Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Chicago deposits $20 million into the city's last black-owned bank, and other news

Posted By today at 06.00 AM

City treasurer Kurt Summers - KEVIN TANAKA/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun-Times
  • City treasurer Kurt Summers

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

  • Chicago deposits $20 million into the city's last black-owned bank

The city of Chicago is depositing $20 million into Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan Association, the city's last black-owned bank. There are only a few dozen left in the U.S., and #BlackBank, a grassroots campaign, is encouraging people to deposit their money in them. "If we're going to be serious about supporting those communities and supporting community banks and what they do for small businesses, we have to look for opportunities like this," city treasurer Kurt Summers, who was behind the move, said in an interview with Bloomberg. [Bloomberg]

  • City evicts the homeless from Wilson Avenue viaduct

On Monday city crews cleared out what remained of a homeless encampment under the Wilson Avenue viaduct, then ousted those who had moved their tents to a parkway west of the bridge. City officials say they have been working to find alternative housing for those displaced, but "many . . . say they don't want the sheltered offered," the Tribune reports. [Tribune]

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Monday, September 18, 2017

‘The Serenity of Madness’ showcases the brilliance and wonder of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s art

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 04:47 PM

Sakda (Rousseau) (2012)
  • Sakda (Rousseau) (2012)
"Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness," an exhibition currently on display at the School of the Art Institute's Sullivan Galleries, is not only a beautiful collection of video installations and still images, but provides new insight into the career of one of the most important filmmakers working today. The content of "Serenity" might be described as the interstices of Weerasethakul's filmmaking career, with video diaries, short films, and photographs that meditate on themes and images elaborated on in the Thai director's features. Meditate is the operative word—like Weerasethakul's movies, "Serenity" offers a calm, immersive space where one can contemplate notions of spirituality, romance, war, and death. The exhibit covers 22 years of output and more than three hours of audiovisual material, yet "Serenity" doesn't feel overwhelming, thanks to the cool reflection the works engender.

In conjunction with "Serenity," Weerasethakul will deliver a lecture tomorrow night at 6 PM at SAIC's Rubloff Auditorium, and next month the Gene Siskel Film Center will revive four of the director's features (all of them worth seeing or revisiting): Tropical Malady (2004), Syndromes and a Century (2006), Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), and Cemetery of Splendor (2015).

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Tim Kinsella and Cap'n Jazz harnessed the raw power of their 90s selves at Riot Fest

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 03:41 PM

Cap'n Jazz's Tim Kinsella - ALISON GREEN
  • Alison Green
  • Cap'n Jazz's Tim Kinsella

Near the end of Cap'n Jazz's riotous Riot Fest performance, frontman Tim Kinsella snuck a glance at the massive video board above the stage to glimpse a supersized black-and-white version of himself. Covered in sweat, his shirt half ripped off, he was holding a tambourine aloft in one hand and a microphone in the other while crowd surfing. "I need to find a real job," he cracked. Then he offered a dismissive rebuttal: "Pfft."

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Jawbreaker seemed to enjoy their Riot Fest reunion as much as their fans

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 01:37 PM

Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker - ALISON GREEN
  • Alison Green
  • Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker

On the final night of the festival we did gather by the many thousands, on a browning glade ringed by porta-potties, funnel-cake kiosks, and a half-filled Ferris wheel. In the hard darkness that descended from the September gloaming we came to face the last lit stage—twinkle daddies, torch carriers for the pop-punk of yore, and hither and yon the bearers of fading Morton Salt girl and Chesterfield King tattoos. (I suppose a few of us had simply been driven to madness by the wheedlingly saccharine sounds of Paramore or beaten half to a pulp by the food-court rock/rap of supergroup Prophets of Rage.) We had come for Jawbreaker's first performance in 22 years (apart from two small California warmup gigs this summer), and thus to see the past unveiled.

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An art exhibit on vanning culture at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 12:48 PM

Turn your headlights toward Chicago's vanning culture at Ass Grass or Gas on Wednesday 9/21. - TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID
  • Tiger Strikes Asteroid
  • Turn your headlights toward Chicago's vanning culture at Ass Grass or Gas on Wednesday 9/21.

The sun is setting earlier each day and festival season is drawing to a close. But that doesn't mean this week isn't packed with a slew of great events. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Electronic acts Black Hat and World War make beats for the space between your ears

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 12:18 PM

Black Hat (aka Nelson Bean) and World War (aka Davey Harms) - PHOTOS COURTESY OF HAUSU MOUNTAIN
  • Photos courtesy of Hausu Mountain
  • Black Hat (aka Nelson Bean) and World War (aka Davey Harms)

"I don't need to disparage most electronic music, but in a lot of it, people begin by putting a kick drum on every single beat," Nelson Bean says. "I can't do that. I try and make it a little bit slinkier."

