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Monday, August 29, 2016

After seven years away, Africa Hi-Fi returns for one night in Hyde Park

Posted By on 08.29.16 at 02:00 PM

Africa Hi-Fi cofounders Sonia Hassan and Ron Trent at Sonotheque in 2006 - COURTESY OF SONIA HASSAN
  • Courtesy of Sonia Hassan
  • Africa Hi-Fi cofounders Sonia Hassan and Ron Trent at Sonotheque in 2006

The Harper Court Summer Music Series in Hyde Park, organized by the Silver Room's Eric Williams in conjunction with the University of Chicago, has consisted of four free open-air concerts between May and August—and the last, on Wednesday, August 31, is a world-music house party reuniting the creators of Africa Hi-Fi, a beloved Sonotheque residency that ran from 2004 through 2009. Ron Trent and Joseph Bryl will DJ, Sonia Hassan will host, and trumpeter and singer-songwriter Sam Trump will perform live.

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Trump stirs controversy with tweet about fatal shooting of Dwyane Wade's cousin, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 08.29.16 at 10:22 AM

Family members and supporters hug Diann Aldridge during a vigil for her daughter Nykea Aldridge Sunday. - ASHLEE REZIN/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES VIA AP
  • Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
  • Family members and supporters hug Diann Aldridge during a vigil for her daughter Nykea Aldridge Sunday.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, August 29, 2016.

  • Weather: Sunny and lovely

The week will start out with beautiful and sunny weather. Expect a high of 83 and a low of 71. [AccuWeather]

  • Trump tries to capitalize on shooting death of Dwyane Wade's cousin

Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four children and cousin to Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was shot dead on the south side Friday. Aldridge was not the intended target of the shooting, and two brothers were charged for the crime Sunday. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump caused controversy when he referred to the high-profile homicide to campaign on Twitter writing, "Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!" [Washington Post] [Sun-Times]

  • Chicago police apologize to rapper Rhymefest after tweet

Rapper and former aldermanic candidate Rhymefest posted a video on Twitter showing himself arguing with Chicago cops when he went to report an armed robbery Saturday. "You wonder we don't report crimes? The police treated me disgustingly," he wrote to his followers. The Chicago Police Department responded and apologized for the incident and said they will be addressing the issue. [CNN]

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Friday, August 26, 2016

John Legend, Tika Sumpter, and Parker Sawyers reflect on Southside With You

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 03:30 PM

Southside with You
  • Southside with You

In the late summer of 1989, Barack Obama drove from Hyde Park to South Shore in his rickety yellow Datsun hatchback to pick up Michelle Robinson, his colleague and adviser at the Loop law firm Sidley Austin, for what would become a historic first date. The short drive is the setting of the opening-credits sequence of Southside With You, an endearing dramatization of the First Couple's initial romantic outing that stretches, like Before Sunrise, across an eventful day and night.

Written and directed by Richard Tanne, the low-budget indie—filmed in and around Chicago last summer and opening today—counts musician John Legend as an executive producer and composer; his song, "Start," plays over the end credits. Actors Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter (who's also a producer on the film) portray 28-year-old Barack and 25-year-old Michelle, respectively.

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The Living Newspaper Festival, Villapalooza, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 03:15 PM

Ike Holter is one of six playwrights presenting new ten-minute works at the Living Newspaper Festival. - JEFFREY MARINI
  • Jeffrey Marini
  • Ike Holter is one of six playwrights presenting new ten-minute works at the Living Newspaper Festival.


Plenty of happenings make for a memorable last weekend of August in the city. Here's some of our recommendations:


Through 8/29: Joel Ewing, Ireon Roach, and Olivia Shine host Jackalope Theatre's Seventh Annual Living Newspaper Festival at the Frontier (1106 W. Thorndale). The performances feature six original ten-minute plays inspired by a story from a national news outlets. 7:30 PM

8/26-8/28: 
Halsted Street at Van Buren abounds with Hellenism this weekend for the West Loop’s annual cultural festival, Taste of Greektown. Delight in Greek food from area restaurants, dance to traditional music, or partake Saturday evening's Gyro Eating Contest where devoted fans of the Mediterranean meat will battle it out. Fri 4-11 PM, Sat & Sun noon-11 PM

Taste of Greektown celebrates the food, dancing, and music of Greece this weekend in the West Loop. - GETTY
  • getty
  • Taste of Greektown celebrates the food, dancing, and music of Greece this weekend in the West Loop.

