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Newcity Chicago July 2020

Published by Newcity, 2020-06-30 12:36:43

Description: With venues closed around the country and musicians stuck at home, this year's Music 45, our annual celebration of sound-makers in Chicago, arrives at a particularly trying moment. But our local music community is nothing if not resilient, as best exemplified by our Musician of the Moment Toronzo Cannon, bluesman, busdriver and an ideal encapsulation of everything that makes Chicago a world class music town. This issue also makes space for responses to racial injustice, police brutality and white supremacy, featuring work by Scoop Jackson, avery r. young, Edra Soto and many more. Also included: Red Clay Dance teams with health professionals, confronting racial bias in classical music, (re)visiting public art in lockdown and much more.


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Tony Fitzpatrick, The Scavenger Searching for Jesus of Chicago, 2020, drawing/collage. THECCMA.ORG Tony Fitzpatrick Jesus of Western Avenue October 3 - December 6, 2020

WHAT’S GOING ON JULY 2020 JULY 2020 Newcity ARTISTS, POETS AND WRITERS RESPOND TO MUSICIAN OF THE MOMENT RACIAL INJUSTICE AND POLICE BRUTALITY Toronzo Cannon and his blues are what we need right now ............................................. 14 TEXT The sound-makers The Awakening: A Death In 4000 Words, of Chicago 2020..................................................1 7 by Scoop Jackson ..................................................................6 Black People Are Not Dumber Than You, ART & CULTURE by Skyler Higley .................................................................. 1 2 ART POETRY Revisiting Chicago's public art during a lockdown .............................3 3 “Chicago Rememory” by Tarnynon Onumonu ..........................................................9 DANCE Untitled Red Clay Dance teams by Mario Smith.......................................................................9 with health professionals................................... 3 7 “Patrick Bouie of Cabrini Green” by Gwendolyn Brooks......................................................... 1 0 DESIGN “after BAM” Putting race into the by avery r. young ................................................................. 1 0 urban design conversation ................................3 9 “Remain Silent” by N.A. Patin ....................................................................... 1 0 DINING & DRINKING “9 Minutes” Acadia becomes… by Timothy David Rey......................................................... 1 2 A-Cake-ia........................................................... 41 ART FILM Crisis “Rest in Paradise (Breonna Taylor)” and movies........................................................ 4 3 and “Rest in Paradise (George Floyd)” by Carlos Rolón...................................................................... 7 LIT “Defund Police” Sara Paretsky talks by Monica Trinidad .............................................................. 11 “Love and Other Crimes”.................................... 4 5 “Brown People for Black Power” and “I Will Not Be Silenced” MUSIC by William Estrada ............................................................. 1 3 Chicago Sinfonietta “Union Park Protest #2, 2020” confronts racial bias in classical music.............. 47 by Edra Soto ........................................................................51 STAGE Fiery femmes of burlesque speak out ......................................... 4 9 3

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As Scoop Jackson eloquently puts it in his lead essay in this issue, it’s time for us, white people, I remember, as a five-year-old white boy, ask- all of us, to change. Scoop's been one of the ing my dad what all the commotion in the strongest voices on issues around racial justice news was about the day Martin Luther King in Newcity for more than twenty years, dating Jr. was killed. When he told me that it was a back to a seminal cover story he wrote for greater American tragedy than the assassina- us in 1999 that laid out the racial dynamics of tion of President Kennedy only a few years the dismantling of the Bulls dynasty. That earlier, I listened and learned. piece went on to win a Lisagor Award for Ex- emplary Journalism. Since then, every piece he has done for us brings his singular and provocative perspective. As a child, I saw archival footage on television Scoop is one of twelve writers, poets and art- from the civil rights movement, of police of- ists who contributed to this issue's special ficers siccing attack dogs and pelting peaceful feature, selected from a submission pool of Black protesters with walls of water from fire- several dozen more. Everyone featured herein hoses. And I listened and learned. is a person of color, offering a perspective that we need now more than ever. We need writers, As a young man, I saw the portrait of rage and poets and artists more than ever right now, to despair in the face of a police murder of a Black give voice to the rage. To the despair. To keep man in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” And us on the path toward revolution, reparation, I listened and learned. redemption, resolution. In the early days of Newcity, Los Angeles po- On our cover, you’ll see the amazing Toronzo lice officers were caught on videotape brutal- Cannon sitting on the ledge outside of Chicago’s ly beating a defenseless Rodney King, a crime legendary Jazz Showcase. It’s our first photo so obvious, so caught-in-the-act that the in- shoot since March and was done within the justice of their acquittal of the crime lit Los shadow of COVID-19. Thus, no spontaneous Angeles on fire. At that time, we invited Chi- group shots, as sessions were spaced out and cago writers and poets to react to what was masks and hand sanitizer abounded. But we’re happening. And I listened and learned. pleased with the way it all turned out, and want to thank Wayne Segal for letting us do our work And since the advent of mobile phone cameras, inside the club his father started back in the SO MANY MORE. And I kept listening and 1940s. It was pretty special to “perform” under learning, over and over and over. those massive portraits of Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. So when George Floyd was lynched by the police and America raised its collective fist in — BRIAN HIEGGELKE days of rage afterwards, listening simply is not enough anymore. We’ve had enough time to learn. It's time to do something. Newcity JULY 2020 4

CONTRIBUTORS ON THE COVER GWENDOLYN BROOKS (Poet, “Patrick Bouie MARIO SMITH (Poet, “Untitled”) is a Chicago Cover Photo Sandy Morris (Sally Blood) of Cabrini Green”) was the first African-American poet, educator, activist and radio chat-show host. Cover Design Dan Streeting woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and He’s been performing in the Chicago area and was an Illinois Poet Laureate for over thirty years. the US for over twenty years and he currently Vol. 35, No. 1405 As her daughter Nora Brooks Blakely, who sent hosts “News From the Service Entrance” on us this poem, says, “my mother… wrote a poem WLPN-LP—Lumpen Radio in Chicago and is PUBLISHERS that starkly speaks to what is still going on today. a contributor to “The Download with Justin Brian & Jan Hieggelke And sadly reminds us of how little has changed Kaufmann” on Chicago’s WGN 720 AM. Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett since the 1980s when she wrote it.” Patrick Bouie EDITORIAL was shot and killed on June 9, 1986 as he stood EDRA SOTO (Artist) Born in Puerto Rico, Edra Editor Brian Hieggelke in a grassy field next to his Cabrini Green home. Soto is an interdisciplinary artist, and co-director Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke He was sixteen years old. of the outdoor project space The Franklin. Art Editor Kerry Cardoza Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer WILLIAM ESTRADA (Artist) grew up in MONICA TRINIDAD (Artist) is a queer, Latinx JULY 2020 Newcity Design Editor Vasia Rigou California, Mexico and Chicago. His teaching artist and organizer born and raised on the Dining and Drinking Editor and art-making practice focus on addressing Southeast Side of Chicago. Heavily involved in David Hammond inequity, migration, historical passivity and cultural challenging police violence in Chicago, Trinidad Film Editor Ray Pride recognition in under represented communities. was one of eight young organizers and activists of Lit Editor Tara Betts color who traveled to Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 Music Editor Robert Rodi SKYLER HIGLEY (Writer, “Black People Are to present a report on police violence in Chicago Theater Editor Kevin Greene Not Dumber Than You”) is a writer and stand-up to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. ART & DESIGN comedian based out of Chicago. He has been Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, a writing fellow at the Onion and contributor AVERY R. YOUNG (Poet, “after BAM”) is a Dan Streeting, Billy Werch at ClickHole. 3Arts Award-winning teaching-artist, composer Designers Jim Maciukenas, and producer with work that spans the genres Stephanie Plenner SCOOP JACKSON (Writer, “The Awakening: of  music, performance, visual arts and literature. MARKETING A Death In 4000 Words”) is a lifelong South Examining and celebrating Black American Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke Sider who has contributed to Newcity for more history and culture, his work also focuses in the OPERATIONS than two decades. He’s been part of ESPN areas of social justice, equity,  queer identity, General Manager Jan Hieggelke since March 2005, as a writer for its print and misogyny and body consciousness. Distribution Nick Bachmann, digital properties, as well as a regular guest on Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, the sports network’s TV and radio shows. ROBERT RODI (Writer/editor, “Music 45” Quinn Nicholson and “Musician of the Moment”) is an author, TARNYNON ONUMONU (Poet, “Chicago spoken-word performer and musician who has Retail price $10 per issue. In certain locations, Rememory”) is a first-generation Liberian and served as Newcity’s Music Editor since 2014. one copy is available on a complimentary basis. Igbo Americana teaching artist, performance He’s written more than a dozen books, including Subscriptions and additional copies of current artist and writer. the travel memoir “Seven Seasons In Siena.” and back issues available at His literary and music criticism has appeared Copyright 2020, New City Communications, Inc. N.A. PATIN (Poet, “Remain Silent”) has been in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, All Rights Reserved. writing, performing, educating and community Salon, The Huffington Post and many other Newcity assumes no responsibility to return organizing for almost fifteen years. She has national and regional publications. unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All taught hundreds of workshops on spoken word, rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or body image and interpersonal violence. Recently, CRAIG BECHTEL (Writer, “Music 45”) is a graphic material will be treated as unconditionally she addressed the United Nations in Geneva, freelance writer and has also been a Senior Staff assigned for publication and copyright purposes Switzerland on behalf of Black women survivors Writer for Pop’stache. He is also a DJ, volunteer and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may of sexual violence. and Assistant Music Director for CHIRP Radio, be reprinted in whole or in part without written 107.1 FM, and contributes occasionally to the permission from the publisher. TIMOTHY DAVID REY (Poet, “9 Minutes”) CHIRP blog. As DJ Craig Reptile, you can hear is a poet, playwright and performer. He’s him play music on the FM dial or at Newcity is published by also a poet-in-residence with the Poetry most Sunday nights from 6pm to 9pm. Newcity Communications, Inc. Center of Chicago and Poetry Out Loud 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 regional coordinator. SANDY MORRIS (aka Sally Blood) (Photographer, “Music 45” and Musician of Visit for advertising CARLOS ROLÓN’s (Artist) work employs a wide the Moment”) is thrilled to be shooting the and editorial information. range of media to explore themes of craft, ritual, Music 45 issue again.  She is an award-winning beauty, spirituality, identity and its relationship to photographer and filmmaker who is also an Subscribe at art history and the institution. Born to a Puerto- ICG 600 member shooting on set stills for Rican family, his background allows him to explore film/tv. personal ideas which directly deal with questions of inclusion, aspiration and cultural identity. 5

