted at the end of February, and last week its music program, Noisey (which shares its name with Vice's music site), dedicated a 45-minute episode to Chicago's hip-hop scene and the city's violence epidemic. If the premise feels familiar, it should: in 2014 Vice debuted Noisey: Chiraq, an eight-part video documentary series on the local rap scene. At best the series sketched the characters central to the drill sound, which consumed most of the oxygen in Chiraq even though other kinds of Chicago hip-hop had made their presence felt on an international scale by that time. In most ways Chiraq was a failure, and Noisey: Chicago owns up to those faults—unfortunately, the new show spends so much of its hour-long running time confronting Chiraq's bad reputation that it doesn't accomplish much else. Noisey host Zach Goldbaum pitches the Chicago episode as a return to the city, but it puts Vice's past in the spotlight so often that Chicago's present is sidelined.

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Logan Square graffiti artists pay tribute to the late Phife Dawg

Posted By on 03.30.16 at 12:00 PM

Logan Square's new Phife Dawg tribute mural - LEOR GALIL
  • Leor Galil
  • Logan Square's new Phife Dawg tribute mural

Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, the "funky five footer" whose limber, animated rhymes helped make New York hip-hop outfit A Tribe Called Quest one of the genre's fundamental groups, died last Tuesday at age 45. By now this isn't news, and not just because Taylor's memorial was yesterday—he had such an immeasurable influence over hip-hop and pop that his death was immediately felt. And his work remains immediate too: the collagelike vitality of Tribe's Afrocentric stomp makes it timeless.

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Weirdo-electronic label Midwich premieres tracks from locals Hide and Alex Barnett

Posted By on 03.30.16 at 11:00 AM

Seth Sher and Heather Gabel of Hide - COURTESY MIDWICH
  • Courtesy Midwich
  • Seth Sher and Heather Gabel of Hide

To any local music freak with half a brain and basically functioning ear canals, Jim Magas has been an obvious leader of Chicago's "interesting music" vanguard for more than 20 years—my introduction to him was in the mid-90s at the Fireside Bowl, when he was fronting short-lived (and totally excellent) no-wave horror punks Lake of Dracula. If you held a gun to my head today (please don't!) and told me to make a list of the top ten "rock" bands I've ever seen live, I'm pretty sure Lake of Dracula would be on there somewhere. The Reader's Peter Margasak described the Magas of that era as "a genuine maniac" who balanced "confrontational zeal . . . and arrhythmic whooping with propulsive hectoring," which is also an apt description of his present guise as one-man electro party Magas—a project that's been turning out dance floors with screwball MPC-generated thump since 2000.

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Chicago rapper Wil Akogu fights against inner and outer enslavement on 'Buried Alive'

Posted By on 03.30.16 at 08:00 AM

Wil Akogu - COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy the artist
  • Wil Akogu

Wil Akogu calls himself the Most Valuable Poet, and the 19-year-old Chicago-based rapper seems certain the rest of the world will too—he wants to use his rhymes and music to change the way we think about self-love, purpose, and our own identities. On his recent second EP, The Language of the Soul, he turns his journey to find himself into an invitation to other lost brethren.

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Murder by Death is shot with arrows on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.30.16 at 07:00 AM

176091.jpg
ARTIST: Les Herman
SHOW: Murder by Death, Tim Barry, and Lil Bub at Metro on Sat 4/2
MORE INFO: leslieherman.com

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