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Chicago Reader

Comprehensive guide to Chicago

Published: Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:00:01 -0500

Last Build Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2018 23:00:00 -0500

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Fed up with gun violence, students demand ‘real change . . . today’

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 18:23:00 -0500

(image) Thousands of people marched through the city and gathered at Union Park on the near west side Saturday to protest gun violence—a problem that is especially personal for Khadijah Benson.

Benson, a senior at Prosser Career Academy, was one of the last people to see her friend Nico before he was shot in the summer of 2014 while they were walking to a corner store to buy a snack.

“I went over to him and put his head in my lap,” Benson said Saturday.…

Hundreds of Chicago students to protest gun violence outside Stroger Hospital this weekend

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:10:00 -0500


The GoodKidsMadCity coalition, made up of students across the city, is organizing a student "sit-/die-in" in front of John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital on Saturday, March 24. More than 200 youth are expected to turn out to represent the many lives lost to gun violence in Chicago, particularly by people of color.…

Remembering Chicago Craigslist Personals, the Wild West of Internet dating

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:43:00 -0500

RIP Chicago Craigslist Personals.

They're a victim of the Senate's overwhelming 97-2 vote on Thursday to pass the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. The bill makes a change to a key part of the Communications Decency Act that makes it easier for victims of sex trafficking and prosecutors to take legal action against companies that fail to keep exploitative content off their websites.…

Drummer and bandleader John Hollenbeck reaches new heights on his new Large Ensemble album

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:32:00 -0500

With every passing year percussionist John Hollenbeck has upped his game as a composer and arranger, writing increasingly ambitious material for his two primary groups: the chamber-music-like Claudia Quintet and the richly orchestrated Large Ensemble. He's a devoted student of jazz's big-band tradition, cleaving unapologetically to ambitious composers and arrangers such as his longtime mentor Bob Brookmeyer.…

Keep the Change provides an affectionate look at people with intellectual disabilities

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:46:00 -0500

(image) On one level, Keep the Change (which opens today at the Music Box) is a formulaic romantic comedy about a man and woman who meet cute, fall in and out of love, then rediscover their affection for each other. On another level, the film is a documentary-style portrait of what it’s like to be an adult with autism and learning disabilities—the principal characters are played by people who actually have these conditions, and writer-director Rachel Israel (expanding on a 2013 short of the same name) shows them engaging in activities they would likely pursue in their real lives.…

Meet the trio of young Latino ‘Berniecrats’ who shocked the Chicago political establishment on election night

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 09:27:00 -0500

Jesús "Chuy" García had a good excuse for waving a broom onstage at his election-night party like he was a zealous White Sox fan celebrating a series sweep. It was meant to symbolize a sweep of the electoral kind.…

The case of the missing Keith Haring mural

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

Reader's archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971.…

Cedric the Entertainer and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

Whether you want to hit the books or avoid them entirely, the Reader has you covered. Here are our top recommendations for things to do this weekend:

Five gay films from an era when queer themes were invisible in Hollywood

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

(image) Before the 1970's, queer characters and themes were all but invisible in Hollywood films. Sometimes coded references clued people in; sometimes gay viewers would interpret a film differently than was intended to find points of identification ("reading across the grain," as theorists would say).…

In April See Chicago Dance wants the whole city to . . . well, you know

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 05:00:00 -0500


See Chicago Dance. The name is direct and specific, and the nonprofit organization formerly known as Audience Architects has wisely adopted it as part of an ongoing rebranding strategy.…

Still no proof #MeToo has changed Hollywood, says writer who challenged Letterman

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Nell Scovell brings her fight to change the entertainment industry to Chicago next week. Y ou might not know it, but you've most likely laughed at one of Nell Scovell's jokes. It's just that President Obama, Conan O'Brien, and Kermit the Frog were delivering them.…

Print Issue of March 22, 2018

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 23:59:00 -0500

(image) Volume 47, Number 24

‘Just beat Rauner’: The tables have turned as Dems line up behind Pritzker

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:56:00 -0500

(image) A few months after Trump was sworn in as, gulp, our president, I read a Washington Post story about the residents of rural areas that would be hard hit by the administration's budget cuts.…

