Bleader | Chicago Reader

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Local trio Absolutely Not premiere the paranoia-inducing video for ‘Programmed’

Posted By on 09.29.16 at 12:00 PM

  • courtesy the artist
  • Absolutely Not

Absolutely Not
cannot be stopped. The local trio are becoming one of Chicago's most prolific acts, releasing great records, touring nonstop, and apparently making anyone who hears or sees them instantly fall in love with their high-strung, synthy punk rock, which sounds like everything is turned up to 11. Today Absolutely Not release a new single and music video, "Programmed," which the Reader is pleased to exclusively premiere. The video is an eerie Stepford Wives-inspired drama, directed by Dave Rentauskas, that perfectly mirrors the track's paranoia-inducing, dystopian sketchiness.

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Up yours! A satanic Kermit takes over a good Lutheran kid in Victory Gardens’ Hand to God

Posted By on 09.29.16 at 11:30 AM

Alex Weisman, Curtis Edward Jackson, and Nina Ganet - LIZ LAUREN
  • Liz Lauren
  • Alex Weisman, Curtis Edward Jackson, and Nina Ganet

Convinced Christians may take offense at Hand to God. Convinced Christians with a sense of humor may find themselves in the odd position of taking offense while laughing.

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How we pulled back the curtain on CPD’s secret spending

Posted By on 09.29.16 at 09:27 AM


The investigation by the Reader and Lucy Parsons Labs into the Chicago Police Department's use of civil forfeiture money began with a single, tantalizing detail in a single FOIA'd document.

Lucy Parsons Labs is a Chicago-based nonprofit made up of technologists and activists dedicated to government transparency. In September 2014 we began looking into CPD's use of IMSI catchers, powerful surveillance devices commonly called by their brand name, Stingray. These devices mimic cell-phone towers and force any cell phones in the area to give up personally identifying information—including phone numbers and unique device identifiers—all without an owner's knowledge or consent.

In the purchasing memo for one such device, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, we saw a reference to an account name we hadn't previously seen.

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Donald Trump meets with the Polish-American community in surprise visit to Chicago, and other news

Posted By on 09.29.16 at 06:00 AM

Donald Trump speaks with Polish-American community members at the Polish National Alliance in Chicago. - PHOTO BY SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES
  • Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump speaks with Polish-American community members at the Polish National Alliance in Chicago.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, September 29, 2016.

  • Weather: Cloudy and rainy

It will be gloomy again Thursday, with a high of 67 and a low of 62, but it will likely feel colder. It will also be cloudy, and there's a good chance of rain off and on. [AccuWeather]

  • Trump makes surprise visit to Polish National Alliance in Sauganash

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Chicago Wednesday morning before a planned lunchtime fund-raiser in Bolingbrook. Speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Polish National Alliance, he praised Poland and its people and slammed his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, calling her "grossly incompetent." Trump supporter and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke before Trump took the stage. Both protesters and supporters gathered near the event, and anti-Trump graffiti was written on the alliance's building. [DNAinfo Chicago] [WGN] [Bloomberg]

  • Illinois Election Day voter registration law ruled unconstitutional

An Illinois law allowing voter registration at polling places on Election Day has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. U.S. district court judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush, slammed the law for making same-day registration available in counties with 100,000 or more people, but only available at a centralized location and not every polling place in counties with less than 100,000 people. "The application of this legislation favors the urban citizen and dilutes the vote of the rural citizen," Der-Yeghiayan wrote. [Tribune]

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

There's one last chance to see Twelfth Night in Hindi

Posted By on 09.28.16 at 05:03 PM

Piya Behrupia, Mumbai-based Company Theatre's adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night - COURTESY COMPANY THEATRE
  • Courtesy Company Theatre
  • Piya Behrupia, Mumbai-based Company Theatre's adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Hindi isn't the only language into which Mumbai's Company Theatre has translated Twelfth Night. They've also rendered it into a theatrical style that takes liberties with everything but Shakespeare's plot points. But if the foreign language forces an Anglophone to depend on English supertitles, the foreign conventions are universally accessible. Delightful too.

