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This Will Kill You

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hardcore throwdown the Rumble returns after five years, picking up the change where it left off

Posted By on 04.25.18 at 05:58 PM

Long Island band Incendiary, pictured here at a March show booked by Dutch festival Northcote, are one of the main attractions on the Rumble’s Saturday bill. - VIA DAVIDSE/FLICKR
  • Via Davidse/Flickr
  • Long Island band Incendiary, pictured here at a March show booked by Dutch festival Northcote, are one of the main attractions on the Rumble’s Saturday bill.

When I suggest to Shane Merrill that the hardcore festival he founded might have some similarities with This Is Hardcore—the enormous three-day spectacular in Philadelphia booked by "Joe Hardcore" McKay—he gives me a wry laugh. The head honcho of Empire Productions, who started the Rumble in 2010, came up in the potent late-90s Chicago hardcore scene, and he's founded several bands over the years, including the Killer (in 2001) and most recently Young & Dead (in 2013). But despite his long history in the community, he knows that This Is Hardcore is doing something above and beyond what he hopes to accomplish this weekend, when he brings the Rumble back for two days at Cobra Lounge.

"I don't have aspirations to ever do it on the scale that Joe does. It takes six months out of his year," Merrill says. "Still, he's done such a good job at educating young kids. One King Down is headlining a day this year—which is amazing to me. There will be these new kids unfamiliar with that band, but by the time they play that show it's going to be off the chain."

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Friday, March 2, 2018

The Utah House’s rap parody is just as bad as the time Mike Madigan ‘rapped’ in a Republican attack ad

Posted By on 03.02.18 at 06:12 PM


The reviews are in for the Utah House of Representatives' educational rap video, which parodies the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, and they're not great.

"Send help," said the Washington Post. Stephen Colbert deemed it "the worst rap ever."

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Assault weapons used to be illegal. What happened?

Posted By on 02.15.18 at 04:30 PM

In Canada, the only assault rifles are on t-shirts. - MRDEVLAR VIA FLICKR
  • MrDevlar via Flickr
  • In Canada, the only assault rifles are on t-shirts.

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect charged in yesterday’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead, was reportedly armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a category of weapon that should be—and once was—banned in the United States.

In 2016, after a similar rifle was used in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, we took a quick look at what had happened to the ban.  All of the NRA-endorsed congressional representatives named in the resulting post are still in office:

The United States once had a ban on the kind of semiautomatic rifle that was used in the Orlando massacre. The assault weapons ban was instituted in 1994, with a ten-year life span, and—thanks to the efforts of the National Rifle Association and the (mostly Republican) politicians in its pocket—was allowed to expire in 2004.

In April 2013, California senator Diane Feinstein introduced a proposal that would have brought back a national assault weapon ban. It was defeated by a vote of 60 to 40 that saw 15 Democrats joining with Republicans to squelch it. Both Illinois senators—Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk—voted in favor of the ban.

Notably, Kirk was the only Republican to support it.

As recently as December 2015, Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline introduced an assault weapons ban (HR 4269) that was cosponsored by Illinois representatives Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Mike Quigley, and Jan Schakowsky. It was referred to a committee, and no further action was taken.

The National Rifle Association has in the past given A ratings for their exemplary support of "gun rights" to the following members of Congress from Illinois: Mike Bost, Rodney L. Davis, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Darrin LaHood, Peter Roskam, and John Shimkus, all Republicans.

As it happens, the NRA also gave Florida governor Rick Scott an A+.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Local powerviolence trio Stay Asleep drop the first single from their long-anticipated debut album

Posted By on 02.12.18 at 01:06 PM

Stay Asleep: Kiel Arneson, Dave Collis, and Nick Wakim - HILARY CORTS
  • Hilary Corts
  • Stay Asleep: Kiel Arneson, Dave Collis, and Nick Wakim

When you think of Slow Mass, CSTVT, My Dad, and Noumenon—assuming you know they're some of the best local bands to play emo and mathy indie rock in the past five or ten years—the last things that come to mind are blastbeats, breakneck hardcore, and explosive sludge. But on the brand-new Mourner by Chicago trio Stay Asleep—whose members have played or still play in all four of those bands—you get all that and more. Founded in late 2013, the trio of drummer Dave Collis, bassist-vocalist Nick Wakim, and guitarist Kiel Arneson wanted from day one to step away from their other groups' introspective approach and return to the heavier sounds of their youth. "Even though each of us have previously played in projects very different from Stay Asleep," says Collis, "heavy music and hardcore have always been genres of music that we listen to and love." The result of that return is Mourner, a gloriously chaotic collision of unhinged powerviolence and metallic hardcore.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Jesus Lizard live and in color

Posted By on 12.11.17 at 12:33 PM

Is your microphone cord tough enough for David Yow? - BOBBY TALAMINE
  • Bobby Talamine
  • Is your microphone cord tough enough for David Yow?

