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Friday, October 27, 2017

What's in Chicago’s new Public Art Plan?

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 12:06 PM

  • Mobius / Wikimedia Commons

The city introduced its first ever public art plan this week, in
conjunction with a two-day symposium at the Cultural Center, and as part of the Year of Public Art.

Developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the plan is an ambitious, aspirational document that, according to DCASE commissioner Mark Kelly (speaking at the symposium), is intended to make public art "a defining characteristic of Chicago."

An outgrowth of the 2012 cultural plan, the Public Art Plan lays out seven broad goals, each accompanied by (here's where it can get dicey) a list of recommendations.  Among those likely to stir discussion are suggestions that the city:

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Chicago has a real shot at hosting World Cup games in 2026, and other news

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 06:00 AM

Germany's Miroslav Klose poses with the World Cup trophy and his sons in 2014 - AP PHOTO/NATACHA PISARENKO,FILE
  • AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko,file
  • Germany's Miroslav Klose poses with the World Cup trophy and his sons in 2014

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, October 27, 2017. Have a great weekend!

  • Chicago has a real shot at hosting World Cup games in 2026

Chicago's bid to host the 2026 World Cup "looks strong," according to the Sun-Times, even though Soldier Field is one of the smaller stadiums in competition. The United Bid Committee is working to bring the World Cup to North America that year, and 25 U.S. cities, including Chicago, are vying to host the games. One of Chicago's biggest strengths is its diversity and its residents strong ties to their ethnicity. "Whoever comes and plays here, they're going to have a built-in fan base," Kara Bachman, the executive director of the Chicago Sports Commission, said. "Whatever country's here, they're going to be welcomed by ex-pats and the neighborhoods and really the whole city." [Sun-Times]

  • Illinois house fails to pass ban on semiautomatic rifle bump stocks

The Illinois house rejected a ban on controversial bump stocks and other devices that allow guns to fire more rapidly Thursday after "opponents on both sides of the aisle contended the measure was too broad and would turn legal gun owners into criminals," according to the Tribune. Bump stocks have been in the spotlight since the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 people dead and more than 500 others injured October 1. But opponents argued that the bill—which would have banned any modification that accelerates the rate of fire—was overly broad. "I don't view this as a bump stock ban, I view this as a ban on 40 to 50 percent of the guns in the state," Democratic state representative Jerry Costello, whose district includes the World Shooting Recreational Complex, said. [Tribune]

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Toastamania: Halloween Havok collides rowdy bands and gonzo wrestling for the wildest show of the season

Posted By on 10.26.17 at 05:51 PM

Some of the folks you'll see at this weekend's Toastamania, including members of Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre, Death of Self, and XEUTHANIZEDX - PHOTOS BY LEAP PHOTOGRAPHY AND GLEGOZ PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photos by Leap Photography and Glegoz Photography
  • Some of the folks you'll see at this weekend's Toastamania, including members of Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre, Death of Self, and XEUTHANIZEDX

For three years, Chicago thrash band Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre have been booking DIY shows that combine sets from up-and-coming local metal, hardcore, and punk bands with body-slamming, table-trashing brawls. On Saturday, October 28, at a Pilsen DIY venue whose name I can't share here ("Ask a punk," as they say), TTCM present the 11th installment in their Toastamania series, named in tribute to the WrestleMania ladder matches that helped inspire it. Sometimes they actually do use a ladder, but they're just as likely to whomp one another with foil steam-table pans, bust up hollow-core doors, or dive through folding tables. Somebody in TTCM might wear the championship belt, basically daring a challenger to remove it somehow, but sometimes the band will just throw it into the crowd and set off a free-for-all.

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The Mothman cometh? My friend thinks he may have encountered Chicago’s new monster

Posted By on 10.26.17 at 03:18 PM

  • Illustration by Ryan Smith

"So . . . I think I may have seen that flying thing or whatever," Jeff said sheepishly before taking an extra-long drag from his cigarette.

This was last month. We'd been drinking beers and lounging on the rooftop of his Fulton Market District loft when he revealed that he'd personally witnessed some kind of giant owl/man-bat/flying humanoid thing soaring in the August night sky. You know, the Chicago Mothman.

"Huh," I replied.

