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

Monday, November 6, 2017

LCD Soundsystem and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 02:23 PM

James Murphy (no not Steve Bannon) leads LCD Soundsystem to three shows at the Aragon Ballroom this week. - RUVAN WIJESOORIYA
  • James Murphy (no not Steve Bannon) leads LCD Soundsystem to three shows at the Aragon Ballroom this week.

The chill of November is here, but there's plenty to do this week; here's some of what we recommend:

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A pole show puts a new spin on politics

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 01:41 PM

Poleitico: A Pole Show on Politics - COURTESY POLARIS DANCE THEATRE
  • Courtesy Polaris Dance Theatre
  • Poleitico: A Pole Show on Politics

Political commentary and pole dancing may sound like a preposterous pairing, but new troupe Polaris Dance Theatre wants to prove that the form can be topical as well as titillating. Its first production, Poleitico: A Pole Show on Politics, addresses pressing issues from climate change to Black Lives Matter, and deliberately debuts on the first anniversary of Donald Trump's election.

After training herself in pole dancing over the last two years, Kelly Smith created Polaris to explore the creative opportunities posed by an apparatus that elevates dancers and allows them to contort their bodies in novel ways. "It's kind of scary sometimes," she says. "You can create different shapes upside down, in the air. And then when you hold those shapes, when you spin around or do a certain combo, it's basically like vertical gymnastics. It adds this entirely different element of strength and grace. It's almost like you're flying half the time."

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Masturbation epidemic in Cook County court lockups raises questions about jail conditions, county budget, defendants' rights

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 12:11 PM

  • AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In an October 31 letter directed to felony trial attorneys, a supervisor in Cook County public defender Amy Campanelli's office forbade staff from entering courtroom lockup areas at the criminal court building at 26th and California "until further notice." The reason? Public defenders are being sexually harassed and even assaulted while visiting their clients in lockups. One of the most common forms of assault cited is defendants masturbating in front of female public defenders.

"The Public Defender has been extremely concerned about the security of our personnel," wrote supervising attorney Marc Stahl. "Assistant Public Defenders have been spat on, grabbed, and even physically attacked by inmates. In addition, our female attorneys have been subjected to repeated acts of public indecency." The public defender's office pointed the finger at the sheriff's office, saying the incidents have multiplied since deputies were removed from security duty in lockup areas. 

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Stephen Cone’s Princess Cyd is a masterful study of friendship, sex, and psychology

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 11:29 AM

Princess Cyd
  • Princess Cyd

Of all the crystalline moments I cherish in Princess Cyd, which is playing this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center, one particular shot stands out: Miranda Ruth (Rebecca Spence), a novelist in her 50s, is walking out to sunbathe in her backyard, wearing a purple swimsuit she hadn't remembered owning for years; by her side is her 17-year-old niece, Cydney (Jessie Pinnick), who's staying with her for a couple weeks. Writer-director Stephen Cone presents their walk in slow-motion and accompanies it with a burst of bright classical music. While these devices are inherently cinematic, their combined effect feels more novelistic in nature. One is made aware of how the characters are internalizing the moment, with Miranda recapturing a forgotten memory and Cydney (or Cyd, as everyone calls her) creating a new, lasting one, sunbathing on this lawn at this house on the north side of Chicago for the second time.

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Joe Ricketts, DNAinfo, and the fearsomeness of labor

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 11:23 AM

  • Via
  • Joe Ricketts

When Joe Ricketts suddenly shut down the DNAinfo and Gothamist network of local news sites on November 2, two reporters I know lost their jobs. Ted Cox, who covered City Hall for DNAinfo, had contributed sports essays to the Reader for years; his gifts were no secret to me or longtime readers. But Alisa Hauser didn't work in editorial for this paper; she was a display ad sales representative. When she joined DNAinfo at its inception, covering Bucktown and Wicker Park, her talent and energy as a reporter were a revelation.

But it's another revelation of which I write. I'm amazed at Ricketts. The Nebraska billionaire who founded TD Ameritrade, Ricketts launched DNAinfo in New York in 2009 to cover hyperlocal news there, and brought the operation to Chicago in 2012. He consistently lost money, but he underwrote first-rate journalism in both cities, and although he's by no means apolitical, he let his staff do its work unimpeded by his politics. 

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Kanye West returns to Chicago, makes first live appearance in nearly a year, and other news

Posted By on 11.06.17 at 09:20 AM

Kanye West appears at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2016 - PHOTO BY CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP, FILE
  • Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
  • Kanye West appears at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2016

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, November 6, 2017. 

  • Kanye West returns to Chicago, makes first live appearance in nearly a year

Kanye West made his first live appearance in nearly a year at the Aragon Ballroom Saturday night. Fellow rapper Kid Cudi brought West out onstage during his concert and the duo performed Father Stretch My Hands, Pt 1, from West's critically acclaimed 2016 album The Life of Pablo. The Chicago native has also been spotted at a south-side Harold's Chicken Shack. [Pitchfork] [Tribune]

  • Chicago Police Department discredit rumors of increased terrorism risk

The Chicago Police Department discredited social media rumors of a heightened terror threat against Chicago over the weekend. "Earlier this evening we became aware of messages being shared on social media and by text speculating about a rumored terrorist threat," the director of the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Alicia Tate-Nadeau, said in a statement Friday night. "I have personally spoken with our federal law enforcement partners tonight and there remain no credible threats to Chicago or to any event in our city." [Sun-Times]

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