WHAT’S THE AWAKENING: tifying that “an African-American man is GOING A DEATH IN threatening my life;” followed the same day  ON 4000 WORDS by the callous, cold-hearted, merciless, Generation W public horizontal lynching ARTISTS, POETS by Scoop Jackson of George Floyd by Minnesota police offi- cer Derek Chauvin (and three “in blue” ac- & WRITERS A nd we thought it was over. Thought it complices). Reminders of who we are, was the end of days. That a new virus where we are and how the value of our RESPOND had finally made us face our worst lives on your land remains the same. (Add TO RACIAL INJUSTICE fears. The apocalypse of 19. COVID. A glob- to that the March 13 video-less murder of al lockdown. Confinement. Solitary. A world Breonna Taylor who in her own apartment & POLICE BRUTALITY forced to deal with its demons on a virus’ was shot eight times by unidentified, plain- terms. And America got the worst of it. clothes police in an “Oops—wrong house, wrong person” drug raid in Louisville.) But then something else happened. Some- The camel’s back broke, the pill too large thing worse. Something, like the virus that to swallow, enough had finally surpassed preceded it, America wasn’t prepared for. enough. Then, to further demonstrate your This virus was called Racism. Another apoc- authority while at the same time disregard alypse. COVERT. 1619. And there were way every syllable coming from our screams in more infected with this virus, way more than the initial stages of our protests, on live TV, the almost two million amassed over the on CNN, in Minnesota, on the morning of first five months of the arrival of the new May 29, we watched ground-zero reporter virus on this soil. The other virus had a 400- Omar Jimenez (Black and Latino), in the year head start. And while the coronavirus immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, be death toll climbed, it couldn’t compete with handcuffed and arrested with no explana- one on-camera death of a Black man at the tion by members of the same police force knee of a white police officer. Too many that killed Floyd while his CNN colleague other deaths were attached to it. Reaffirm- Josh Campbell (white), in the same area, ing, viruses do segregate. covering the same protest, was “approach- ed by police but allowed to remain” doing Finally the alarm clock—the one that had his job, maintaining his freedom. Enough been sounding for years, decades and cen- had nowhere left to go. turies—was heard. Or—finally—the snooze button stopped working. And that part of We know you don’t see it that way. At America, the one that treats self-abnega- least, in the past, you didn’t. But now it tion as a badge of honor, finally woke the seems as if an awakening has taken place. fuck up. Only to ask the alarm clock: What One that feels different than the so-called do I do now? ones before. More of you this time seem not only to hear us, but want to hear us. **** This time, it seems, you want to share some of our pain. Part of the answer to our strug- White America, this is for you. Specifical- gle in your country has been empathy, the ly. Directly. Personally. Intently. You finally inexistence of it. But this latest uprising got an unfiltered, uncontrolled-by-you look gave glimpses of optimism that this time at things through our eyes, minds, hearts, the walk might not be so monochromatic, souls and emotions. A phase of the pan- that a few generations of you—this time— demic rollout that wasn’t expected. After will stay the course, not venture off, not being held hostage by a disease that dis- venture back. proportionately affected us through both That invisible line between protest and infection and death, we were welcomed progress, methods and message, will de- back in the slow reentry to your society termine how committed you are this time. with video reminders: May 5, the killing of While the powerful passive nature of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia (more than two peaceful demonstrations fits neatly into months after the murder occurred); May your comfort zone, the anger part in the 25, the “potential murder” attempt Amy form of property destruction and resisting Cooper put on Christian Cooper in Central authority is hard to accept, harder to un- Park by falsifying a call to the police iden- derstand. Most times we don’t understand it, either. But we know where it comes from. As misdirected as it often is, we also know why. More importantly, even though it too often misses the intended target, we know who it is directed at. You. And what you don’t understand is how it feels not to be in this moment but to have had to wait for it. The wait is different than

\"Rest in Paradise (Breonna Taylor)\" and \"Rest in Paradise (George Floyd)\" by Carlos Rolón. You are free to distribute/print for posters, stickers, banners, etc. Go to to download these images. the weight. It’s something you will never lice,” “get on your knees and say ‘Black Lives been in your power and control since we JULY 2020 Newcity have to experience, never have to go through. Matter!’” answers you’ve encountered are asked for it at the beginning of the seven- This is where the pain is. all as pointless as you all still asking the teenth century—to be present. Reform and question fifty-two years after the aftermath Reckoning. Words you all love to say but hate **** of the civil rights movement was supposed to hear. to be the answer. No more town halls, no When denial is in the DNA of the majority, more meetings or Zoom calls with your Black If you, your race, your people, your culture, this is the result. We are protesting to this friends, no more Sesame Street talks about your mentality, your practice, your lives and extent and extreme because if we are going race on CNN, no more white mothers having livelihoods, can do that one thing, change, to die, we’d rather die by way of COVID- “the talk” with their white children, no more without us telling you what that change than continue by way of a white person’s gun Allure or Self or Highsnobiety articles on should look like or be, just by you looking or a white police o icer’s knee. These pro- “How You Can Be Helpful Right Now,” no deep within and doing the most uncomfort- tests, with total disregard for the risk of con- more liberal-conservativism or conserva- able thing most white Americans have never tacting the coronavirus, are our way of dying tive-liberalism, no more “We feel you, broth- had to do, recognizing the true di erence in on our own terms. er,” or “We’re with you, sister.” The only an- right and wrong, then there’s a strong swer to your safe, superficial, remedial and chance that you will never have to ask that Suicide is the honor that you gave us. vaguely condescending question comes in question again. And, equally meaningful, we Most of you don’t get the connection be- the form of a single word: “Change.” will no longer have to minimize ourselves in tween the two, between The Corona and The searching for an answer that you already Protests. You don’t bookend those two while When you ask us now what you can do, you know but want someone else to do the work interlinking what sits in between. To you they are asking us to reduce a centuries-long an- and provide for you. are separate, to us they are continual. One swer into a thirty-minute conversation. So, This is not about white \"superpremacy\" or followed the other while still living inside of we’ll shorten that conversation: Change. Step white privilege. This isn’t just about police, the other. Coexisting. Costrangulating. one of that change: Start seeing us di erent- brutality and our deaths and treatment at You’ve now made it a point to ask for help. ly so that… Step two: We can start seeing you the hands of biased trained murderers. This moment has made you comfortable di erently. And that’s a very auspicious re- That’s just surface. This isn’t about the minds enough to seek us out and ask, “What can quest to a people who have historically prov- and motives of judges who give police o i- we do?” Most of the time prefixed by, “As a en they don’t respect anything before money. cers who wrongfully kill us fractions of the white person…” You’ve heard many answers, Holy calamafuck. Look at all these slave mas- sentences that non-white, non-o icers get many responses. Most answers are ones you ters posing on your dollars. Change. for killing us or the inferior education you want to hear instead of ones you need to That is where you start, that is what you do, systemically make sure is our primary, some- hear. The “start a conversation,” “be empa- that is where you finish, that is where you times only, educational option or about thetic,” “treat us as equals,” “participate,” stay. You know what that change looks like, redlining and home loans or controlled un- “donate,” “give,” “open your minds and hearts,” you know what that change means, you deremployment or generalized segregation “support our calls and causes,” “be more en- know all that has to happen within for that or about when Trump had his conversation gaged,” “stop only thinking of yourself and change—that change that you seem to be with the governors about the protests and your people when you vote,” “defund the po- so concerned with now, that change that has riots, there was not one of us on the other 7