If you have Jesus Lizard fans in your social-media feeds, you've probably seen lots of cell-phone photos and videos from Saturday's concert at Metro. I even posted a couple myself. But would you care for some professional photos? Actually in focus and everything? How fortunate for you, then, that Bobby Talamine shot the show for the Reader.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Deep-fried Twinkies don't belong in your grocer's freezer aisle

Posted By on 08.17.16 at 06:36 PM

Deep-fried Twinkie - T.J. SALSMAN/AP
  • T.J. Salsman/AP
  • Deep-fried Twinkie

I journeyed to Springfield for the Illinois State Fair last weekend on a quest to eat the holy grail of decadent fair foods: the deep-fried Twinkie. Hostess's recent decision to launch a supermarket version of the treat usually only found at fairgrounds felt like a minor act of blasphemy, and I sought redemption for the snack cake's spongy soul. 

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

‘Racism doesn’t taste very good’ and other reactions to Lay’s new international potato chip flavors

Posted By on 07.28.16 at 01:43 PM

This year's new Lay's flavors, all laid out for the taste test - DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS
  • Danielle A. Scruggs
  • This year's new Lay's flavors, all laid out for the taste test

It is once again that wonderful time of year, eagerly awaited by Reader staff, when Lay's releases its experimental potato chip flavors. In past years, Lay's entrusted the conception of its new flavors to the masses and, last year at least, in a beautiful and touching gesture, even gave them credit on the bags. This year, though, it's back to dreaming up flavors in-house. I guess that's not really such a bad thing; based on our taste test, last year's American regional-based flavors were not very good. (Though it's completely understandable why they didn't give anybody credit for the cappuccino chips of 2014. The shame would be everlasting.) 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

These Illinois elected officials tried to ban assault rifles like the one used by Omar Mateen

Posted By on 06.14.16 at 02:41 PM

Omar Mateen used an AR-15 that he purchased legally when he killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub over the weekend. - AP PHOTO/RICH PEDRONCELLI, FILE
  • AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file
  • Omar Mateen used an AR-15 that he purchased legally when he killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub over the weekend.
The United States once had a ban on the kind of semiautomatic rifle that was used in the Orlando massacre. The assault weapons ban was instituted in 1994, with a ten-year life span, and—thanks to the efforts of the National Rifle Association and the (mostly Republican) politicians in its pocket—was allowed to expire in 2004.

In April 2013, California senator Diane Feinstein introduced a proposal that would have brought back a national assault weapon ban. It was defeated by a vote of 60 to 40 that saw 15 Democrats joining with Republicans to squelch it. Both Illinois senators—Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk—voted in favor of the ban. 

Notably, Kirk was the only Republican to support it. 

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Friday, February 26, 2016

In a month full of horror movies, the minimalist The Witch stands out

Posted By on 02.26.16 at 03:00 PM

The Witch
  • The Witch

Hollywood's annual release calendar is divided roughly into thirds: the summer-action season (which actually starts in the spring); awards season, which begins in earnest in September; and the rest of the year, the postholiday winter months when some scrappy genre movies get to fight for screen time against prestige, Oscar-buzz holdovers. We're currently in the third period, and during the past month a number of horror movies have made it to local theaters. Three of the releases are notable: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Screen Gems release that tanked at the box office; Southbound, a low-budget anthology (or omnibus) film from the Orchard, a burgeoning indie distributor that specializes in youth-oriented fare; and The Witch, which premiered at Sundance last year, won filmmaker Robert Eggers the best director prize, and was quickly snapped up by tastemaking distributor A24. In terms of quality and ambition, they range from inept to impressive, and only The Witch has anything resembling a new approach to the genre.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Behold the mother of all cheese cakes

Posted By on 09.24.15 at 01:30 PM

The cake, Great American Cheese Collection - MIKE SULA
  • Mike Sula
  • The cake, Great American Cheese Collection

Cheese-wheel wedding cakes have been a thing for at least a few years, but for me they've always existed in some photo-filtered Pinterest fairyland. So I was adrenalized when my friends Tim and Pat asked me to help put one together for their nuptials. It couldn't have been easier. The first person I thought of was cheese whiz Giles Schnierle of the Great American Cheese Collection, the 13-year-old wholesale distributor that focuses on small American producers. Schnierle, armed with just a broad outline of the couple's tastes, budget, and number of guests, invited Pat and me to his current HQ, a rented warehouse on the second floor of the Plant, where his massive 3,000-square-foot cooler houses around 300 different cheeses from more than 60 producers. There are 30 cheddars alone, ranging from one to ten years old

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