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The Illinois house failed to override Rauner's veto of ‘right-to-work’ zone ban by one vote, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 10.26.17 at 06:12 AM

Lawmakers on the house floor of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield - AP PHOTO/SETH PERLMAN FILE
  • AP Photo/Seth Perlman File
  • Lawmakers on the house floor of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

  • The Illinois house failed to override Rauner's veto of "right-to-work" zone ban

On Wednesday the Illinois house "failed by just one vote to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a bill that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting 'right-to-work' zones to get around unions—one of the governor's cornerstone issues," according to the Sun-Times. In order to override Rauner's veto, the house needed 71 votes but fell short by one, voting 70-42, a victory for the embattled governor. [Sun-Times]

  • Women want to open a dialogue about sexual harassment in the Illinois State Capitol

More than 150 women in the Illinois State Capitol, from lobbyists to lawmakers, have signed a letter detailing the sexual harassment they've experienced in Springfield political circles. The goal of the letter is start an open dialogue about the subject and help assure women it's OK to come forward. "The issue is this survives in silence. And there are a number of people who are tired of being silenced," said state senator Toi Hutchinson, who signed the letter. "Anytime you're talking about changing the culture around something it starts with robust conversation." [Sun-Times]

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cooking with a hard-to-find Peruvian pepper

Posted By on 10.25.17 at 06:48 PM

Aji amarillo is a South American pepper that's essential to Peruvian cuisine; though the name translates to "yellow pepper," fully mature peppers are a deep orange. Joshua Marrelli, chef at Bakersfield Wood-Fired Grill in Westmont, who was challenged to create a dish with aji amarillo by Bill Walker of the Kennison, describes it as "not super spicy . . . more of a mild, fruity pepper." Compared to hotter peppers like the jalapeño or Fresno, he says, the flavors are more complex.

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Happy Death Day isn’t just a horror movie, it’s a kids’ movie

Posted By on 10.25.17 at 05:52 PM

Happy Death Day
  • Happy Death Day
I consider Happy Death Day to be a lesser Blumhouse production, but the teens and preadolescents at the screening I attended last weekend seemed to love it. I can understand why—for an audience that doesn't remember Groundhog Day, the premise, which finds a college student reliving the same day over and over (and getting killed at the end of it), might seem inventive. Moreover, the film offers a vision of early adulthood that could seem appealing to kids, presenting college as a time for socializing, dating, and self-discovery. None of the characters are particularly complex, but at least one of them learns to be a better person during the course of the picture, which makes Happy Death Day surprisingly optimistic for a slasher comedy. The violence isn't even scary, since the audience knows the heroine will reawaken after she gets stabbed to death. Yet in removing a sense of consequence from violence, the movie crafts an interesting metaphor for early adulthood as a time when you can fail repeatedly at life until you get it right.

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There's a psychedelic portal on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 10.25.17 at 07:00 AM


ARTIST: Andy Burkholder
SHOW: Pedestrian Deposit, Hide, and No Dreams at Hideout on Wed 11/8

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Rauner showcases new biker persona in online campaign video, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 10.25.17 at 06:00 AM

Governor Bruce Rauner rides his hog. - SCREEN GRAB FROM CAMPAIGN VIDEO
  • Screen grab from campaign video
  • Governor Bruce Rauner rides his hog.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

  • Rauner showcases new biker persona in online campaign video

Governor Bruce Rauner is launching a new biker persona for his reelection bid. To officially announce his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, Rauner posted a video of himself riding a 2008 Ultra Classic Harley Davidson around the state, according to the Sun-Times. Rauner also enlisted a fellow Harley rider, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, for another new campaign ad attacking Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan. [Sun-Times] [Tribune]

  • Report: More than 160 former, banned CPS staffers working for charter, contract schools

More than 160 former Chicago Public Schools employees "caught abusing students or stealing from the school district later landed jobs in the city's privately managed charter and contract schools, the schools inspector general has found," according to the Sun-Times. Three of the 163 barred employees were accused of sexual abuse by students and consequently given "Do Not Hire" status by the district. [Sun-Times]

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah cut Chicago's favorite song about LSD in 1971

Posted By on 10.24.17 at 06:15 PM

Since 2004 Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) has used the Secret History of Chicago Music to shine a light on worthy artists with Chicago ties who've been forgotten, underrated, or never noticed in the first place. Older strips are archived here.

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