Newcity JULY 2020 line or about how in neighborhoods where suggested love can be the last word, our you all,” who after fifty-two years of life in we predominate the bank and food ra- pain commands it, damn sure can’t be the this country finally (sorta) gets it. We hope. tio-to-people often starts at zero-to-. This is final one. That person would be anti-discriminatory, about you actually looking at someone who Think of how it must feel to us to go through anti-racist, Trump-hating late-night host doesn’t look like you and one, seeing a this entire coronavirus outbreak and barely Jimmy Kimmel, who in the opening of his human being and two, you acting like one. see one Black person of national authority— June 2 show spoke about his awakening. So the more pertinent question should be elected government official or task-force sci- “Imagine how frustrating it must be to get us asking you: “What can we do?” What can entist or medical infectious disease expert handcuffed, or frisked, or pulled over, just we non-white people in this country who you or epidemiologist—instructing and advising because you’re Black. Even if the cop looks once, not long ago, had in your Constitution us on how to survive during this pandemic? in the car and goes, ‘Okay, everything’s fine, as three-fifths of whole humans, who had to Once again, our survival is in your hands, at have a nice day.’ How do you swallow that fight in a war and in the courts for the right your disposal. Helluva time to have trust is- and move on with your day?” Kimmel said. to equally drink water like you, have to do to sues with white people, you think? Pain. get you to recognize, respect, treat and ac- Imagine every time going through that sce- cept us as…? Yet, you wonder why we cry? Why we de- nario there is a strong chance that one time stroy, why we disrupt? Why we continue in you won’t come out of that situation alive? Equals would be too much. Literally in a these situations to turn on ourselves before Then imagine that if you do die and someone place where fairness has never been preor- we turn on you? Why we so often hate on doesn’t have video evidence of your murder dained; where Constitutional rights have ourselves more than we hate you? Why we that, one, most of the country won’t believe never applied to us; where accountability mess up our overall message and allow you your death was for no reason and, two, your goes two ways: Your way and whatever way the gratification of saying, “See...”? Why we murderer and his/her people will more than you decide is the other. sometimes bite the hand that feeds us and likely strategically lie and, three, even if there chew on the ones that hug us? Empty an- is video evidence against the police, the **** swers, hollow reasonings and rational. Pain chances of them being found guilty is infin- be our reaction. Displaying our continuing itesimal and, four, if there is that small mira- The medical-dictionary definition of pain is marginalization by our own misguided emo- cle that they are found guilty of murdering as such: “Pain is an unpleasant feeling that tional behavior. Madness over meaning. But you the sentencing will be a fraction (closer is conveyed to the brain by sensory neurons. peaceful doesn’t work when it comes to get- to one-quarter than four-fifths) of what is The discomfort signals actual or potential ting your attention. You’ve proven that. To applicable by law on this land. injury to the body. However, pain is more see us we have to seek and destroy. Our- than a sensation, or the physical awareness selves. Our blocks. Our hoods. Our cities. Kimmel continued. “What happened to of pain; it also includes perception, the sub- Then you ask, “What can we do?” See. George Floyd was on video, how often does jective interpretation of the discomfort. Per- this happen without a camera recording the ception gives information on the pain's loca- Pain relief 2020 circa 2011 looks like this: whole thing? It sounds to me like it happens tion, intensity, and something about its Occupy White Men. Occupy White Power. all the time. We just don’t see it unless it gets nature. The various conscious and uncon- Occupy White Control. Occupy America. It’s posted online. Then we’re shocked and scious responses to both sensation and per- not the same as before and it might not ever Black people are like, ‘Why are you shocked? ception, including the emotional response, be. Things returning back to “as was” might We’ve been telling you this has been hap- add further definition to the overall concept not be a guarantee this time. This could be pening over and over again.’” of pain.” the bullet you might not be able to dodge. There’s acute pain and chronic pain; inside The knee you might not be able to remove. And over and over and over and over some of those there’s visceral pain, neuropathic more. pain, nociceptive pain, unremitting pain, in- Life is all we got. To us, you got or own or termittent pain, somatic pain, paroxysmal control everything else. So it’s kind of a prob- He finished with this revelation: “I read pain, phantom pain, refractory pain, referred lem—ours, apparently not yours until recent- something last night that I think makes a lot pain and central pain; outside of those ly—when you decide to take the one thing of sense. It’s this: ‘White privilege doesn’t there’s emotional and psychological pain. we do have, from us. Pain. mean your life hasn’t been hard. It just Then there’s the pain you’ve been witnessing means the color of your skin isn’t one of the unfold, on your TV, computer, tablet and As John Boyega said during his impassioned things that makes it harder.’” phone screens; in your hometowns, outside cry during a protest march in London: “I need of your homes. The pain that includes all of you to understand how painful this shit is. I Again, only a fraction of the law of this land. the pains above. Unending pain. Racial pain. need you to understand how painful it is to Then it’s the little shit that America does to Systemic pain. The pain of inequality. Gen- be reminded every day that your race means us by way of what seems like principle that erational pain. Transformative pain. Ameri- nothing…” And he ain’t even American. eats away at both our existence and our dig- can pain. nity. Like in March, how of the first 500 arrests Or more honestly, as Kimberly Jones on In- and citations handed out in New York City by And because pain itself in any and every stagram so masterfully put it, “(You all) are cops for social-distancing, ninety-three per- form is so difficult to define, pinpoint or pre- lucky what Black people are looking for is cent were to Black people. This while videos dict, it becomes impossible to dictate how equality and not revenge.” of cops in New York in white ‘hoods were one reacts when in pain. Even more impos- shown and seen passing out masks. Or in sible to rationalize. It’s been as if America **** June in Los Angeles, when Black people tried had no idea, impervious, to how much pain to wave down the police to help stop looters we were in. Hope. That one word you all keep bringing from vandalizing a store on Van Nuys Boule- up, the one concept we keep telling our- vard, how they—Black citizens—immediately Self-evident, what does that really mean? selves is all we have left to hang on to. Your were handcuffed by the cops with one officer What truths do you really hold true? And, guilt remover, our life preserver. on the scene openly saying to a member of more exactly, who are they true to? Common the media trying to tell the officer that those And even the most liberal of liberal, aren’t the people they should be handcuffing, open-minded of open-minded, wokest of “We don’t care about them.” woke white people in America, the “best of 8

There is a code that we Black folk live eight-minute-and-forty-six-second end Chicago Rememory JULY 2020 Newcity by in America. This is where “hope” for that is the reason we are here. How us is rooted. It’s this belief: “Eventually shocking that wasn’t. How predictable by Tarnynon (Ty-yuh-nuh) Onumonu history will get it.” It at times has been it was. How this is about the value of the only belief that has kept us alive. Tell- our life, not just the loss of it. His death With teargas in tear ducts we cry ing ourselves that historically our one day has to come at the expense of a seg- Who bear the brunt of bloodlust? will come, that the world will one day un- ment of yours. Which one of us be next up? derstand everything concerning our For Broadway world broadcast American journey; our contributions, our It doesn’t end with Nancy Pelosi and Center stage Theater of the Oppressed perseverance, our forgiveness, our exis- Chuck Schumer introducing a “Justice In For an illustrious death tence, our story. One day. For every one Policing Act” bill in the House and the See the procession before the hurst of those stories that history rights con- Senate. It doesn’t end with Alexis Oha- And what’s worse than stricken rememory cerning us, will be one story closer to our nian stepping down from the board of a Slave narratives drudging on true acceptance. In your eyes. And, one company he founded (Reddit) to fill his To the tune of freedom songs hopes, your hearts. And while we don’t seat with a Black candidate. It doesn’t And Black bodies mangled (ever) expect you to agree with us on our end with the New York Times standing In the foreground terms, that change that you seem to be behind Michelle Alexander’s “America, We never wished to be legend interested in now will only happen if you This Is Your Chance” op-ed and not fully At best, we see us holy accept who we are on our terms. Accept supporting Tom Cotton’s “Send in the Seated at the right hand of The Father the reality that you for centuries have Troops” op-ed. It ends when a former We pray he remember us this long night chosen and refused not to own and avow president does not have to include the And all the live long day why this country is the way it really is, as word “normal” in a statement about an- As we march forward resolute opposed to how you falsely see it or ap- other Black man’s death that is the un- Dancing to the rhythm pallingly expect it to remain. Once you mitigated, unquestionable result of the Of a war machine turned on itself come to the humanistic conclusion that color of his skin. While coals of revolution singe our feet racism is not fringe issue, that it—by your And we keep dancing calculated and constant implementa- Know this: There are two other recent To the click clack of rubber bullets tion—is an institution, hope is still a prob- blue-on-Black “hate crimes” that we will With unshakable faith in step lem. be paying close attention to that will All in step have powerful implications on what turn To the raising and lowering Even George Stephanopoulos had to this movement takes. One subliminal, Of the billy club ask: “How do you have hope in a 400- the other overt. The Botham Jean case And the removal of knees from our neck year old problem?” and the Laquan McDonald case. As we In step hold George Floyd and the symbolism All in step **** of his death up as high as we possibly In defense of moral convictions can, it will be the sentencing and pun- Where grayscale resumes polarity So what ends pain? ishment—not the convictions—of the of- Cause cops get jailed What does it mean to not be you in the ficers that will determine if this is the For ridin wit they niggas too middle of this? What does it mean to be beginning of the beginning or the be- We’re no longer willing a Black man, a so-called “non-white” ginning of the end. To be lulled into normalcy American, in the middle of this? When Judges have been co-criminals. Juries There is sweet unrest in the body politic answers and understanding collide with have been co-criminals. The courts, the A frigid chill in the dead of summer no answers and no understanding? system, the structure, the process, the Reminiscent of the Red Summer It’s not so much the laws as it is the country, co-criminal. Officer Amber It’s beginning to look a lot like rules. And the difference that separates Guyger was found guilty of murder in Chicago 1919 in Chicago 2020 the two. The rules you have in place that her killing of Jean in Dallas in September On the streets favor you and yours against the laws of 2018, she got ten years; officer Jason And in the workplace that protect you from us, us from you. Van Dyke was found guilty of second And in the online kindergarten classes There is a difference between being degree murder in his killing of McDon- Where all the babies want to know tired and being over. We are no longer ald in Chicago in 2014, he got six years. When it will be safe to go outside again. tired. Over thinking what you are think- Two Black male lives gone, ended at the ing when it comes to us. Over wonder- hands of racially judgmental, trained ex- Untitled ing what you are feeling when it comes ecutioners, are according to the laws of to us. Over asking for your permission. your land in total only worth sixteen by Mario Smith That “with liberty and justice for all” years. That’s what it says to us, that’s thing that ends your Pledge of Alle- the message we receive from you. Qual- Interesting giance, it is finally on trial. Baptism by ified Immunity.  outrage. As one of your own wrote in Those two cases will be the accompa- If black people said Time, “…—at the end of the day—the bat- niment of determining whether change white lives matter tle is over the state of the human heart.” is something any of us will ever ex- Our final question, this: Do you honest- perience. Human rights should not dis- would white people ly have one? criminate. Until then, hold your breath. insist that all lives matter George Floyd is not the cause of this— Anticipate the worst. At least that will but he is the catalyst. It was the Minne- give you some idea of what it feels like Written by Mario sota rank-and-file’s response to his and what we mean when we scream, C.2015 “I Can’t Breathe.” 9