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The confessions of Karen Lewis

Posted By on 09.28.16 at 04:05 PM

Host Erika Wozniak, CTU president Karen Lewis, and cohost DNAinfo senior editor Jen Sabella at last night's the Girl Talk show at the Hideout - LINZE RICE/THE GIRL TALK
  • Linze Rice/The Girl Talk
  • Host Erika Wozniak, CTU president Karen Lewis, and cohost DNAinfo senior editor Jen Sabella at last night's the Girl Talk show at the Hideout

Karen Lewis was in a confessional mood at her appearance last night at the Hideout—at least she confessed to having a nice word or two to say about her old adversary Mayor Rahm.

This is understandable, since she was sitting on the stage with Jen Sabella and Erika Wozniak, hosts of the Girl Talk, the monthly talk show at the Hideout that manages to get guests to open up—usually with a laugh or two.

The idea is that you never know what people will say if you put them in a barroom among friends. Obviously, the cocktail Lewis was nursing didn't hurt either.

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Tink joins the small army of rappers jumping on Young M.A’s hot single ‘Ooouuu’

Posted By on 09.28.16 at 12:00 PM


Brooklyn rapper Young M.A is a star on the rise thanks to his snarling single "Ooouuu," with its wafting, dreamlike synth and its sparse (and sparsely deployed) beats. The YouTube video for "Ooouuu" has accumulated more than 25 million views since it was uploaded in May, and other rappers have contributed to the song's popularity by recording their own versions—among them Nicki Minaj and A$AP Ferg. Meek Mill used the track to dis LA rapper the Game (who also released his own take on the song), and last week Calumet City native Tink put her own spin on "Ooouuu."

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The monarchs fly high for Andrew Bird on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 09.28.16 at 07:00 AM


ARTIST: Jay Ryan
SHOW: Andrew Bird and Margo Price at Millennium Park on Wed 9/7

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Chicago State University enrollment drops as only 86 freshman enroll, and other news

Posted By on 09.28.16 at 06:00 AM

A student walking on the campus of Chicago State University in 2014 - AP PHOTO/M. SPENCER GREEN FILE
  • AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File
  • A student walking on the campus of Chicago State University in 2014

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

  • Weather: Chilly, cloudy, breezy, with rain possible

Expect a chilly Wednesday, with a high of 63 and a low of 59, though it will feel like it's in the 50s throughout. It will be mostly cloudy, with a breeze, and there's a decent chance of rain. [AccuWeather]

  • Only 86 freshman enrolled at troubled Chicago State University this fall

Only 86 freshman students enrolled at Chicago State University in Roseland for the fall semester. Enrollment numbers are significantly down across the board at the school, which is still facing dire financial problems due to the ongoing state budget crisis. [Associated Press via Springfield State Journal-Register]

  • Local man pleads guilty to hacking personal iCloud photos of Jennifer Lawrence, other celebrities

Southwest-side resident Edward Majerczyk has pleaded guilty to "one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information" for hacking the private photos of at least 30 celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst, according to the Tribune. Commonly referred to as "Celebgate," the release of the nude photos online made headlines around the world and deeply upset Lawrence, who called it a "sex crime." Majerczyk, who's 29, will be sentenced on January 10; prosecutors are asking for a nine-month prison term. [Tribune]

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Talking Taste Talks Chicago with Lula Cafe chef Jason Hammel

Posted By on 09.27.16 at 05:56 PM

  • Courtesy Taste Talks Chicago
  • Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe

Taste Talks, a food-centered conference that launched in Brooklyn in 2013, returns to Chicago this weekend for its third year. A day full of panel discussions and chef demos is bookended by several events dedicated to eating food rather than talking about it—most notably the All-Star Barbecue on Sunday, with chefs including Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), Brian and Jennifer Enyart (Dos Urban Cantina), Jared Van Camp (Leghorn Chicken), and Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons).

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