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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Meet Kidd Kenn, Chicago’s hottest openly gay 15-year-old rapper

Posted By on 08.07.18 at 06:00 AM

"It's a faggot party baby, you cannot get in." - MATT HARVEY
  • Matt Harvey
  • "It's a faggot party baby, you cannot get in."

When 15-year-old Dontrell showed up at the Reader's offices for an interview, he was fresh off a delayed return flight after his first trip to New York. He's better known as Kidd Kenn, Chicago's most popular openly gay male rapper, and he was exhausted—his whirlwind trip east had included a meeting with Def Jam and a music-video shoot. 

"We were there for one day," said his manager and family friend, Sharron Beverly of Family First Music Group. (She asked that we not use Kidd's real last name.) "We had the meeting with Def Jam, and then we had to shoot a video for Kidd's new song."

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Lollapalooza 2018 in photos

Posted By on 08.06.18 at 05:56 PM

Here's a look back of four days of Lollapalooza in Grant Park, August 2-5,  2018, through the lens of photographer Alison Green.

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Nikka Costa at City Winery and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 08.06.18 at 12:28 AM

Nikki Costa - MATTHEW WELCH
  • Matthew Welch
  • Nikki Costa

There are plenty of shows, films, and concerts happening this week. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Taylor Bennett at Lollapalooza and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 08.02.18 at 09:09 AM

Taylor Bennett at Navy Pier - THOUGHTPOET
  • ThoughtPoet
  • Taylor Bennett at Navy Pier

There are plenty of shows, films, and concerts happening this week. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Unsafe sex on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 08.01.18 at 06:00 AM

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ARTIST: Josh Davis
SHOW: Unsane, Child Bite, Rash, and Bruges at the Empty Bottle on Sat 7/14
MORE INFO: deadmeatdesign.com

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Chicago soul man Marvin Smith hit big with the Artistics, but couldn’t break out on his own

Posted By on 08.01.18 at 06:00 AM


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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Monday, July 30, 2018

The film Eighth Grade and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 07.30.18 at 06:00 AM

Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade
  • Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade

There are plenty of shows, films, and concerts happening this week. Here's some of what we recommend:

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Neckbeard Deathcamp go viral with a black-metal takedown of neo-Nazis

Posted By on 07.26.18 at 04:46 PM

The cover of White Nationalism Is for Basement Dwelling Losers - COURTESY OF NECKBEARD DEATHCAMP
  • Courtesy of Neckbeard Deathcamp
  • The cover of White Nationalism Is for Basement Dwelling Losers

On Saturday, July 21, a trio of anonymous musicians operating under the name Neckbeard Deathcamp self-released an album of raw black metal called White Nationalism Is for Basement Dwelling Losers. The band's artwork mockingly co-opts white supremacist symbols, including the death's head made infamous by the SS (recast as a portrait of Rick Ross) and the Nazi eagle (with a penis for a head and a Pepe cartoon instead of a swastika in its talons). The song titles further clarify the album's targets: "Incel Warfare," "Please Respond (I Showed You My Penis)," "The Fetishization ov Asian Women Despite a Demand for a Pure White Race (Outro)."

Black metal has long had a problem with toxic ideologies: its love of paganism can easily provide cover for neo-Nazism, and its nihilism can be a pose to camouflage white supremacy and misogyny. These days the Internet is a thriving nursery for this kind of right-wing extremism, and Neckbeard Deathcamp take aim at a wide swath of it: 4chan edgelords with Pepe avatars, smug Proud Boys, redpilled incels, fake-ironic Kekistani white nationalists, and more. The band's imagery and lyrics are so extreme that sometimes they seem like a joke, but at least they're a joke at the expense of people who ought to be mocked.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Chicago postpunks Negative Scanner don’t have to stay DIY anymore—they just like it too much to stop

Posted By on 07.25.18 at 06:30 PM

Negative Scanner: Tom Cassling, Nick Beaudoin, Rebecca Valeriano-Flores, and Matt Revers - VITA PHOTO
  • Vita Photo
  • Negative Scanner: Tom Cassling, Nick Beaudoin, Rebecca Valeriano-Flores, and Matt Revers

I feel fortunate to have retained any memory at all of seeing Negative Scanner guitarist and singer Rebecca Valeriano-Flores fronting her first band, Tyler Jon Tyler, at the Empty Bottle ten years ago. I'm foggy on the details—I doubt I could even tell you who else was on the bill that evening—but I absolutely remember coming to the conclusion Valeriano-Flores was a force to be reckoned with. Her bellowing voice wasn't just a hair-raising surprise coming out of someone so small, it also flat-out commanded your attention. I was sure that wouldn't be the last time I'd see her own a stage, whether in a club or a basement.

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Staring into the void on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 07.25.18 at 06:00 AM

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ARTIST: Carrie Vinarsky
SHOW: Matchess and Ulla Straus at the International Museum of Surgical Science on Fri 7/27
MORE INFO: carrievinarsky.com

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