Patrick Bouie of Cabrini Green Remain Silent by Gwendolyn Brooks by N.A. Patin What is devout is never to forget. and when we speak we are afraid Never to shelve the value and the beauty. our words will not be heard nor welcomed Patrick. but when we are silent Vivid. Valid. Lyrical. we are still afraid So it is better to speak We cannot reach, remembering We cannot touch. we were never meant to survive -Audre Lorde The radiant richness that was Patrick Cannot be reached again, cannot be hugged. When it is the police, We remain silent Cannot be visited. When it is rape, What is devout is never to forget We remain silent that he was with us for a little while. Our splendor. When it is someone famous Our creative spirit. someone popular Our sparkling contribution. Our someone powerful flash of Influence interrupted. We remain silent Our Interrupted Man. Of all rape victims, We have the right to require silence —from “SEASONS: A Gwendolyn Brooks Experience” Because we think no one is innocent Not even the innocent after BAM Not ever the victims by avery r. young We make them complicit “Don’t force your poem to be nice We are told when we are young or proper or normal Who we can go to or happy if it does not want to be” To feel safe —Gwendolyn Brooks Tell the police Tell your teacher from “Young Poet’s Primer” Tell your preacher poet Who do you tell when Those charged with your protection poem(s) aint enuf dey help somethin but dey dont Those tasked to give you service Slide their badges over your body resurrect(t) lazarus or any other name in dem dey can force Shove their chalk down your throat Get you drunk on the blood of Jesus an exhumation of sort sometime(s) but at bes(t) yo Then tell you that your silence will protect you amalgamation of imagery & soun(d) will en(d) up jus(t) a poem The numbers tell me that nothing will protect me or you dat may provoke indict &/or encourage a WHITE donor to Like how since 1976, 1,479 people have been executed on Death Row cut a big(r) chec(k) to a WHITE(r) institution but poet be but over 19,000 have been murdered by police Like how sexual misconduct is mo(re) den de han(d) u do right wif or de aptitude to not be nice the second highest form of police brutality Like how you’re more likely to get raped on page ink cryin over body aint an arres(t) warrant or by a cop than someone on the street Like how Oklahoma City cop, Daniel Holtzlcaw, can face electric chair it an instrument of re-trauma mo(re) den proper over 32 charges of first-degree rape, forcible sodomy and sexual battery and still get freed on bail Retribution a poem written in de voice of a weepin mudda or and still get thousands in donations because him getting punished unwillin bullet dont stop police-on-blk crime from bein normal new-story to craf(t) within de confine(s) of structure &/or meter poet a poem aint justice serve(d) nor happy medium tween body within embrace & instant los(t) of body if a poem was all deez thing(s) i wud call poem(s) jee-sus & it wud be body bac(k) by en(d) of haiku i hope a poem does a many-a-thing from comfort to complicate & not be merely lyric of spectacle attach(d) to imagination &/or want poet verse in deez time(s) be important & u have to work wif yo weaponry but a gun a thing a pen will never be

for raping Black women is seen as the real injustice What is most terrifying to the powerful “Defund Police” Like how 51% of all sexual violence committed by police is against minors Is the weak realizing their strength by Monica Trinidad Like how 60% of Black women get raped before they turn 18 Like how every woman I know has either been raped There is no keeping of secrets or her sister or her mama or her daughter or her friend When the dead are resurrected or her cousin or her coworker has been raped Through the anger of the living Like how men get raped but no one ever wants to talk about that because we don’t even like to talk about women getting raped There is no keeping of secrets Like how trans and gender non-conforming people get raped, When the raped find their justice but no one ever wants to talk about that In the telling of what happened because those refusing to be binary somehow don’t count as people, There is no keeping of the secret especially when they get raped That the system of America Like how children get raped but no one ever wants talk about that Was built between the thighs of captured dark women because we don’t ever want to talk about anyone getting raped Built inside the grooves of bloodied Black backs Like how sex is the weapon when it comes to rape Built on bones red and feathered with colonizing cruelty not the actual point because rapists hardly ever come When the desecrated begin to assess the damage And hardly ever close to justice Demand what was stolen be returned With thousands of untested rape kits languishing Demand what was broken be repaired in basements of police stations nationwide Demand what was destroyed be restored Demand what was betrayed be reconciled Why am I talking about rape when I am supposed by the awful searing truth to be talking about how we can’t breathe? Then the breath will demand its rightful place This PTSD takes my breath away The breath will command its rightful space Takes my days turns them into tears To matter Takes my joys To shatter this silence turns them into terrors That will never protect us Takes and takes and takes and takes my light Until I swallow darkness of silence We matter. Black lives matter. To keep the kind of sanity that makes everyone more comfortable than I will ever be Black lives: women, trans, lesbian, gay, JULY 2020 Newcity gender non-conforming, men, children, I have never been able to breathe raped, beaten, arrested, unprotected, exploited, I hold my stomach in unintentionally poor, policed and all in-between Black lives Have held it in for decades trying to hold myself together Held it in so long that it hurts to pee MATTER To sing to sleep to speak And so Everyone tells me that my silence will protect me We must breathe. Just like the police are supposed to protect me Just like the church should be my sanctuary Just like schools and workshops and poetry were supposed to liberate me But I still can’t breathe Because the movement ain’t trying to get me free When rape is so pervasive That those trying to uplift the masses Do their best to try to uplift some asses Then press fingers into screams saying “just move with me Not against me” Saying “keep this our secret No one will believe you anyway” Gluttons for power Will always gorge themselves On those they perceive as weak 11

9 MinutesNewcity JULY 2020 BLACK PEOPLE comprehend and identify, but it remained —For George Floyd ARE NOT DUMBER practically omnipresent in my upbringing, THAN YOU particularly in school. I had at least one by Timothy David Rey teacher in every grade that I can remem- This poem begins with 9 minutes of silence by Skyler Higley ber who would take it upon themselves to This poem begins like this implicitly assume I was dumb, or less com- If I could only ______________________ W e know that it is impossible for the petent than other kids. This manifested in and ______________________ human mind to comprehend the true many ways that became less and less sur- then I’d ______________________ fullness of the universe in its encom- prising as I got older. My eighth-grade bi- If we as a nation had ___________ or ________________ passing of galaxies, planets, stars, twerk ology teacher, Mrs. Cottonpicker (that’s Then maybe we would ______________________ videos, “90 Day Fiancé,” consciousness not her name, she just called her comput- Hand in pocket and knee on ___________________ and the concept of Pokémon. The same er a cotton picker out of frustration once), Hand in pocket and we are ____________________ can be said for racism. Therefore, when would always ask me why I wasn’t work- This poem begins with 8 minutes of silence your goal is to talk about racism, it’s like ing on the in-class assignment. The an- This poem begins again. deciding to talk about the universe. Despite swer was always because I had already Hands behind back locked in ___________________ my perpetual avalanche of racial shit-talk, completed it. Her response was to force Head pushed down into ______________________ I don’t actually know if I can bring anything me to show her the front and back of each 7 is for teargassed protestors new to the table that isn’t already available page to verify that I wasn’t lying, and then 6 is ________________________________ in countless books, movies, stand-up spe- she would check to make sure that I hadn’t and _________________________ cials, poems and even some more for- just scribbled a bunch of random bullshit. This poem continues with 5 minutes of _____________ ward-thinking porn, but as far as enlight- There are a lot of movie scenes that play The poem continues like this enment goes, I’m confident we’ll land out similarly, usually involving a computer If only I could heave and _________________ again somewhere between “The Blind Side” with code or whiteboard, and this is how we Under the pressure of __________________________ Sandra Bullock and anything Cornel West the audience find out a character is a 4 is for knees on sports sidelines has ever said. Pretty broad spectrum. Super Genius and that’s why he’s the For _____________-ing them movie’s protagonist. This was the inverse, 4 is also for _________________ Why do I have to start with an ostenta- starring me, proving constantly that I If only we had ______________ tious analogy to existence itself? Don’t wasn’t a Fucking Idiot. It never mattered And then we might have ______________ think that I don’t know that it’s a reach as how many times we had acted out that This poem goes on with 3 minutes of silence an opener, and I’m not convinced even scene, she relentlessly questioned my The poem goes on like this lampshading it makes it any better. Let me ability to complete a Punnett square, or re- 2 is for calling out ‘Mother’ at least explain that it’s because I feel like member the phases of mitosis (Interphase, 2 is also for ____________________ I have to prove to you that I’m smart. I was Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telo- This poem ends with one minute of silence adopted and raised by two white parents phase, bitch). You may be wondering if she This poem ends like _____________________________. in Salt Lake City, Utah, and that fact alone ever treated other students this way. The is already just too much. According to most answer is yes. The single other Black stu- 12 sociological texts, the only way for a Black dent in my class, Tye, got the same treat- person to be living in Utah is by playing in ment. We were often confused for each the NBA or some sort of clerical error. As other. (The day she called her computer a an African American who grew up in a pre- cotton picker, the two of us got to do that dominantly (aggressively) white, and I thing where you look at each other and si- would argue atypically insular area (even multaneously think “Did she really just…?”) relative to other white communities, shout- Thanks to Mrs. Cottonpicker, and count- out to Mormonism), I had the relative priv- less similar experiences from educators, ilege (or plight) of coming face-to-face with every time I open my mouth or type a sen- the version of America that white people tence I feel compelled to scream my lungs assumed was ubiquitous throughout the out into the void that I can be both Black nation. I don’t have a story about a cop pull- and intelligent, and I probably won’t ever ing his gun on me while I was walking stop. I can say the alphabet backwards. I around my neighborhood because the can solve a Rubik’s Cube. These are two cops weren’t even patrolling my neighbor- things that I learned in about an afternoon, hood. That explicit form of racism is Super and regardless of what it says about my Mario. What I experienced was Waluigi. intelligence, I learned them, at least partial- ly, to help me project the image of intelli- Like Waluigi, being a lateral derivation of gence. It’s called trauma, and it’s a com- a character already antithetical to Mario, pensation for my insecurity produced from the racism I experienced was trickier to an incessant stream of what woke culture has dubbed “microaggressions,” which I was fed a hearty diet of throughout my en- tire childhood. The quickest way to throw me into a blind rage is to simply assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. Here in 2020, Black America and I are similar in that regard. The burning Target is a symbol

