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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chicago singer the Mind makes romance sound huge and feel intimate on his debut mixtape

Posted By on 06.30.16 at 07:00 AM

The album art for the Mind's Summer Camp
  • The album art for the Mind's Summer Camp
Chicago singer Zarif Wilder found his calling by humming. Wilder, a member of local production collective ThemPeople, told Noisey earlier this year that his colleagues in ThemPeople nudged him into singing after they overheard him in the studio humming along to Mick Jenkins's "Shipwrecked" while the rapper recorded it. In August 2014, when Jenkins dropped his breakthrough mixtape, The Water[s], it included vocals from Wilder under the name the Mind (he prefers to style it "theMIND"). His voice is the first that rings out on the mixtape, comforting and inviting—he appears on opener "Shipwrecked" and later on "Dehydration."

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Trump blindsided Mike Ditka with report of RNC appearance, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.30.16 at 06:00 AM

  • Vincent D. Johnson/for Sun-Times Media
  • Mike Ditka

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, June 30, 2016.

  • Weather: A beautiful day to close out June

It's hard to believe it's already the end of June, but Mother Nature is ending the month with a great day. There's an expected high of 81 and a low of 61. The only downside is a chance of some rain in the evening. [AccuWeather]

  • Ditka had no idea that Trump signed him up to appear at the Republican National Convention

When news broke Tuesday that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump would be bringing in sports stars like Bobby Knight and Mike Ditka to appear at the upcoming Republican National Convention, it was the first time Ditka had heard about the appearance. "No one's ever talked to me about it," the legendary Bears coach told the Tribune. "I have no idea where it's coming from." Despite the surprise, "da coach" is willing to give a short and "to the point" speech at the convention. [Politico]

Update: Ditka has now delclined the offer to speak at the RNC. [Sun-Times]

  • Starting this week, you'll have to be 21 to buy tobacco in Chicago

It's the final day for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to buy tobacco products in Chicago. The age requirement for buying cigarettes and other items with tobacco jumps to 21 on Friday. Other cities, including New York City and Boston, and states like California and Hawaii have already raised the age requirement to discourage teens from smoking. [Associated Press via ABC News]

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

With Cruz Blanca, Empire Bayless adds a taqueria and cervecería

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 06:13 PM

Oaxacan peanuts, Smoke Alley ale, La Guardia Ambar, cucumber salad, and pork cecina tacos - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • Oaxacan peanuts, Smoke Alley ale, La Guardia Ambar, cucumber salad, and pork cecina tacos

While the dazzling array of Baja-inspired seafood dishes at Rick Bayless's fantastic Leña Brava can be a bit overwhelming, next door at its sister cervecería/taqueria things couldn't be simpler.  

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A Murrow award for Rivet Radio

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 05:41 PM

  • Flickr/Flavijus
Rivet Radio has won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for achievement in electronic media, a sweet honor for an innovative operation that was a gleam in Charlie Meyerson's eye just two and a half years ago. 

Rivet was singled out for top investigative reporting in the Small Online News Organization division for "Our Glass Desk Exploded. Yours Could, Too."  If ever a title tells the story, that one does. The office manager's desk blew up one night, sending Rivet off in pursuit of the story behind "spontaneously exploding desks"—which if not a national menace turned out to be something that happens more than you'd think.

 Rivet is a smart phone app that bills itself as "radio reimagined"—news customized for who you are and where you are, as Meyerson explained in late 2013 just before Rivet went public. The idea seems to be working out. Back then Rivet consisted of Meyerson and CEO John MacLeod. Now the website lists a staff of nine and Meyerson, formerly of the Tribune, WGN, and WXRT, is vice president of editorial and development.

The Murrows are given out by the Radio Television Digital News Association. 

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Add this to your list of newspaper cliches: push

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 12:30 PM

  • Flickr/Straßenfotografie Hamburg
The English language is full of words journalists can't do without. Troubled is one. Wherever reporters go things are troubled, and they make sure they say so. After all, if things weren't, why were they even there?

Here's another I just identified. Push. For example, on visiting the home page of the New York Times Tuesday and searching for push and pushed and that day's date, I came up with a list of 51 Times stories! 

The coming EU and NATO summits intended to push for reforms. The president of Kenya was leading a push at the African Union. Brexit has pushed down bank shares. Former Olympian Bruce Kidd has long pushed for gender equality in sports. So forth. So on. Meanwhile, Tuesday's Tribune editorial page was reminding readers that the Tribune had "long pushed" for consolidation of county offices, that Toni Preckwinkle "pushed the sales tax increase," and that President Obama had failed to "push lawmakers" hard enough to reform immigration. 

Read the papers out loud to a five-year-old and he or she will soon picture the world as a car stuck in snow and neighbors collecting to lend a shoulder.