Fri 8/26: Interdisciplinary artist Maria Gaspar explores the complex juxtaposition of what lies within and beyond the 25-foot wall surrounding the Cook County Jail in her exhibition, "On the Border of What is Formless & Monstrous." She presents video and audio documentation taken inside and about the detention facility at the opening reception at the Experimental Sound Studio’s Audible Gallery (5925 N. Ravenswood Ave.). 6-9 PM


Sat 8/27: Head to Aquanaut Brewing Company (5435 N. Wolcott) for Records and Beer, a night of brew-tasting, browsing, and more. RSVP to peruse goods from vinyl vendors and jive all night to live music from These Old Men They Play Records, Ryan Powers, other local DJs. 2-10 PM


Sat 8/27: The Little Village music festival, Villapalooza (26th and Central Park), returns for its sixth year this Saturday. The festival's three stages include live music from Los Crudos, Generacion Suicida, Thee Commons, and more. Noon-10 PM


Sat 8/27: Elastic Arts brings back its annual puppet slam for adults, Puppet Meltdown to its space at 3429 W. Diversey. Master puppeteers pull the strings for an entertaining showcase at this year's "Forbidden Puppet" event. 8 PM

Sun 8/28: Rachal Duggan, a local illustrator who has contributed to the Reader among other publications, participates in the Comfort Society series at the Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee). Watch as she creates drawings by request, and hear her speak about her own career at 1 PM.
10 AM-2 PM

Rachal Duggan creates custom drawings as part of the Comfort Society series on Sun 8/28. - RACHAL DUGGAN
  • Rachal Duggan
  • Rachal Duggan creates custom drawings as part of the Comfort Society series on Sun 8/28.


Sun 8/28:
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture's Sangria Festival sweeps into Humboldt Park (3015 W. Division) this Sunday. Savor a glass or two of the fruity wine to the tune of live salsa music as a perfect salute to the final days of summer. Noon-10 PM

Garfunkel and Oates perform on Sun 8/28. - COURTESY CITY WINERY
  • courtesy city winery
  • Garfunkel and Oates perform on Sun 8/28.

Sun 8/28:
Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, better known as Garfunkel and Oates, perform their comedy folk songs at City Winery (1200 W. Randolph). 6:30 and 9 PM

For more stuff to do this week—and every day—check out our Agenda page.


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Los Crudos offer their entire discography digitally for £5—and headline Villapalooza on Saturday

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 03:00 PM

crudoscover.jpg

Last month London hardcore label La Vida Es un Mus released a digital edition of Doble LP Discografía, the career-spanning compilation of the music of Pilsen punk heroes Los Crudos. Long-running Bay Area punk zine Maximum Rocknroll originally released the Crudos collection last year as a fund-raiser to help sustain itself, and La Vida Es un Mus handled the physical and digital version for the European release—it coincided with Los Crudos' European tour last month. All of this is to say that if you weren't able to get your hands on a physical copy of Doble LP Discografía, and if you don't feel comfortable dropping a lot of cash on used Crudos seven-inches or downloading pirated rips of the band's old work, there's no reason to despair—you can get their whole catalog for a little more than $5 on Bandcamp.

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An exit interview with departing clarinetist James Falzone and a rare set by Chris Dammann’s Restroy

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 02:00 PM

James Falzone - WILLIAM FREDERKING
  • William Frederking
  • James Falzone

Last night at Elastic, clarinetist James Falzone played with Wayfaring, his duo with bassist Katie Ernst—his final gig as a Chicagoan. He and his family are moving to Seattle, Washington, where he'll become chair of the music department at Cornish College of the Arts. For nearly a decade and a half Falzone has been a crucial part of the local jazz and improvised-music scene, leading groups such as Allos Musica Ensemble, Renga Ensemble, and Klang as well as working as a sideman in plenty of others, among them Vox Arcana and Frank Rosaly's Cicada Music. On the eve of his departure, I asked him about his time here and his decision to move on.