of anger from those who have been silenced. white privilege gives rise to racial biases, “I Will Not Be Silenced” and \"Brown People for Black Power” by William Estrada White audiences have levied the burden of conscious or unconscious, which again Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks tandem proof onto African Americans when it comes you have (and if you think you don’t have riding a unicorn over a rainbow before qui- etly submitting a request for racism to be to our persecution, but to continue the met- them, then congratu-fucking-lations, they’re over forever, riddled with “just”s “I was think- ing maybe”s and “it might be nice if”s. We aphor, act as both judge and jury even while unconscious), and the cumulative e ect of exist within a system—there’s they themselves are the defendant, so of aforementioned racial biases creates and that word again—that allows white people to comfortably course the verdict constantly comes down to perpetuates institutional racism which feeds not know what they don’t know, and continue replying not guilty. To quote James Baldwin from , into the overall systemic racism that is foun- “#AllLivesMatter” to any ex- pression of racial justice, “To be a Negro in this country and to be rel- dational to the United States even in the face of the god- damn ocean of analogies atively conscious is to be in a rage almost all because of slavery—YES, that explain the obvious rhe- torical flaws with that re- the time.” To quote myself this morning, “I slavery, I said it—which was sponse. They would much rather put up a soundproof swear to god, these goddamn white people abolished(ish) by the th invisible wall to relax in their massage chair of willful ig- JESUS CHRIST the audacity FUCK.” We are Amendment, although cave- norance powered by veiled racism. It is this same invis- of equivalent eloquence. ated by the prison system al- ible wall that has caused some to create an unignorable display of In writing this, I hesitate to repeat points that lowing for targeted mass in- merchandise going up in flames. This is a real curriculum, perfect or not. We can argue I have both seen and myself have regurgitat- carceration working parallel about the e icacy of looting until we’re dead, but my take is simply what is inarguable: ed online ad nauseam within the overlapping to segregation, redlining, It’s happening. Many fear the chaos of riots, and would echo chambers of liberalism and Black intel- food deserts, hiring discrim- prefer things went back to normal. Under- stand that the riots started back in lectualism, especially given that most who ination, predatory lending, when the first African slave set foot in James- town, and that this definition of normal is already disagree don’t actually care to listen profiling and police brutality unacceptable. My race has informed my en- tire life, from my adoption to my well-mean- and go on their merry way as is their assumed to uphold our nation’s pre- ing white parents who assumed they could “give me a better life” as an expression of their birthright. They’re probably not reading this. cious consolidated patriar- white savior complex, to my now-estranged adopted father who according to my mother Here’s the thing, though: The presence of sys- chal power structure of white remarked at some point that I couldn’t be his “real son,” to my spiteful recollection of the temic racial oppression in America is beyond supremacy eventually result- phases of mitosis (Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, you stu- disagreement. You cannot actually disagree ing in the murders of Ahmad pid old racist bitch!). W.E.B. Du Bois introduced the concept of when you have ignorance on the subject, and Arbery, George Floyd, Breon- “double-consciousness” among African Amer- icans, the idea that the core of one’s very iden- whiteness in America comes with an inherent na Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Sandra tity was not only that of a human being exist- ing within reality, but also that of a Black level of ignorance to the experience of other Bland, Tony McDade, Tamir Rice, Michael human being. As socially constructed and paradoxical as the idea of race itself, Black- races. It’s as if I said I was being punched in Brown, Philando Castile, Amadou Diallo, ness is its own universe layered over the one I big-headedly mentioned earlier. White the face, but for the sole reason that you were Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Alton B. America, (and hopefully white people reading this), for only the past sixty years starting—not not being punched in the face, you respond- Sterling, Christian Taylor, Tanisha Anderson, ending with—the civil rights movement, is only beginning to glimpse a bit of this universe. ed “I do not believe you are being punched in Akai Gurley, Natasha McKenna, et god damn This painful, divisive process is growth, evo- lution, and as much as I truly fucking hate to the face,” or more popularly, “You’re not being cetera, and if all that seems a bit overwhelm- say it, mitosis. punched in the face that much,” or my least ing then how the fuck do you think Black peo- favorite, “Well, if you’re being punched in the ple feel? Let’s break for commercial: face, I’m being punched in the face, too, maybe even more than you.” To argue from We here at Hidden Valley Ranch know that this place is insane, and makes me want to it’s unpopular to be overtly racist, so we’d like punch you in the face. to let everyone know that out of obligation and If I’m being transparent, I’m secretly inspired bloodthirsty hunger for higher reputation cap- by the hope that once this is published, I can ital in our brand, we’d like to say that #Black- absolve myself of the need to engage in ar- LivesMatter. We have decided that Black guments online regarding these points. For people are good, and they shouldn’t be mur- the reader who shares my perspective, this paragraph dered just for being Black. will probably not reveal any- Let’s Ranch™! B L A C Kthing too profound, but I I started with a memory from school as both an ex- want to get the information ample of an institutional that all white people need to struggle, and because edu- hear out of the way: You ben- cation of perspective is what this really comes down to. L I V E Sefit from white privilege, I’m tempted to title this whether you want to or not. essay something clickbaity, MATTERYes, it is real, it’s not a ghost, and believing that it is not real is a function of said las vidas like “Why I Hate Martin Lu- white privilege. No, it doesn’t negras ther King” or “Why I Refuse importan mean every aspect of your To Say Black Lives Matter,” life is privileged because because each, in their own you’re white, but that there is way, have been perverted JULY 2020 Newcity a privilege that is innate to @werdmvmnt - into a token of completion, being white in America, and whether that’s a single Ins- it interacts with all of society, whether that is tagram post with a black screen, or the nar- schools, jobs, banking, the medical system, rative from our educational system that sug- policing or legal system, to name a few. Your gests the entire civil rights movement was 13

14 Newcity JULY 2020

MUSICIAN OF THE MOMENT T he blues has thrived in Chicago for T oronzo Cannon is our preeminent Motown also; but to me it was all just JULY 2020 Newcity decades, a specialist genre with a rich dispenser of that blistering, beat- music my grandparents played. It was and storied history with a small but ardent ifying cure. In our first review of genre-less to me. My brother used to pool of fans and an ever-shifting contingent his music, in 2016, we wrote, “The blues bring home different types of music like of tourists who breeze in and out, eager to still works because it’s not the Internet Devo and Blondie. He’d go to his sum- get a hit off the head-on genuineness that’s that connects us; it’s our innate human mer job, and I’d sneak in and listen to usually buffered out of glossy, corporate- capacity for misery and regret. And all of his albums. backed music. But those tourists have awak- Toronzo Cannon works because he ened to a hellacious sociopolitical hangover. spins that into a kind of furious ecstasy.” When did you realize music The global-scale pandemic and the nation- Last year’s “The Preacher, the Politician was your calling? wide uprisings against police violence have or the Pimp,” his most recent album, created the kind of destabilizing double- raised the bar higher, tackling not mere- I guess it was in my early twenties. I whammy that seems likely to drive people ly individual despair but our collective couldn’t play basketball anymore, I hurt back to music that nakedly confronts their desperation to see and be seen. “Woke my knee. At that time, in the eighties, pain and then cauterizes the wound. Tran- blues” may sound like a mutually exclu- I was listening to people like Chaka scending agony by digging deeper into it is sive term—akin to “Christian metal” or Khan, The Police, Bob Marley—reggae, older than the blues (ask any opera aficio- “dark surf”—but Cannon makes it seem ska music. But I got the bug listening nado); but the twelve-bar, searing-guitar entirely natural, channeling political to John Cougar Mellencamp albums, variety is our homegrown remedy and it’s disgust, the rage of the under-insured because of the acoustic sound. “Rain one of our essential assets. and the shame of the silent; he even on a Scarecrow”—things like that, just gives voice (in fact several) to the a very heavy acoustic sound. by ROBERT RODI #Metoo movement. When did you take up the guitar? photo by SANDY MORRIS (SALLY BLOOD) Cannon’s facility with universal connec- Shot on location at Jazz Showcase. tion might stem from his nine-to-five It was the early nineties. I think I got my gig: he’s a full-time bus driver for the first guitar in ninety-one, ninety-two. CTA, which is a front-row seat for the My sister got it for me, actually. I was ongoing human pageant. I spoke with an assistant manager at a movie the- him about his past, his politics, his day ater on the North Side, and I would get job and the alchemy that turns them all everybody in, then I’d go upstairs to the into his art. office and practice for like an hour and fifteen minutes—however long the Let’s start with your movie was. childhood and upbringing. Was music a part of it? Did you have formal training, or are you self-taught? My grandparents primarily raised me, and blues was in the house, R&B I had three weeks of formal training. was in the house. I’m sure there was ’Cause along with the guitar, my sister 15

