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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The radical queer punks at Fed Up Fest throw a fund-raising Rock Lotto show

Posted By on 03.30.17 at 12:26 PM

New York hardcore band In School at the 2015 Fed Up Fest - MARY VALLON
  • Mary Vallon
  • New York hardcore band In School at the 2015 Fed Up Fest

On the night of Saturday, April 1, hardcore band Scatterbrained, no-wave group TV-14, and postpunk unit Elevator Games play on a five-band bill at a DIY venue in Pilsen—a pretty standard scenario for an underground punk gig. But there's something nonstandard about these bands. For one thing, they all popped into existence at the same time, just six weeks ago. For another, more than half the musicians involved identify as queer and trans.

Christened the Rock Lotto, the show features bands composed of players who basically dropped their names into a hat and allowed a random raffle-style drawing to partner them with strangers (or at the very least with people who weren't already their bandmates elsewhere). Everyone practiced for six weeks, and on Saturday they'll make their debuts at a show that doubles as a fund-raiser for the annual Fed Up Fest (to be held July 28 through 30 this year). The pro-LGBTQ punk festival is in its fourth year, and if previous installments are any guide, attendees can safely expect bracing volume, healthy mosh pits, and (as the the Fed Up collective's mission statement puts it) "a space of defiance, empowerment, pogoing, and change."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Emanuel’s pushing for undocumented immigrants and the homeless to get city-issued IDs, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 03.30.17 at 06:00 AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about the municipal ID proposal during the Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday. - JAMES FOSTER/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • James Foster/For the Sun-Times
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about the municipal ID proposal during the Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, March 30, 2017.

  • Emanuel wants undocumented immigrants and the homeless to get city-issued IDs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city clerk Anna Valencia want the city to issue municipal identification cards to undocumented immigrants, homeless people, and Chicagoans with a criminal record, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The ID cards would potentially help recipients gain access to benefits and services as well as to the city's cultural institutions. Personal information wouldn't be kept on file, the mayor said, so President Donald Trump's administration wouldn't be able use the cards to target immigrants for deportation. The mayor also introduced legislation Wednesday to loosen regulations on gun ranges in the city. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Tribune]

  • Get ready to see more police patrolling the lakefront when the summer months hit

Chicagoans could be seeing more cops patrolling the lakefront this summer, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Mayor Emanuel also proposed legislation Wednesday that would see the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Park District add more police at "mutually determined Chicago park locations." The police would try to prevent violent and drug-related crime at the lakefront parks, according to the mayor. [DNAinfo Chicago]

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Frontwoman Fest keeps fighting for a feminist future in Chicago’s music scene

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 06:43 PM

The Frontwoman Fest team: Adele Nicholas of Axons and Impossible Colors, Jessica LeMaster and Kit Curl of Girls Rock! Chicago, and Elaine Davis of Spaces of Disappearance - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • The Frontwoman Fest team: Adele Nicholas of Axons and Impossible Colors, Jessica LeMaster and Kit Curl of Girls Rock! Chicago, and Elaine Davis of Spaces of Disappearance

Frontwoman Fest returns for a third year this Saturday, April 1, hosted once again by the Burlington. Organizer and cofounder Elaine Davis, who performs as Spaces of Disappearance, says the festival's work raising up women and femme-identifying artists isn't done, and it's hard to argue with that. So many sectors of the music business remain inhospitable to women (or nearly devoid of them) that such work will likely have to continue for the foreseeable future.

Presented by Chicago tape label Impossible Colors, Frontwoman Fest showcases not just front women but also a wide spectrum of female and femme contributions to the local music scene, whether the artists in question play synthesizers, guitars, or drums. The festival donates all its proceeds to Girls Rock! Chicago, a community-based nonprofit that aims to foster self-esteem and strength in girls and transgender youth through music education. In its first two years, FWF generated $2,700 for the nonprofit, according to Girls Rock! operations manager Kit Curl.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If your community news is slanted, Dan Proft may be to blame

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 04:59 PM

Dan Proft, a former Republican candidate for governor and a senior fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute, also cofounded the newspaper chain Local Government Information Services. - SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • Sun-Times Media
  • Dan Proft, a former Republican candidate for governor and a senior fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute, also cofounded the newspaper chain Local Government Information Services.
In a column last week, Tribune op-ed writer Eric Zorn sideswiped a chain of community newspapers that don't meet his standards. Zorn's subject was the right-wing reaction to New Trier High School's recent all-day, all-school "white privilege" seminar. It's led to three conservative candidates running insurgency campaigns for seats on the New Trier Township board. Of these campaigns, Zorn wrote in passing:
"This development was greeted with enthusiasm by North Cook News, one of the mock journalism sites run by statewide GOP operative and conservative radio host Dan Proft. So brazenly propagandistic has Proft’s coverage of this race been that it doesn't even mention the four slated candidates on the ballot." [Emphasis mine.]
North Cook News is one of 20 papers in a year-old chain called Local Government Information Services, whose roots are in the Chicago suburbs but whose reach now extends to Carbondale, Rock Island, and Peoria. Zorn had another point to get to so he didn't slow down, let alone stop to make a full report to his readers. But let me flesh out Zorn's critique: if you're looking for local coverage tailored to serve a political agenda and provided by "reporters" on the other side of the ocean, Proft's papers are the ones to read.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Belmont Cragin residents are fearful after ICE agents shoot a neighbor