Bean, aka Black Hat, has a new release coming out next week on tireless Chicago indie-experimental label Hausu Mountain. So does Davey Harms, using the new alias World War (he's also recorded under his own name and as Mincemeat or Tenspeed). Both artists make electronic beat music, a genre usually associated with techno. But neither Bean's Impossible World nor Harms's Soundsystem is designed for dancing.

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Judge blocks Trump administration threats to defund sanctuary cities, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 09.18.17 at 08:45 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions - AP ANDREW HARNIK FILE
  • AP Andrew Harnik File
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, September 18, 2017.

  • Judge blocks Trump administration threats to defund sanctuary cities

The city of Chicago won a major legal victory over the Trump administration Friday, when a federal judge blocked new rules requiring so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to qualify for Department of Justice public safety grants. District court judge Harry Leinenweber held that Chicago was likely to succeed in its arguments that Attorney General Jeff Sessions exceeded his authority by imposing the rules, and that the city could suffer "irreparable harm" if forced to comply with them. "I want to be clear, this is not just a victory for the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a news conference announcing the ruling. "It is a win for cities, counties and states across the country who also filed amicus briefs on behalf of our lawsuit, and also the business leaders who also stepped forward on our lawsuit." [Tribune]

  • Kwame Raoul, Gery Chico interested in replacing Lisa Madigan

Four-term Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan has announced that she won't be running for reelection in 2018, leaving the field wide open for Democrats hoping to replace her. Within hours after Madigan's announcement, state senator Kwame Raoul, former State Board of Education chairman and 2011 mayoral candidate Gery Chico, Chicago Park District president Jesse Ruiz, and McHenry County Board chairman Jack Franks had expressed interest in the job. [Sun-Times]

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Peaches brings her transgressive punk spirit and raunchy gender revolt to Riot Fest

Posted By on 09.17.17 at 01:46 PM

A moment of silence please for the Muppet that gave its life to make Peaches' suit. - ALISON GREEN
  • Alison Green
  • A moment of silence please for the Muppet that gave its life to make Peaches' suit.

Thick, scuzzy beats and dancers dressed as giant vaginas lured Saturday-afternoon festivalgoers to Riot Fest's Riot Stage, where electro-punk artist Peaches commanded the growing crowd. In the space of her first three songs—"Rub," "Vaginoplasty," and "Sick in the Head," all from the 2015 album Rub—she'd already gone through her first costume change and plunged into the audience. She shed an oversize furry costume, half Muppet and half abominable snowman, to reveal an anatomically detailed bodysuit the color of her skin, and she climbed over the security barrier to walk atop her fans, standing on their hands while letting out a ferocious, primal scream.

(Heads-up that some of the photos below may not be appropriate for family functions or Sunday school classes.)

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa forgot to bring his punk punch to Riot Fest

Posted By on 09.16.17 at 12:19 PM

Vic Mensa at Riot Fest - ALISON GREEN
  • Alison Green
  • Vic Mensa at Riot Fest

Vic Mensa
has an affinity for punk. You can hear it in the ferocious tone he brings to his songs when his target is a lethal racist cop or anyone else who deserves his righteous rage—and his clothes flat-out scream it. Maybe you remember him wearing a Bad Brains T-shirt at Pitchfork a couple years ago? If not, you can find plenty of other examples in his Instagram feed—right at the top he's posted a shot of an LA gig where he's got on a Dead Kennedys shirt. Lately he's been wearing a leather jacket dotted with studs and patches, including one for anarcho-punk heroes Crass. The jacket was made by 93 Punks, a clothing line with some connection to Mensa—he's been pushing it hard on social media.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Tyshawn Sorey’s compositional imagination blossoms on his new trio album Verisimilitude

Posted By on 09.15.17 at 01:41 PM

Tyshawn Sorey - JOHN ROGERS
  • John Rogers
  • Tyshawn Sorey

Few configurations have produced music more starkly beautiful and quietly ruminative in recent years than Tyshawn Sorey's trio with pianist Cory Smythe and bassist Chris Tordini. Last month the group released its third album, Verisimilitude (Pi), and while superficially less grandiose than last year's ravishing The Inner Spectrum of Variables, which added three string players to the fold, without reservation I would say it's the trio's greatest accomplishment. Two of the pieces were commissions premiered at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, so it's not surprising that the aptly titled opening track "Cascade in Slow Motion" features Sorey's elegant drumming, a dramatic, subtly surging presence that both lifts the simple, meditative figures elaborated by Smythe and offers a rich focal point on its own, mirroring the same sort tumble of sound voiced on piano.

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg Museum of Contemporary Art
June 06
Galleries & Museums
The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery Water Tower Place
June 16

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