Newcity JULY 2020 gave me a month’s worth of lessons, I did two albums with Delmark Re- the things they say that make people every Wednesday. I only got through cords before that, which for me was do things against their own best in- three of them, because I wanted an achievement. That’s the oldest terest. You know, preachers—you’re to play reggae first. (He laughs.) And blues label in the world. So I was gonna take ten percent of my earn- the guy kept saying, “Well, you have happy to be part of that long history. ings, I’m already living in the ghetto, to learn these chords before you And then all of a sudden I get the call and you’re tax-exempt? And then you can learn those chords.” I also tried to be part of the biggest blues label got the pimp, who’s making a woman Old Town School of Folk Music when in America, if not the world—and their do things against her best interest, I got a little bit older, but that was roster is also great. So for me to be on take the money she earns and give only, like, two lessons. It was only to those two historical labels—Delmark it to him. decode the chords I already knew. and Alligator—is kind of like, “Wow, I would look at Bob Marley videos and I’m doing something right.” My biological father was a pimp. see where his fingers were, and I’d My mother was sixteen when she had write it down and then do it myself; But as far as breakthrough—with me, my father was sixteen; I was a so I’d be playing chords, but I didn’t Alligator, Bruce Iglauer put me in mar- product of teenage love. He got into know what they were. So the guy at kets that I had never been in. I was the lifestyle later. I didn’t meet him the Old Town School, he’d say, “That’s doing a bunch of European gigs on until I was eighteen years old. He an A-minor,” or “That’s a C.” And I’d my own; and when I signed with wasn’t flashy, like the stereotypical say, “Okay, cool.” Alligator all of a sudden I was doing pimp with the big rings. He was just more American gigs—going to festi- a regular guy. He had two women. When did you flip the switch vals and things in places like upstate I had a lot of questions! and become a professional? New York. People would hear me and say, “Wow, who are you, where are The current crisis is changing I started going to blues jams, and that you from?” You know, Chicago being the ground underneath our feet. was like my full-circle moment—“Oh, a blues hub, and with my European Do you think the blues has a this is the music my grandparents gigs, I thought I was maybe known role to play in what we’re all played.” And a guy named Tommy a little bit; but turns out the people going through right now? McCracken, a local Chicago blues guy, who listen to Alligator are a whole dif- took me off a jam stage and gave me ferent demographic. Definitely. People say misery loves my first gig, playing behind him at company; but with the blues, mis- Taste of Chicago, I think it was 1997. On your next album— ery-loves-company is therapeutic. And I’ve still got the first dollar he gave “The Preacher, The Politician I wrote a song called “Insurance” on me. I mean, the gig wasn’t a dollar! I Or The Pimp”—you’ve raised this last album, and I’ve had people just took one of the dollars he gave the bar. You’re speaking to message me or in-box me or see me me and put it in a frame with the little power here, and speaking for at the shows, saying, “That song is my wristband you get at Taste of Chicago. the disenfranchised. Do you life.” Like I was looking through their see a political role for the blues? window. And to me as a songwriter, I kept playing as a sideman with dif- I feel good that I’m tapping into some- ferent people. I got my reggae chops Oh, yeah. You know, this may sound thing of the real human experience. playing with a reggae band for about funny, you don’t want the blues to And again, the person hearing the a year-and-a-half called Roots, Stems make everything rosy and comfort- song is sad, but he finds comfort and Branches. I noticed they didn’t able—you don’t want to create a uto- that someone understands that this have a guitar player, so I just offered pia, ’cause then there’ll be no blues. thing he’s going through is real— to play free. And they were like, “Sure.” But in a way you do want to create a it’s not just a blues song about, “My Eventually they started to pay me. But utopia. I don’t want to have to sing woman left me.” it was cool, I satisfied my little reggae about these hardships, so I’m writing jones, or whatever. And I went back songs to put a light on them—which What’s next for you? Do you to the blues. goes back to my first Alligator record, have a game plan for moving where I had a song called “The Pain forward, in this uncertain world? What is it about the blues Around Me.” that draws you? I’m in the process of writing new I work on the West Side of Chicago songs. And I feel like doing them Well, I’m a firm believer in “You don’t as a bus driver, and in my work I’ll see acoustically, because the words are choose the blues, the blues choose a pimp on the corner standing under more focused. But it’s hard when you.” I didn’t know I was being primed a poster of a politician saying “Vote you’ve written these songs and put up as a kid, that the music I was lis- for me,” and also standing in front of tears and sweat and anger into them— tening to would one day come back one of five storefront churches on the you go through this tug-of-war with to get me! Plus, living in Chicago, it’s same block. That’s all you see on your spirit to write good songs—for it fertile ground, man. the West Side of Chicago, in certain to be overshadowed by a pandemic! impoverished neighborhoods, is li- It feels bad; it’s not cool. But I’ll find a Then “The Chicago Way” quor stores and old storefront church- way to get these songs out. The thing album came out, and it was es. And drug deals and prostitution, is to keep visible as an artist. Even your breakthrough. How did and I figured I’d put those three togeth- without the clubs and the travel. The that change your life? er. ’Cause it’s all about the words— thing is not to lose momentum. 16


Newcity JULY 2020THIS YEAR’S MUSIC 45 ARRIVES AT AN UNPRECEDENTED MOMENT. In March, the pandemic brought live performance to a halt—not only in Chicago, but over much of the world. Subsequent months saw the rise of nationwide protests against police violence and racial profiling—the kind of movement for which musicians have traditionally been on the frontlines. Our city’s musicians have responded to these crises with the ingenuity, vig- or and creative brio that they’ve historically brought to performance, but we’re still at a transformative stage in an entirely new music-making dy- namic. Two years from now, when we again profile the performers who most profoundly direct and influence music in this city, that list may look very different. For some artists, the crisis may inspire ideas and prompt innovations that will launch them into greater productivity and prominence; for others, the post-pandemic landscape may simply be too altered to ma- neuver without a loss of vision and confidence. In the meantime, we have this year’s list, which has an unintended valedic- tory aspect, given that it showcases the artists, performers and ensembles that have been Chicago’s most resonant and reliable voices leading up to the flashpoint—those who have defined the past few (and possibly last ever) years of the Chicago music scene as we’ve long known and loved it. A hand for them, then hands-on-deck for all of us, as we build what comes next. ROBERT RODI Music45 2020 was written by CRAIG BECHTEL and ROBERT RODI. All photos by SANDY MORRIS (SALLY BLOOD). Shot on location at Jazz Showcase. 18

7 • JON LANGFORD JAMILA 1 the album both domestically and abroad, upstarts. The album has sold well and would still be on the road if the pan- enough to give “the dudes” the time and WOODS demic hadn’t gotten in her way. At this freedom they need to retool their brand, point, it seems like a pandemic is the and a series of singles (the most recent only thing that could. being January’s “Cawfee” and “St. Vul- gar St.”) show that they’re on it. Mean- 2019 was Woods’ breakout year, TWIN 2 while, they’ve just dropped (in June) an as the singer-songwriter released her EP, “Side A,” featuring four new songs high-profile “Legacy! Legacy!” album, PEAKS that were in the works when the shut- each track of which was inspired by a down began, and that the intrepid band- cultural icon—ranging from Zora Neale Cadien Lake James, Clay Fran- mates rolled up their sleeves and com- JULY 2020 Newcity Hurston and Eartha Kitt, to James Bald- kel, Jack Dolan, Colin Croom and Con- pleted remotely. win and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Our nor Brodner—“the dudes,” as hometown reviewer noted that the tunes “are fans refer to them—have been around MICK named after the major figures in the long enough to be considered elder JENKINS singer’s artistic pantheon, but the tunes statesmen rather than enfants terrible. aren’t about them. They’re about the And while their live shows (which, until 3 impact those artists have had on the the pandemic, were frequent and woman singing them. The passion and far-ranging) remain supercharged, Jayson Mick Jenkins may have integrity that comes through each tune there’s evidence on their latest album— Huntsville, Alabama roots, but he at- makes it clear—Woods herself is the 2019’s “Lookout Low”—that they’re tended Young Chicago Authors open legacy.” The album features a luxury experiencing mid-career drift, as they mics at seventeen, and today at the rel- cast of guest artists, including Saba and try to figure out who they’re meant to be atively mature age of twenty-nine, he's Nico Segal, racked up critical hosan- now that they’re no longer brash young a Chicago fixture. In the past two years nahs, and several tracks inspired lav- he’s dropped his second full-length, ishly produced videos. Woods toured 19