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LGBTQ people were especially screwed by Illinois’s budget impasse

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 01:09 PM

Advocates say that any future cutbacks or budget stalemates could be life-threatening to Illinois's LGBT population. - SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Advocates say that any future cutbacks or budget stalemates could be life-threatening to Illinois's LGBT population.

The year-long war over Illinois's budget was a nightmare for social service agencies. And, as the Reader reported in July, even the stopgap deal reached at the 11th hour earlier this summer wasn't enough to reverse the damage done by a year of inaction.

Marginalized people dependent on social services were hit hard by the crisis: the elderly, populations with HIV, people of color, undocumented workers, youth, and the homeless, all suffered as a result of the impasse, even with stopgap measures in place.

But one group was particularly affected: LGBT people. These groups often rely on state funding in order to survive, and advocates say that any future cutbacks or stalemates could be life-threatening.

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From book’s blurbs, you’d never know these critics slammed the play

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 11:00 AM

A still from the trailer of This Is Modern Art - STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • A still from the trailer of This Is Modern Art
This Is Modern Art, a provocative play about graffiti artists, ran for a few weeks early last year as a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production. The play, by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, was inspired by an action in 2010, when young graffiti artists working at night in a snowstorm spray-painted a 50-foot mural on the new modern wing of the Art Institute. (It was removed.)

Both Chris Jones of the Tribune and Hedy Weiss of the Sun-Times had harsh things to say about it. Jones at least called This Is Modern Art a "romantic ode" before coming to his main point. "Graffiti comes at a price," he wrote. "It can be invasive, self-important and disrespectful of the property of others—and plenty of struggling folks have had to clean graffiti off something they own or love. Graffiti can be inartful, for goodness sake. More importantly yet, graffiti had the effect of making people feel unsafe in the city. It terrified people . . . You do not have to be conservative or somehow not down with youth to think it reprehensible that these issues do not have a place in a show for schools that is quite staggeringly one-sided."

Weiss also believed This Is Modern Art was making a one-sided case for vandalism. She called the play "wildly wrong-headed and potentially damaging." She wrote, "No amount of classroom discussion will scrub clean the irresponsible ideas promulgated in this play . . . Really, what could Steppenwolf have been thinking?" 

Now Haymarket Books of Chicago has just published This Is Modern Art, and Jones and Weiss agree no longer. On the back cover of the play (and on the Haymarket website) are blurbs from Jones and Weiss (and others) culled by the publisher from reviews. (Jones and Weiss are identified by their papers, not their names, but in Chicago most everyone will know who wrote what.) And at least one blurb turned a critic into a cheerleader.

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The Chicago Police Department once published a magazine featuring crime-fighting tactics—and casserole recipes

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 07:00 AM

The official glossy lifestyle magazine of the Chicago Police Department was published between 1921 and ’23.
  • The official glossy lifestyle magazine of the Chicago Police Department was published between 1921 and ’23.

The covers of Main 13, the official magazine of the Chicago Police Department published between 1921 and 1923, seem to allude, at first glance, to simpler times for Chicago cops. The glossy magazine ran winsome illustrations of a traffic cop escorting smiling, well-dressed children across the street, a patrolman supervising a game of marbles, and a mounted officer delivering a hot meal to a widow on Christmas. Only the cover of the November 1922 issue depicting a copper shooting into dark alley hints at the dangers police faced nearly 100 years ago.

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When did adult diapers become commercially available?

Posted By on 08.26.16 at 06:30 AM

SLUG SIGNORINO
  • Slug Signorino

Q: Q: Incontinence products seem to be everywhere these days. When did the first diapers specifically for adults become commercially available? RACHEL NEWSTEAD

A: If they aren't everywhere yet, they will be soon. The bladder-control biz expects to waterproof more geezers than tots within the decade, as birth rates dip and the baby boom grays still further. Adult incontinence soaked up $1.8 billion in profits last year, and the market could grow nearly 50 percent by 2020. Pretty good for a business that not so long ago could hardly get people to admit they needed its product.

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Spirits to Enforce Berry Memorial United Methodist Church
November 08
Performing Arts
The Better Half Steppenwolf Theatre, 1700 Theatre
November 08

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