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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

There’s a chorus of kittens on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 09.27.17 at 07:00 AM

omg_electricalaudio2017_1024x1024.jpg

ARTIST: Jay Ryan
SHOW: Electrical Audio's 20th Anniversary Adventure at the Hideout Block Party on Sun 9/24
MORE INFO: thebirdmachine.com

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Emanuel stands by police decision to reprimand two cops pictured kneeling in protest, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 09.27.17 at 06:00 AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson at an August news conference - PHOTO BY SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson at an August news conference

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

  • Emanuel stands by police decision to reprimand two cops photographed kneeling in protest

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is standing by the Chicago Police Department's decision to reprimand two police officers photographed kneeling in protest, inspired by football players such as Colin Kaepernick. "There's a difference between an athlete wearing their uniform [and kneeling during the national anthem] and a police officer who is paid by the public who's wearing theirs," Emanuel said. "And the police department has been consistent" on banning political statements. The two unnamed black police officers are shown kneeling with a woman in a police station in the Instagram post. "We are aware of the photo, and we will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform, with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies," CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Sun-Times]

  • City Hall has few details on replacing police oversight agency head Sharon Fairley

Mayor Rahm Emanuel "declined to say how much input community members will have in finding a new head of the just-launched police oversight agency that's a key piece of his effort to increase public trust in the Chicago Police Department" following the resignation of Civilian Office of Police Accountability chief Sharon Fairley, according to the Tribune. Fairley is leaving the newly opened COPA agency to run for Illinois attorney general as a Democrat. "We're going to have a process to—I'm going to be naming a process, working with a lot of different people, working, and I've had a number of discussions with individuals about how to create a process that has input to have a set of names that reflect, I think, the independence and authority that we've built over the past 22 months," Emanuel told reporters. The mayor says he will be naming an interim replacement "shortly." [Tribune]

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

MC and sound artist Moor Mother sets her powerful words to free jazz in Irreversible Entanglements

Posted By on 09.26.17 at 01:53 PM

Irreversible Entanglements - KEIR NEURINGER
  • Keir Neuringer
  • Irreversible Entanglements

Last month Philadelphia MC, poet, and sound artist Moor Mother (aka Camae Ayewa) gave a riveting performance at the Hideout, driving her fevered, politically charged oratory with blown-out beats, scuffed-up samples, and in-the-red synths. Few of the spoken-word artists working the post-hip-hop landscape can match her intensity, precision, and metaphoric power; I've seen her twice this year, and both times she had total control of the audience by the end of the set. Whether or not the crowd grasped the nuanced indictments of America's racist history in her texts, they submitted to the spell she cast with the righteous anger of her delivery.

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Rauner slams NFL players who protest the national anthem and flag before games, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 09.26.17 at 06:06 AM

Governor Bruce Rauner - RICH HEIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Rich Hein/Sun-Times
  • Governor Bruce Rauner

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

  • Rauner slams NFL players who protest the American flag, national anthem

Governor Bruce Rauner is taking heat for his comments regarding NFL players who protest the American flag and the national anthem before games. "I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem," Rauner, who's a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, told Politico via a spokesman Monday. "To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties." President Donald Trump recently used a profanity to describe NFL players who protest before games and called for them to be fired, which sparked a bevy of pregame protests Sunday. But Rauner took issue with firing any such protesters, saying, "our country is great because it guarantees freedom of expression, so people can choose to be disrespectful." The Democratic Governors Association and gubernatorial candidates J.B. Pritzker and Daniel Biss quickly criticized Rauner. "The decision of NFL players to take a knee to protest racial injustice is entirely American. It is an expression of our country's foundational rights and beliefs," Pritzker said in a statement. "I would urge Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner to redirect their outrage to our broken criminal justice system instead of a peaceful protest." [Politico]

  • Sharon Fairley resigns from police oversight agency to run for attorney general

The chief of the city's Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Sharon Fairley, is resigning from the new agency to run for Illinois attorney general, according to the Tribune. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Fairley chief administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority in 2015, and she helped transform the controversial agency into COPA, which just opened its doors September 15. "The agency has been built and designed so that it can be successful, no matter who is the chief administrator," COPA spokeswoman Mia Sissac told the Sun-Times. "Sharon is a phenomenal leader and her vision has been realized. Her goal was to get it up and [running.] She's done that. . . . The agency now has the resources to do what it needs to do." [Tribune] [Sun-Times]

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Monday, September 25, 2017

The premiere of The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 09.25.17 at 02:09 PM

Jordan Klepper (center) and his cast of "citizen journalists" satirize extreme pundits on The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, debuting Monday, September 25, on Comedy Central. - COMEDY CENTRAL
  • Comedy Central
  • Jordan Klepper (center) and his cast of "citizen journalists" satirize extreme pundits on The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, debuting Monday, September 25, on Comedy Central.