12 • DAMON LOCKS “Pieces of Man,” and two EPs, 2018’s “Or and Omen). Dreezy promises a full as a “way to explore your faith without More; The Frustration” and this year’s album, but at her own pace. She’s the dogma of religion. It allows you to “The Circus.” The latter features a track, dipped a toe into acting—she has a role go into your own journey of spirituality ”Carefree,\" in which he raps that \"If you're in Chris Robinson’s 2019 Netflix coming- without worrying if ‘I'm doing it right’ living carefree you probably don't look of-age drama, “Beats”—and keeps a and it gives the education and tolerance like us,\" a phrase of such importance high profile through modeling gigs. of religions that may not be your own.” that he sells it on a hemp T-shirt. Along She’s a brand ambassador for Rihanna’s Tymple is a Spotify API that channels with Prop, J-Stock, Burman and Maine Savage X Fenty, among other assign- spiritual content, starting with Christi- The Saint, Jenkins is a member of Free ments. Her fashion-saturated Instagram anity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism and Nation, which calls itself \"a hip-hop page boasts 1.2 million followers. which they plan to broaden to other group that promotes creative thought faiths). Just as Sir is expanding the audi- without accepting narrow views imposed SIR THE 5 ence for gospel with hip-hop, he hopes by the powers that be.” BAPTIST that Tymple will expand gospel beyond Christianity. He released the album 4 “Godfidence: Kingdom Bae” via Tymple in early 2020. DREEZY William James Stokes, a preach- MAKAYA 6 South Side rapper Dreezy (born er's kid—one of twenty-two!—has Seandrea Sledge) dropped “Big Dreez” brought his unique brand of “healing McCRAVEN in 2019, with a luxury supporting cast hip-hop” to appearances at Lollapa- Newcity JULY 2020 including Kash Doll, Jeremih (their sec- looza, Bonnaroo and Made in America The jazz drummer and self-pro- ond duet), Jacquees (whom she used to and opened for Beyonce, Lauryn Hill, claimed “beat scientist” has not missed date), Offset and Derez De'Shon. She Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige and Nelly, and a beat since we last profiled him, was part of a luxury cast herself, with her is probably the only person with that remaining a ubiquitous presence on the contribution to Dreamville’s “Revenge of résumé who has also appeared with Joel performance scene, at home and the Dreamers III” (“Got Me” teamed Osteen Ministries. In 2019 he launched Dreezy with Ari Lennox, Ty Dolla $ign Tymple, which he described to JamTV 20

abroad. McCraven released “Universal Beings” in 2018, which features record- ings of live dates in New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles, with a range of musicians that includes Tomeka Reid and Junius Paul. He followed in 2019 with “Moving Cities,” a collaboration with trumpeter Antoine Berjeaut, and this year released “We’re New Again: A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven,” featuring his interpretation of the final studio album by jazz and spoken-word legend Gil-Scott Heron. The album marked the tenth anniversary of Heron’s death and featured players including Ben Lamar Gay and Junius Paul. JON 7 LANGFORD The Welsh post-punk icon, alt- 18 • ANGEL BAT DAWID meantime, a trip to Valencia to make a roots roustabout and gifted visual artist new album got cancelled. With a series says 2019 was busy touring with The Perry.” Perry joined Langford's Waco of solo seven-inch singles for Spanish Mekons here and abroad to support Brothers for three numbers on one night, label Tiny Global Productions about to their first proper album in eight years, and the following night Perry invited the commence, the ever-busy Langford forty years after the band’s full-length band to play with him. The lockdown says he’s “making artwork and videos debut. Langford calls the response to has meant “lots of painting, virtual gigs for that right now.” “Deserted” “really great.” 2020 started to raise money for bar and venue staff great for Langford, with “more solo trav- who're not working and remote (lonely) SPEKTRAL els selling art and singing songs, then recording sessions with Mekons.” In the 8 QUARTET jamming onboard the Sirius Outlaw Country Cruise ship with Lee Scratch Since we last profiled the inde- JULY 2020 Newcity fatigable chamber ensemble, they’ve earned three additional Grammy nomi- nations (for 2019’s “Yo Soy La Tradición” with Miguel Zenón and 2020’s “Fanm d’Ayiti” with Nathalie Joachim) and made its NPR Music Tiny Desk concert debut, all while keeping a full (pre-pandemic) calendar of tour dates and hometown concerts. One of its most memorable Chicago gigs was an event at the Music Box Theatre. “We presented an evening of queer voices through music and film,” says founding member Doyle Armbrust, “including Alex Temple's ‘Behind the Wall- paper’ with vocalist Julia Holter, a com- mission by composer-performer Gene Knific, and the short ‘Uzi's Party’ (shot in Chicago) by Lyra Hill (in partnership with the Chicago Film Society). It was an absolutely magical evening.” 17 • THE NEWBERRY CONSORT (Ellen Hargis & David Douglass) 21

critical acclaim and a blaze of media attention. In her new mixtape, “Watch This!,” which dropped in May (and fea- tures guest appearances by Saba and Yung Baby Tate), Deaux focuses more on her hip-hop side—the first salvo in a planned shift away from singing and deeper into rapping. She continues her parallel career as a video director—not only of her own material, but of other artists as well; her video for Chicago singer-songwriter Kaina’s “Green” was a highlight of 2019. HALEY 11 FOHR Newcity JULY 2020 PATRICIA 9 23 • STEVE DAWSON Best known for her solo project BARBER Circuit des Yeux, Haley Fohr’s focus now- the virus. Now, like everybody else, I'm adays is entirely on the band Jackie Lynn, The singer-pianist-composer sheltering in place with my wife Martha whose second album “Jacqueline” and longtime resident at The Green Mill Feldman and using the time to study dropped in April 2020. Jackie Lynn also was inducted into the American Acad- and write words and music.” includes Bitchin Bajas members Cooper emy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. “It Crain, Dan Quinlivan and Rob Frye. Fohr turns out I have a following of scientists, JEAN 10 says the first record was “Suicide meets which is so sweet,” she says, adding that DEAUX country rock,” but “Jacqueline” is “more she performed for them at the Academy of a genre exercise, focusing on disco, reception. Also in 2019 she released her When we interviewed the ambi- dance, glam, while still honoring the airy thirteenth album, “Higher,” the center- tious young singer-songwriter-rapper country folk we all love.” She sums up the piece of which is an eight-part art-song for the cover of our 2018 summer music latest chapter in the Jackie Lynn story as cycle played by jazz musicians. Barber issue, she was about to release her first “Femme truck driver finds an existence!” and her trio spent a year touring the EP. “Krash” dropped in October; eight Will there be a third chapter? Fohr says album, arriving back in Chicago in Feb- months later it was followed by a second she has no plans on “continuing any- ruary, “just as we were hearing about EP, “Empathy.” Both records showcased thing,” possibly referring to global uncer- Deaux’s arresting ability to straddle the tainty, but she retains a sliver of hope, R&B and hip-hop worlds, winning her referring to her work thus far as “Seed- lings in a field, perhaps.” Jackie Lynn's European tour has been rebooked for fall and they hope to reschedule a U.S. tour before the end of the year. DAMON LOCKS 12 Multidisciplinarian Damon Lo- cks—musician, vocalist, sound artist and visual artist—is best known as the helmsman of Black Monument Ensem- ble. “Gospel as the soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement was the primary inspiration” for BME, Locks says. “The Freedom Singers were a jumping-off point but groups like Voices of East Har- lem, Eddie Gale's Black Rhythm Hap- pening and the Archie Shepp record, ‘Attica Blues’ also lend inspiration, as 22

22 • OHMME (Macie Stewart & Sima Cunningham) well as tons of others too numerous to which earned a 2020 Grammy nomina- releases, making high-profile appear- mention.” The group has performed at tion for best world music album. This ances on tracks by Jamila Woods, Bas, MCA, Garfield Park Conservatory and success—combined with a bounty of Smino, The Hics and others. the Chicago Cultural Center; its debut commissions and performances—has album, “Where Future Unfolds,” was inspired the Brooklyn-born artist to put SONS 15 released on International Anthem in down roots. She’s lived in Chicago since 2019. A single, “Stay Beautiful,” that was 2015, but has just bought a place, and in OF THE NEVER cut from the album for time was released the words of her former Blackbird col- this year. “I was very sad to not include league Nick Photinos, is “poised to stay.” WRONG it,” Locks says, “but releasing it now was the best time for us to put this into the 14 The much-loved folk trio spent JULY 2020 Newcity world.” BME is only Locks’ latest project; most of the last two years gigging at he’s been actively making music since SABA home and touring at large, and while the he arrived in Chicago in 1988. His pandemic put a stop to that, it’s given endeavors have included the post-punk Since we last profiled Tahj Malik them the time to work on a new album, outfit Trenchmouth and Rob Mazurek’s Chandler, his “sabiquity” has remained their first since 2017’s “Song of Sons.” Exploding Star Orchestra. his chief attribute. While he hasn’t They’ve had to work through technical released a full-length since 2018’s “Care challenges, since Sue Demel—unlike her NATHALIE 13 for Me,” inspired by the stabbing death Chicago-based colleagues Deborah JOACHIM of his cousin John Walt, he’s been active Lader and Bruce Roper—has been shel- in the Pivot Gang collective, which tering in place in the Upper Peninsula. Haitian-American flutist-com- dropped its debut record in 2019. In addi- But the trio is making a virtue of the poser-vocalist Nathalie Joachim, a for- tion to the Gang’s core members (in- remote collaboration. “Some of [the mer member of Eighth Blackbird, scored cluding Squeak, Dam Dam, Frsh Waters, album] was recorded in Sue's northern big with her debut project, “Fanm d’Ayiti” daedae and Daoud), “You Can’t Sit With Michigan cabin in the woods,” says (Women of Haiti), which she recorded Us” features quality turns from Benjamin Lader. “If you listen closely, you can hear with Chicago’s Spektral Quartet and Earl Turner, Femdot, Jean Deaux, Kari her dogs barking and the squirrel kick- Faux, Mick Jenkins, Smino and Sylvan ing all the birds out of the feeder.” LaCue. Meantime, Saba remains an in-demand guest on fellow artist’s 23