Gadfly George Blakemore, Cook County Board's biggest nightmare, wins spot on November ballot

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:42:00 -0500

Fed up with the Cook County Board of Commissioners? Looking for a way to stick it to them?…

Irving Park’s Eris is a space of supermortal dimensions

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

(image) But the food at the northwest-side brewery and cidery is Brewpub 101. Nobody liked Eris, the Greek goddess of strife. That's why, when her invitation to Peleus and Thetis's wedding on Mount Olympus got lost in the mail, she crashed it and threw the Golden Apple of Discord into the mix, a present for the hottest goddess at the party.…

How a south-side church taught rapper and activist Ric Wilson to fight back

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

(image) Rapper and activist Ric Wilson grew up attending Fellowship Missionary Baptist, a south-side congregation that helped nurture the civil rights movement. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } The Block Beat multimedia series is a collaboration with The TRiiBE that roots Chicago musicians in places and neighborhoods that matter to them.…

How Don "Magic" Juan, king of the pimps, found God and Hollywood quasi-celebrity

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:00:00 -0500

Reader's archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971.…

Rising Chicago pianist Matt Piet finds his way with well-seasoned players on two stellar recordings

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Since I first discovered the music of Matt Piet in the fall of 2016, the profile of the Chicago pianist has risen around town. Piet plays with the group of musicians associated with the Amalgam Music imprint, including drummer Bill Harris (the label’s owner) and saxophonist Jake Wark in Four Letter Words, and leads his own trio with bassist Charlie Kirchen and drummer Julian Kirshner.…

Chicago-raised rapper Lil Wop follows Gucci Mane in spirit but not sound

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Chicago-raised, Atlanta-based rapper Lil Wop loves Gucci Mane so much he replicated the trap king’s iconic ice-cream-cone face tattoo on his right cheek. As Lil Wop told the Fader, Gucci Mane “taught me you can’t sound like nobody . . .  To have the sauce, you gotta have all the ingredients.…

Chicago Renaissance man Malcolm London blurs his roles together on Right Away Series

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Chicago’s Malcolm London juggles more roles at once than some people can list on their entire resumés: he’s a poet, activist, rapper, and educator. How does he do it?…

Majority Rule’s screamo songs burn hard more than a decade after they broke up

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) The music community that lives together reunites together: In recent years, many of the northern-Virginia and D.C.-area screamo bands that warped punk back in the late 90s and early 2000s and went on to influence contemporary heavies (Touche Amore, anyone?) have reemerged.…

Portuguese fado singer António Zambujo focuses on the music of Brazilian icon Chico Buarque

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Purists of Portuguese fado might think António Zambujo is something of a philistine for his penchant for teasing out commonalities between the lyric, sorrow-laden genre and sounds from around the globe—especially breezier forms from Brazil. Not only has he collaborated with Brazilian songwriters such as Rodrigo Maranhão, on his 2015 album Rua da Emenda (World Village) he covered a lovely tune by Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler and gave Serge Gainsbourg’s “La Chanson de Prévert” a spry fado treatment.…

If you need a dope folk, rock, and blues fix, L.A. Salami’s got you covered

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Lookman Adekunle Salami cannot be contained. The British artist, who performs as L.A. Salami, maneuvers between blues, rock, and folk so effortlessly it seems almost ethereal.…

Reedist Chris Speed digs into his deep jazz roots with Bad Plus drummer Dave King and bassist Chris Tordini

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) I’ve been a huge fan of reedist Chris Speed for decades. He’s an improviser who’s adroitly experimented with various strains of jazz hybridization over his long career, whether transplanting rhythmic ideas from electronica into his avant-garde quartet Yeah No, toying with the music of Balkans in his fusion-heavy ensemble Pachora, or creating new chamber music in John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, Speed’s rigorous curiosity may take him in varied directions, but he filters all of his endeavors through a deep jazz foundation.…

An epic quest to skateboard from Chicago to New York hits the screen in Shred America

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:00:00 -0500

(image) Arthur Swidzinski and Mike Kosciesza planned to document their adventure, but never thought it would take ten years. W e told a lot of people when we were leaving that we had the trip planned out," Arthur Swidzinski says now. "That we had trained, that we were in tip-top shape.…