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Warm up for this weekend's Chosen Few Music Festival with DJ Alan King's latest late-night mix

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 12:00 PM

Alan King behind the decks at the 2014 Chosen Few Picnic - MARC MONAGHAN
  • Marc Monaghan
  • Alan King behind the decks at the 2014 Chosen Few Picnic

For the past 25 years, the Fourth of July weekend has meant one thing for house heads: the Chosen Few Picnic, a single-day celebration of house, disco, R&B, and other flavors of old-school dance music. It's organized by the Chosen Few, a tight-knit crew of Chicago DJs who helped spread house throughout the south side after Wayne Williams founded it in 1977, when he was still in high school. The picnic has its roots in the Fourth of July family-reunion barbecues that Chosen Few DJs Tony and Andre Hatchett would attend behind the Museum of Science and Industry in the 80s; in 1990 the rest of the crew joined in to spin for the day. The Chosen Few Picnic didn't immediately become a flagship event for house heads, though: as I discovered while compiling my 2015 oral history of the event, no more than 40 people would show up in the early years. But the Picnic now brings around 40,000 people to Jackson Park, and it continues to grow. This year the Picnic has expanded to two days and changed its name—it's now the Chosen Few Music Festival, and it runs Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3.

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New Joe Maddon strategy comes out of left field

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 11:34 AM

A 15th-inning grand slam by Javier Baez helped the Cubs win Tuesday night, as did three pitchers who played left. - AP PHOTO/JOHN MINCHILLO
  • AP Photo/John Minchillo
  • A 15th-inning grand slam by Javier Baez helped the Cubs win Tuesday night, as did three pitchers who played left.
The Cubs and Reds were tied at two in the 14th inning Tuesday night in Cincinnati, and the north-siders were running short on players, when manager Joe Maddon's neurotransmitters began heating up in the dugout.

Maddon brought in Spencer Patton to pitch. Patton got an out, and then Maddon sent him to left and brought in Travis Wood to pitch. Wood got an out, and Maddon sent him to left and brought Patton back to the mound.

Patton got the third out, and then the Cubs' hitters went to work, plating five in the top of the 15th, highlighted by Javier Baez's grand slam.

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Bill Simmons is good at being Bill Simmons on HBO's Any Given Wednesday

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 10:00 AM

Ben Affleck almost went full Tom-Cruise-on-Oprah during his appearance on HBO's Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons. - JORDAN ALTHAUS/HBO
  • Jordan Althaus/HBO
  • Ben Affleck almost went full Tom-Cruise-on-Oprah during his appearance on HBO's Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons.

Ben Affleck has ruined many things: Armageddon, the Batman franchise, Jennifer Garner's career. But he was the last person you'd expect to potentially derail Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons, the title host's new half-hour talk show-slash-vlog for HBO. In last week's debut episode, an ostensibly inebriated Affleck went on a five-minute tirade during which he castigated Roger Goodell and the NFL for the Deflategate scandal. The rant wasn't necessarily unusual—what was odd was that Affleck frequently slurred his words, dropped F-bombs like he was on the set of a Kevin Smith movie, and at one point shouted so loud it looked like was going to have a Tom-Cruise-jumping-on-the-couch moment.

I had read about the Affleck snafu on the Internet, and when I finally saw it I was underwhelmed: the interview is the most boring part of the episode. Any Given Wednesday isn't the Internet—it's HBO. And it's a pretty good televisual interpretation of what Simmons does.

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Heron Oblivion dive into a secret bunker on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 07:00 AM


Daniel MacAdam
SHOW: Heron Oblivion, Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, and Ryley Walker & Bill MacKay at Beat Kitchen on Fri 6/3

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Time is running out for a stopgap state budget deal, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.29.16 at 06:00 AM

Governor Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters about the state budget and education funding in Springfield. - AP PHOTO/SETH PERLMAN
  • AP Photo/Seth Perlman
  • Governor Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters about the state budget and education funding in Springfield.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

  • Weather: Warmer but not hot

After an unseasonably cool Tuesday, it will get a bit hotter Wednesday, with a high of 77 and a low of 64. It should be a beautiful sunny day. [AccuWeather]

  • Democrats, Rauner come up with budgets in the final hours of the fiscal year

With just hours left in the 2016 fiscal year, lawmakers in Springfield are scrambling to agree to a temporary budget deal to keep the state running as they come back for session Wednesday. Governor Bruce Rauner released a new stopgap budget that tries to appease Democrats by adding funding for higher education, MAP grants, and human services but stops short of a Chicago Public Schools bailout. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not happy about this last part and slammed Rauner, saying that he "has wasted 18 months of his term." The governor is asking legislators to pass the budget as he waits for state-senate Democrats to release their own version, which is almost certain to include funding for CPS's financial crisis. [Sun-Times] [Politico]

  • Did the International Olympic Committee rig the vote against Chicago?

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are shaping up to be a disaster, with numerous problems looming: the Zika virus, an economic recession, a domestic political crisis, violence concerns, and more. The games haven't been canceled, but some of the world's most high-profile athletes—including Steph Curry, Lebron James, and golfer Jason Day—have declined to compete. Meanwhile, Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of USA Basketball, believes the 2009 International Olympic Committee vote was rigged against Chicago's infamous 2016 bid. "I would much rather be in Chicago than Rio," Colangelo said. [Sun-Times]

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