The Bleader | Blog + Reader, the Chicago Reader's blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A sudden lights out for Too Much Light at Neo-Futurists

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 07:08 PM

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, with Kurt Chiang at far right - MARC MONAGHAN FOR THE JOHN D. AND CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
  • MARC MONAGHAN FOR THE JOHN D. AND CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
  • Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, with Kurt Chiang at far right

Neo-Futurists founder Greg Allen made the surprising announcement today that he's ending the 28-year Chicago run of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind on December 31. He's doing so in order to create a new, diverse Chicago theater company that will be entirely dedicated to social activism.

Allen—who left the Chicago company four years ago but owns the rights to the "30-plays-in-60-minutes" show—said the decision was political, spurred by the election of Donald Trump. "I could no longer stand by and let my most effective artistic vehicle be anything but a machine to fight Fascism," he said in an e-mailed statement.

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Cecile Richards plans for the next century of Planned Parenthood

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 03:30 PM

Cecile Richards gives her talk at the University of Chicago Law School. - COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW SCHOOL
  • Courtesy of the University of Chicago Law School
  • Cecile Richards gives her talk at the University of Chicago Law School.

"I anticipated giving an entirely different lecture today," Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, told a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Chicago Law School yesterday. "I was hoping to tell you that America was entering a new era of reproductive rights defined by possibility and progress. But the rug was pulled out from underneath us. The future of reproductive rights is more fragile than at any moment in my lifetime."

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Indigo Nation paints Pilsen blue

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 02:30 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

A model wears garments by Mallory Fifer. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • A model wears garments by Mallory Fifer.

Last month Amanda Harth, Asia Vallot, and Michael Ashley of the blog Runway Addicts, and Ciera McKissick of the online magazine AMFM promoted Indigo Nation, a denim-centered event held in Pilsen. Runway Addicts founder Harth wanted to celebrate the popular material after spending a whole year researching it: "We conducted a study on dyeing techniques, what denim looked like in different parts of the world, the history of the textile, and why it's the most versatile fabric." The result was a three-day-long festival that included art installations, garment displays, workshops, performances, a denim swap, and a pop-up shop.

During their opening at the Chicago Art Department, models walked among the guests and sported all-denim looks by designer Mallory Fifer. Later on designer, artist, and activist Michelle Janayea did a "live sewing" session by putting together pieces of used garments selected by the attendees. In an adjacent room, denim-inspired works by artist Jane Georges were displayed alongside creations by local up-and-coming brands Amara Black by Alenda, Michael White, Hightower by DaShaun Hightower, Iridium, Reformed School by Peter Gaona, Phera by Ron Louis, and Iicky Genes. Their garments—plus items by local brands Create the New World, Jaja, and Jaeoli—were sold the next weekend at a pop-up shop hosted at the Maybe Sunday boutique. Check out photographs of some of this denim extravaganza right after the jump.

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What was the white working class thinking by supporting Trump? I asked my white working-class brother.

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 02:06 PM

Keegan Smith - RYAN SMITH
  • Ryan Smith
  • Keegan Smith

My brother Keegan shrugged when I asked if he's a Trump supporter.

"Yeah, I thought about it a little [before the election]. Both Trump and Hillary had their pros and cons," he told me. "One is a liar, the other is a big-mouthed pervert. But Hillary has been in office for a long time, and I didn't see that she did that much for how long she was in government."

Keegan is actually part of the 42 percent of Americans eligible to vote who didn't cast a ballot on November 8. He found neither Clinton nor Trump appealing enough to even bother registering to vote.

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RIP Riot Fest cofounder Sean McKeough

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 01:40 PM

Sean McKeough - COURTESY OF RIOT FEST
  • Courtesy of Riot Fest
  • Sean McKeough

Sean P. McKeough, Riot Fest cofounder and producer, died yesterday at age 42. McKeough owned Cobra Lounge, which opened in 2006, as well as the adjoining brewery, All Rise Brewing, which launched last year. Riot Fest has grown into the highest-profile part of McKeough's legacy, becoming a several-day outdoor event in 2012 and expanding to other cities. It has a reputation for catering to nostalgia, for better or worse, which has helped it stand out in an increasingly bland, commercialized festival landscape—it was the first to welcome the Replacements back to the stage in 2013, and this year it hosted the first performances in 33 years by three of the original Misfits. Details are pending on the cause of McKeough's death.