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 01:48 PM

Thirty-sixth Ward alderman Gilbert Villegas speaks at a gathering of Belmont Cragin residents Tuesday, demanding an investigation into the shooting of a 53-year-old man shot in his home by federal immigration agents. - JAMES FOSTER/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • James Foster/For the Sun-Times
  • Thirty-sixth Ward alderman Gilbert Villegas speaks at a gathering of Belmont Cragin residents Tuesday, demanding an investigation into the shooting of a 53-year-old man shot in his home by federal immigration agents.

Belmont Cragin residents say they want answers after a man was wounded by gunfire from federal immigration agents who entered his home early Monday morning.

"In this community, there is fear now," said 36th Ward alderman Gilbert Villegas at a press conference in front of the home Tuesday afternoon. "People don't know what's going to happen and if ICE agents are going to be knocking on doors and trying to get in."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obama Foundation introduces its architects, but not its plans, to community leaders

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 01:26 PM

Obama Presidential Center architects Dina Griffin, Tod Williams, and Billie Tsien at the DuSable Museum - DEANNA ISAACS
  • Deanna Isaacs
  • Obama Presidential Center architects Dina Griffin, Tod Williams, and Billie Tsien at the DuSable Museum

If you wanted to know whether Barack Obama's Presidential Center is going to look more like the sore thumb of the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, or the nearly invisible bunker of Philadelphia's Barnes Art Museum, last night's meet and greet with the architects at the DuSable Museum wasn't any help.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Chicago footwork and house artists rally to help Teklife producer Sirr Tmo replace his gear

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 12:00 PM

Sirr Tmo - IMAGE FROM SIRR TMO’S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Image from Sirr Tmo’s Facebook page
  • Sirr Tmo

Local multimedia outlet and party-promotion collective Mucho Culo has hosted a monthly footwork and juke showcase at Subterranean's downstairs lounge since November 2015, and it's doing its part to keep Wicker Park's historical connection to underground arts cultures from dissolving entirely. Mucho Culo events are responsible for some of my fondest memories of Subterranean: I remember seeing leather-clad punks who'd come for the early show sticking around to watch footwork dancers battle in the center of the room. And just this past month, during a set by Treated Crew producer Nasim Williams, I saw footworkers dance to Vic Mensa's hip-house single "Down on My Luck" while producer-turned-bop-artist DJ Nate looked on.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It must be campaign time in Illinois, ’cause someone ‘blew the cap’

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 11:16 AM

Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy contributed more than $250,000 to his own campaign Monday. - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
  • Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy contributed more than $250,000 to his own campaign Monday.

Over the years, I've come to recognize the annual rites and rituals that indicate the start of a new season.

For instance, come April, the Sox and the Cubs have their openers, meaning spring weather can't be too far away.

And in January, folks line up to get their Forest Preserve picnic reservations, a sure sign that summer will arrive one of these days.

Finally, there's the lifting of the cap on campaign contributions, which rings in the true start of any political campaign. For the 2018 Illinois governor's election—still more than a year away—that occurred last week, thanks to Chris Kennedy, the well-to-do businessman running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The cap lift is courtesy of an election reform passed in 2009, proving, once again, that when it comes to reform, you can usually expect Illinois lawmakers to take a bad system and make it worse.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Terrence Malick loves us—he just has a peculiar way of showing it

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 08:00 AM

Rooney Mara and Ryan Gosling in Song to Song
  • Rooney Mara and Ryan Gosling in Song to Song

Song to Song
may not be the best movie playing in town this week, but it's surely the most important. The film is the latest by Terrence Malick, one of the handful of working narrative directors who has created what critic and director Paul Schrader once termed a transcendental film style. Like Yasujro Ozu, Robert Bresson, and Carl Dreyer (the directors Schrader considered in his 1972 study of transcendental cinema), Malick operates in a unique cinematic language that evokes a spiritual presence in the material world. Song to Song is not explicitly concerned with spirituality, as other Malick films are, yet the spiritual force that animates virtually all his work is impossible to overlook. Whether the film succeeds as a whole is less important than the seriousness of its intent—it's worth experiencing and grappling with.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Going out in the underworld on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.29.17 at 07:00 AM

17545548_10208823798898378_269529800708628663_o.jpg

ARTIST: Joe Schorgl
SHOW: John Wesley Coleman, Obnox, Craig Brown Band, and Vinnie Kircher at Cafe Mustache on Fri 4/7

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Frankenstein Theater Wit
October 24
Performing Arts
Spirits to Enforce Berry Memorial United Methodist Church
November 08

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories