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Monday, July 11, 2016

Exxxotica Chicago, the ‘comic con of porn,’ is secretly more conservative than a Trump rally

Posted By on 07.11.16 at 06:48 PM

Many of the dancers at Exxxotica were dressed up as comic-book or anime characters. - SUNSHINE TUCKER
  • Sunshine Tucker
  • Many of the dancers at Exxxotica were dressed up as comic-book or anime characters.

A slender woman in a leather catsuit posed gracefully on a crowded convention show floor—her whip gripped in an outstretched hand as if ready to strike. She smirked as a trio of men holding smartphones snapped a quick photo of her.

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A photo tour of the Numero Group's new brick-and-mortar shop

Posted By on 07.11.16 at 12:00 PM

Look at all these dang records! - SUNSHINE TUCKER
  • Sunshine Tucker
  • Look at all these dang records!

Chicago archival label the Numero Group opened its Little Village brick-and-mortar store, the Numero Factory Outlet, on Friday, July 8. As label cofounder Rob Sevier told Gossip Wolf last week, the store is open only on Fridays, and it carries only Numero releases. As longtime Numero admirers know, its catalog is large enough to make for a healthy inventory—the shop's rows of LPs, seven-inches, and CDs fill out its angled pathways nicely. The store sits right next to the label's cavernous warehouse space—copies of the same records on display in the shop are stored in boxes within view.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The octopus and fish go down fighting at Shiroi Sushi

Posted By on 05.26.16 at 04:57 PM

Whole fish at Shiroi Sushi in Glenview - KRISTINA MEYER
  • Kristina Meyer
  • Whole fish at Shiroi Sushi in Glenview

Five years ago when I wrote about the supposed embiggening powers of sannakji (aka "Korean Viagra," aka recently dispatched and dismembered octopus still wriggling and suckering with residual nerve activity), I was mildly disappointed that the pair I purchased at HMart didn't have the same vitality as the ones I'd been served in South Korea. Nothing's ever as good as it is at its source, right? 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Chicago couple sexes up card games with Weapons of Mass Seduction

Posted By on 05.25.16 at 09:00 AM

Kaitlin Johnson and Daniel Dranove, creators of Weapons of Mass Seduction
  • Kaitlin Johnson and Daniel Dranove, creators of Weapons of Mass Seduction

Pegged as the adult card game in which people play a sex-themed variation of "Would you rather?", Weapons of Mass Seduction picks up where most couples' games leave off: riding crops, Trader Joe's, and Orthodox Judaism. Players win points by guessing which sexual act their opponent prefers—ranging from raunchy to ridiculous—with cards like: "Whip opponent with riding crop," "Apply Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter to your body for opponent to lick off," or "Opponent does taxes, budgeting, or fiscal forecasting while topless with a little calculator and glasses." 

Weapons of Mass Seduction comes from the dirty minds of Cards Against Humanity cocreator Daniel Dranove and his longtime girlfriend, Kaitlin Johnson. Dranove and Johnson initially created WMS in 2013 as a private Valentine's Day gift for each other. "We put together WMS after looking at other sex games," Dranove says. "Nothing appealed, and we felt this stigma—either we felt uncomfortable with the language, or they read like romance novels."

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Monday, May 23, 2016

ICYMI: Best cosplay from this weekend's Anime Central

Posted By and on 05.23.16 at 04:00 PM

Hip-Hop Trooper (aka Stryder, from Oxford, England) mixes things up with Super Mario in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. - CHRIS RIHA
  • Chris Riha
  • Hip-Hop Trooper (aka Stryder, from Oxford, England) mixes things up with Super Mario in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Photo intern Chris Riha went to ACEN, aka Anime Central, this past weekend—it's the midwest's largest convention of anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture.

Now in its 18th year, ACEN attracts die-hard fans from around the world. Click through the slide show below to see the best costumes from this weekend's convention, ranging from break-dancing storm troopers to Marvel's latest irreverent superhero, Deadpool, to classic Dragon Ball Z characters.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Morrissey, Deftones, Ween, and Death Cab for Cutie join the Original Misfits at this year's Riot Fest

Posted By on 05.18.16 at 09:00 AM

Do you suppose Moz will ride the Ferris wheel with us? - COURTESY OF MORRISSEY'S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Courtesy of Morrissey's official Facebook page
  • Do you suppose Moz will ride the Ferris wheel with us?

