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The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing is revelatory; The Scarlet Ibis is not. Last weekend was an auspicious one for Chicago Opera Theater. On Friday, at DePaul University’s handsome Gannon Concert Hall, COT presented The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing, an opera in progress by composer Justine F. Chen and librettist David Simpatico.…
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The far-northwest-side aldermanic race may hinge on affordable housing—but not the way you think. As gale-force winds whipped the city last week, two former firefighters stood in front of a Chicago Public Library branch in far-northwest-side Norwood Park, toeing the electioneering boundary.…
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The makeup, the pyrotechnics, the guitars that shoot fireworks, the blood -spitting, the levitating band members, the fire breathing, the glitz, the glamour, the rock ’n’ rolling every night and the partying every day . . . After 46 years, it’s all coming to an end, apparently, as Kiss—one of the most ridiculous rock spectacles ever to exist—embark on their farewell tour.…
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Amid Chicago’s vast pool of talent is a handful of jazz-related percussionists who are subject to some combination of local renown and international attention. In addition to Hamid Drake and Avreeayl Ra—each an integral part of the city’s most adventurous wing of astral-reaching jazz—drummer Kahil El’Zabar has been performing and recording since the early 70s, and has counted saxophonist David Murray and the late violinist Billy Bang as collaborators.…
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Many of the best sounds in music come from pushing a piece of equipment past its limits. Obvious examples include what Jimi Hendrix created with his electric guitar and amplifier, and what King Tubby coaxed from a mixing board.…
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Any media outlet referencing west-side native Mykele Deville should be required to include a brief of his CV, partially because he’s established himself as proficient in several roles: poet, actor, educator, and rapper. And with the remarkable growth he shows on his new album, Maintain (on local DIY label No Trend), I imagine Deville’s name will be on even more people’s lips in the years to come.…
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Local punks Absolutely Not have never been the type of band to release accessible music. The first releases they started putting out in 2013 showcased fairly standard garage punk, but they topped everything off with a serious dose of spazzy harshness.…
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Listening to the 1999 self-titled debut EP by Planes Mistaken for Stars feels like taking an bullet train back to the year it was released. The record’s twinkly guitars, vocals stylings that mix anguished croons and explosive shrieks, and urgent, vaguely poetic lyrics are clear hallmarks of that specific moment in emotional hardcore.…
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There’s a dangerously high likelihood that a group of white guys who heavily incorporate hip-hop's aesthetics and rapping into their sound will fall into that odd frat-rock zone occupied by jam denizens and Dave Matthews Band acolytes. Manwolves, who started as an after-school activity by Evanston Township High School students in 2012, have sidestepped such a cheesy fate, at least for the time being.…
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There’s never much debate about whether or not a new Robyn album is a party—it’s rather about what kind of party it is. With her 2010 trio of Body Talk releases, the Swedish dance-pop phenomenon unleashed a rank of futuristic club bangers, several of which, including “Dancing on My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend,” are still rightfully queued up on TouchTunes jukeboxes as a way to boost bar vibes when bar vibes are badly in need of boosting. But Robyn’s most recent full-length, 2018’s Honey (Konichiwa), simmers and writhes in its own restraint.…
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