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Chicago rock group Options raises funds for Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 12:00 PM

Options main man Seth Engel - JOHNNY FABRIZIO, COURTESY OF OPTIONS' FACEBOOK
  • Johnny Fabrizio, courtesy of Options' Facebook
  • Options main man Seth Engel

In September prolific Chicago musician Seth Engel dropped Maxed Out, a full-length of woeful but ebullient power pop by his long-running solo project, Options. And when Engel turned 27 on Monday, he released Besides, which consists of tracks he'd intended to include on two Options tour EPs. He opens the glum, mellifluous "Milk" with the lines "I am afraid / Of what I'll say / If I would just let it out of my head"—which to me sounds like a reference to the anxiety plenty of folks felt about sharing Thanksgiving dinner with relatives who supported the president-elect. All proceeds from the sale of Besides benefit the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, which provides aid for the encampments at Standing Rock protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (and to the Standing Rock community at large). The EP is available as a pay-what-you-want download through local microlabel Grandpa Bay, so you can donate as much as you can afford.

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There's a wild cat-and-mouse game on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 07:00 AM

14991787_10153955803162093_3008323486321180136_n.png

ARTIST: Andy Burkholder
SHOW: Ultimate Painting, EZTV, and Deeper at Hideout on Fri 12/2
MORE INFO: andyburkholder.com

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Alderman Ameya Pawar is considering running a ‘progressive campaign’ for governor in 2018, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 11.30.16 at 06:00 AM

Forty-Seventh Ward alderman Ameya Pawar - BRIAN JACKSON/SUN-TIMES
  • Brian Jackson/Sun-Times
  • Forty-Seventh Ward alderman Ameya Pawar



Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

  • Weather: Cooler, with not much sun

Wednesday will be cooler, with a high of 47 and a low of 38. It will grow progressively colder and cloudier as the day goes on, and there's a chance of showers in the evening. [AccuWeather]

  • Alderman Ameya Pawar considers 2018 run against Governor Rauner

Forty-Seventh Ward alderman Ameya Pawar, a Democrat, is considering running against Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, for the state's highest office in 2018, according to Politico. "In 2011, I ran for office and people laughed at me," he told the news site. "I took on the machine and I beat it." The north-side alderman, a member of the City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus, says one of his motivations is to counter the state's current political impasse: "We've had a set of politics pitting one group of people against another. I don't think that's productive. I think it's time we have a progressive campaign for governor." [Politico]

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The textural pleasures of shaved noodles at Chinatown’s Slurp Slurp

Posted By on 11.29.16 at 03:26 PM

Hand-shaved noodles with pork belly at Slurp Slurp - MIKE SULA
  • Mike Sula
  • Hand-shaved noodles with pork belly at Slurp Slurp

By now, the steeliest of us may by inured to Chinese-style hand-pulled noodles, aka lamian. The absorbing figure eight ballet of arms and dough in the production of tensile wheat soup noodles was, a few years back, a star attraction in Chinatown, where chefs did the dance in full view of their fans at places like Hing Kee and Sing's Noodle House. That's to say nothing of the central Asian variant, lagman, produced less visibly at places like Jibek Jolu and Lazzat (now Chayhana). Then the big boys started getting into it: Imperial Lamian and Duck Duck Goat, mainstreaming the art for the crowd that rarely eats outside of downtown or the Fulton Market district.

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Journalism: The perfect gift!

Posted By on 11.29.16 at 03:10 PM

THINKSTOCK
  • Thinkstock
Christmas is just a few weeks away, and a reader named Phil Huckelberry has come to me with an excellent idea. "Maybe," he wrote me over the weekend, "what we should really all be buying each other this holiday season is journalism."

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BigMouth Chicago Shakespeare Theater
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