There's plenty to do in Chicago this week. And plenty to eat, too. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Chicago indie-rock eccentric Mormon Toasterhead breaks nearly two years of silence

Posted By on 09.25.17 at 12:00 PM

Ben Klawans - COURTESY OF BEN KLAWANS
  • Courtesy of Ben Klawans
  • Ben Klawans

Chicago singer-songwriter Ben Klawans, aka Mormon Toasterhead, first got my attention four years ago with 97% Old, which boiled down 90s emo to its melodic skeleton and reassembled it in disfigured but disarming new shapes. Klawans experiments restlessly with genre, but as strange as his music can get, it almost always preserves its pop hooks and emotional center. Last week he dropped his first full-length in nearly two years, Monocarpic—it's the only thing he's posted to Bandcamp since 2015's Slack Tide, excepting the May release of "Bright Green," the first single from the new album.

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The mysterious case of the Chicago Reader ‘time machine’

Posted By on 09.25.17 at 10:01 AM

The Reader "time machine" on Lawrence Avenue in Ravenswood Manor - "IAN CRUSKEN"
  • "Ian Crusken"
  • The Reader "time machine" on Lawrence Avenue in Ravenswood Manor

Now and then something is so strange it must be a hallucination—but it isn't. When I heard about the Chicago Reader "time machine," it evoked the Flying Dutchman, the spectral ship that haunted mariners as both a symbol of vanished grandeur and a portent of doom.

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Bears on Trump NFL comments: ‘This divisive political situation has unified our franchise’

Posted By on 09.25.17 at 08:50 AM

The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room for the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. - AP PHOTO/KIICHIRO SATO
  • AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room for the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, September 25, 2017.

  • Bears on Trump NFL comments: "This divisive political situation has unified our franchise for the present and the future"

The Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers both responded to President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about the National Football League before their game at Soldier Field Sunday. The Steelers, with the exception of one player, remained in the locker room during the national anthem, and most of the Bears locked arms in a show of unity. There's been an uproar since Friday, when Trump said that NFL team owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who knelt during the national anthem. “The Chicago Bears are proud to support our players, coaches and all members of our organization to bring peace and unity together through football,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said. “What makes this the greatest country in the world are the liberties it was founded upon and the freedom to express oneself in a respectful and peaceful manner. Through important dialogue with our players and team, this divisive political situation has unified our franchise for the present and the future.” [Tribune]

  • Alderman Lopez calls CPD gang database "deeply flawed," calls for overhaul

Alderman Ray Lopez is calling for an overhaul of the Chicago Police Department’s “deeply flawed” gang database, which includes more than 398,000 residents. Lopez has suggested that Chicagoans on the list should be allowed to challenge it. "The current system is overly cumbersome and does not help individuals who may have no idea they are on the list," Lopez said. "Just like the [Transportation Safety Administration's] ‘No Fly’ list, this deeply flawed system exposes us to unnecessary legal liability and accusations of violations of Chicagoans’ civil liberties. We must act quickly to address these concerns." [DNAinfo Chicago]

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Susana Mendoza might have just won her next election

Posted By on 09.22.17 at 02:29 PM

The state comptroller is no one's "mini-me." - SETH PERLMAN/AP
  • Seth Perlman/AP
  • The state comptroller is no one's "mini-me."

Chicago
magazine political writer Carol Felsenthal interviewed Susana Mendoza in 2011 and came away "convinced"—as she would later write—that Mendoza "saw herself moving up from [city] clerk to mayor." She's since moved on to state comptroller, but that's another stepping-stone position.

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Shen Wei Dance Arts makes an otherworldly Chicago debut

Posted By on 09.22.17 at 02:15 PM

Shen Wei Dance Arts in Rite of Spring, one of two works on this weekend's program at the Auditorium Theatre - STEPHANIE BERGER
  • Stephanie Berger
  • Shen Wei Dance Arts in Rite of Spring, one of two works on this weekend's program at the Auditorium Theatre

"I am interested in not just creating dance, but an art experience," says Shen Wei. The Chinese-born American choreographer and visual artist is one of the world's foremost names in modern dance, and this weekend he brings his company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, to Chicago for the first time for two performances at the Auditorium Theatre.

The program consists of two pieces, Rite of Spring and Folding, that showcase his inventive movement and bold, abstract design sensibility. Though set to Stravinsky's famous score for Le Sacre du Printemps (specifically, the composer's arrangement for four-hand piano), the first work drops the ballet's narrative in favor of more formal exploration. "My Rite of Spring is an expression of the feelings of the music and how it relates to movement," Shen says. "It is very visceral. Folding is completely different, it is more dreamlike, perhaps even spiritual."

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
September 24
Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20

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