Last week Riot Fest's organizers announced a big coup—a headlining set by the Original Misfits—and this morning they released the rest of the lineup. High on the list is woebegone balladeer Morrissey, a notoriously finicky performer with a history of bailing on tours (if you want a list of the shows he's canceled, a couple years ago Tumblr user Torr compiled a brief history). Morrissey nixed a gig in Iceland last year when he found out the venue served meat—in 2013 he got the Staples Center in LA to close its McDonald's stands for his performance, so I'm curious whether the Riot Fest vendors hawking turkey legs will shut down for the day. Morrissey is only playing Riot Fest in Chicago, not its preceding Denver date, and he's one of the big attractions that will draw folks to Douglas Park. Among the other heavy hitters on the bill are Ween, Death Cab for Cutie, Refused, the Specials, Nas, Jimmy Eat World, Deftones, Brand New, and Rob Zombie performing the 1995 White Zombie album Astro-Creep: 2000.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Riot Fest scores a coup with a reunion of the original Misfits

Posted By on 05.12.16 at 09:00 AM


Riot Fest
has a talent for booking improbable reunions, and this year will be no different. The full lineup is still under wraps, but this morning Riot Fest announced one of the biggest names on the bill—a reunited version of the Misfits, performing as the Original Misfits. The iconic New Jersey punk band has had a revolving-door roster since its early days, but the Original Misfits feature the guys who made the group one of the definitive U.S. punk bands: guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, bassist Jerry Only, and front man Glenn Danzig (the sole founding member among the three).

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Go on a lysergic odyssey with Constantine on Day of Light

Posted By on 03.03.16 at 01:43 PM

Constantine in a characteristically natural setting - KYLE SULLIVAN
  • Kyle Sullivan
  • Constantine in a characteristically natural setting

Local singer-songwriter Constantine Hastalis has one of the finest record collections of anyone I know. What's most admirable about it is its focus: virtually every LP is psychedelic rock, pop, folk, or experimental music from the late 1960s and early '70s. Many of the releases are obscure, and more recognizable records tend to be imports or rare editions of famous albums. At one point, Hastalis was posting pictures of highlights from his library to Instagram, but he's since discontinued the practice. Instead, he's rerouted his love for this era of music into something more creative and fulfilling: his debut full-length LP, Day of Light.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Comedian Beth Stelling opens up about surviving rape and abuse

Posted By on 12.28.15 at 06:47 PM

  • Meghan Thompson
  • Beth Stelling

Stand-up comedian Beth Stelling, who got her start in Chicago, revealed details of a past abusive relationship on Instagram earlier today. In a post that included photos of her bruised arms and legs, she wrote that an ex-boyfriend had raped her, and that he had physically and verbally abused her.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

The story behind the first vector arcade game in 30 years, now at Logan Arcade

Posted By on 12.07.15 at 02:00 PM

VEC9 creators (left to right): Andrew Reitano, Mike Dooley, Todd Bailey - DINETTE FILMS
  • Dinette FIlms
  • VEC9 creators (left to right): Andrew Reitano, Mike Dooley, Todd Bailey

Less than 24 hours before its splashy debut party at Logan Arcade last month, VEC9 caught fire. Literally. The arcade game's three creators were busy showing it off to the arcade bar's enthusiastic staff when a crusty wire shorted and blew a transformer, setting some of the internal machinery ablaze.

It was an acute moment of bad luck for Todd Bailey, Andrew Reitano, and Mike Dooley, the trio of New Yorkers who'd just stuffed the massive machine into a U-Haul and drove 15 hours to VEC9's adopted home in Logan Square. "The staff had just complimented us with like, 'Wow, we can't believe this thing is a real game,' and the fucking thing catches on fire. And we were like, 'Fuck!'" said Bailey.

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