RAVYN 16 LENAE Ravyn Lenae was young when 28 • ENSEMBLE DAL NIENTE we first profiled her in 2018—and she’s (Ben Melsky, Emma Hospelhorn, only just turned twenty-one. Despite Michael Lewanski & Mabel Kwan) which, she’s already put out three stellar EPs (her self-released 2015 debut, David”)—is that the gamble paid off instrumentation with an optimistic out- “Moon Shoes,” was reissued by Atlantic, spectacularly. Her 2019 album, “The look that puts a smile on your face and her current label), and has lent her inim- Oracle,” on which she sings and plays gets your head bobbing. After dropping itable soprano to tracks by Joey Purp, keys and clarinet to her own composi- the EP “BANBA” in 2018, Wilson put out Mick Jenkins and Noname (opening for tions, became a critical sensation and the infectious single “Yellowbrick” last her on her “Telefone” tour). She’s toured established her as one of the city’s most summer, and for many, his set at 2019’s with SZA and is a member of the Zero original voices. It helped that Elmore Pitchfork Music Festival was a highlight. Fatigue collective along with Monte had spent more than a year playing free- Booker, Smino, Jay2, Bari and Nosidam. jazz sessions, building community and 25 • HELEN Lenae has been touring on the success eventually co-founding Participatory MONEY of her 2018 EP “Crush,” but this spring Music Coalition. Her newest work, brought us a tantalizing taste of new “Transition East,” features two new music to come in a single, “Rewind,” pieces of music she created in response from the soundtrack of season four to Emma Warren's book “Make Some of “Insecure.” Space.” “My music and mission are about sonically eradicating the white 17 supremacy system,” Elmore says, “and its continued negative and harmful THE effects it imposes on Black and brown NEWBERRY people worldwide.” CONSORT RIC 19 The pioneering early-music en- WILSON semble has been a thriving part of the Newcity JULY 2020 city’s cultural life for more than thirty “We don’t want that weak shit years, during which it has championed no more,” Wilson opines on his just-re- period-instrument performances. “Draw- leased collaborative EP with L.A.-based ing on the vast resources of the New- musician-producer Terrace Martin, “They berry Library at their Near North Side Call Me Disco”—and you won't find any home base,” says Lawrence Johnson, of that weak material in his repertoire. “married co-directors violinist David His rubbery funk-disco infused take on Douglass and soprano Ellen Hargis con- rap features busy, but never excessive tinue to present illuminating programs percussion, bubbling vocals and rich of a wide array of early and Renaissance music, mixing scrupulous scholarly research with imaginative presentation and lively performances.” ANGEL 18 BAT DAWID Just six years ago, Angel Elmore was making a good living in retail. At thirty-four, she quit, cashed out her 401K, and set to realizing her lifelong dream of a career in music. It’s not an uncommon story; what’s different about Elmore—who adopted the stage name Bat Dawid (Hebrew for \"daughter of 24

Although he's still working on his debut full-length album, he’s toured with or opened for The Roots, Big Freedia, Lil Yachty, BadBadNotGood, Azealia Banks, The All-American Rejects, Noname, Alex G, Mr Twin Sister, Kweku Collins and RDGLDGRN. ANITA 20 WILSON Anita Wilson celebrated her 29 • SETH tenth anniversary as a solo artist by mix- PARKER WOODS ing things up… literally. In April she released “DanceSoul,” which remixes massaging of their name is nothing tering in place, Dawson started his fol- seven fan favorites from her three pre- compared to the finessing of their sound, low-up, a double LP called “The Spaces vious albums, “Worship Soul” (2012), which benefited from the addition of In Bet-ween.” “This is the project,” he “Vintage Worship” (2014) and “Sunday drummer Matt Carroll. The band’s debut says, “that I submitted for the DCASE IAP Song” (2017), each of which was Gram- album, “Parts,” dropped in 2018, and grant that led to the Esteemed Artist my-nominated for Best Gospel Album. June saw its follow-up, “Fantasize Your Grant, which I am flabbergasted about.” The new tracks, which incorporate Ghosts,” which this magazine called dance, house and disco influences, “hard-edged, high-gloss, lyrically com- BEACH 24 debuted in the top ten of iTunes’ Dance plex indie pop; (Ohmme’s) specialty is a charts. Wilson is keeping the momen- paradoxically urgent languor.” BUNNY tum going through the shutdown with radio appearances, virtual church visits STEVE 23 Songwriter Lili Trifilio started JULY 2020 Newcity and more, as the spirit moves her. DAWSON rocking surf popsters Beach Bunny as a bedroom pop project in 2015; four EPs TORONZO California-born Steve Dawson followed, and killer riffs emanated effort- 21CANNON spent the first years of the millennium lessly from the group, most recently on tacking between his alt-country/Ameri- 2018's “Prom Queen”—her first with a Born in 1968, Toronzo Cannon cana band, Dolly Varden, and a solo proper band lineup. When news broke is the standard bearer of the new breed career. Toss in his duties at Old Town last fall that Beach Bunny had signed to of Chicago blues performers who have School of Folk Music, where he teaches major indie label Mom + Pop and taken up the mantle from the O.G. leg- songwriting and guitar, and you get a planned to release their debut full- ends. And the guy walks the walk; for sense of serious creative energy. His cur- length this year, expectations were high. one thing, he drives a city bus full-time. rent project is Funeral Bonsai Wedding, “Honeymoon,” released on Valentine’s That kind of street-level cred helped whose new album, “Last Flight Out,” is a Day, met those expectations and then propel his highly political 2019 album, collaboration with the string ensemble exceeded them. To say that Trifilio wears “The Preacher, The Politician Or the Pimp” Quartet Parapluie that crystallized after her heart on her sleeve would be an to the front rank of the year’s blues the group joined Dawson onstage at the understatement. It’s more like her heart releases. Our reviewer declared, “Can- Hideout during a month-long residency is tattooed on her arm and the personal non's wordplay often threatens to in 2017. The album, recorded in a single lyrics and muscular guitar riffs of Beach upstage both his singing, which is daz- five-hour session, has earned critical Bunny repeatedly stab that tattoo. Sure, zlingly full-throttle, and his playing, raves; our reviewer said, “The resultant there are local surf antecedents— which manages to be both virtuosic and fusion of disparate genres creates a rav- Swimsuit Addition readily springs to wild… Cannon's in sonic competition ishing textural dissonance” While shel- mind—but Beach Bunny are more like with himself.” Bully meet Sloan with an injection of OHMME 22 Singer-songwriters Macie Stew- art and Sima Cunningham debuted as Homme back in 2014; the subsequent 25

Pilobolus and opening for Weird Al Yan- kovic at Ravinia. Mucca Pazza was hop- ing to produce a new album, its second, this year, but the pandemic has hit the pause button: social distancing for thir- ty-odd band members is a nonstarter. “But when it’s finally safe to do that,” Lanza says, “we’re going to have a lot of new songs to put out.” Meantime, online collaborations are being explored for the next few months. DANIEL 27 KNOX Newcity JULY 2020 Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” Maybe 32 • BEN LAMAR GAY In December 2018 the criminally our third coast could be the best coast under-recognized singer-songwriter re- after all. guitarist Tim Midyett for release next leased “Chasescene,” featuring contri- year; and with her writing partner Will butions from Jarvis Cocker and Nina HELEN 25 Thomas composed music for the trailer Nastasia, and returned from a UK and MONEY of the movie “The Invisible Man.” European tour supporting that record at the beginning of 2020. An EP of what In March, cellist-composer Ali- MUCCA 26 he calls “abstract songs,” “I Had A Won- son Chesney released her fifth album as PAZZA derful Time,” was released last Decem- Helen Money. “Atomic” features material ber and Knox was preparing to go on she performed while on tour last winter Everybody’s favorite thirty- another transatlantic tour with The with the doom metal band, Earth, and piece pomo marching band might once Handsome Family to promote it, but that if you think a cellist is an unlikely choice have seemed like a novelty act, with the tour has been rescheduled to April-May on such a bill, consider that Chesney members wearing vintage high-school of 2021. “Presently in isolation,” Knox has invented the genre she calls “Cello band uniforms, but the ensemble has says, “I am writing a very big record” Doom,” which, by her own bio’s dictate, evolved into a singular and wide-rang- intended for release in time for that tour. involves “huge violent bursts, following ing musical force, welcome just about His David Lynch obsession continues, her trademark patterns of closely-slurred, anywhere and everywhere. “We played evidenced by his first cover album on eerily beautiful double-stop harmonies.” a lot of eclectic gigs in 2019,” says found- cassette called “Half Heart: Songs From The singularity of her sound—and her ing cheerleader Sharon Lanza, before Twin Peaks,” which dropped in February. vision—has made her a go-to artist for ticking off venues like the Harold Wash- As if that wasn't enough, last month he high-profile collaborators. She performs ington Library and the Art Institute, surprise-dropped an album, “You Are My on Bob Mould’s 2019 record, “Sunshine events like International Tuba day and Friend: The Songs of Mister Rogers.” Rock”; recorded a horror soundtrack SummerDance, a residency at The with producer-engineer Steve Albini and Hideout where they workshopped new ENSEMBLE 28 material, a collaboration with the DAL NIENTE renowned Chicago dance company Founded in 2005, the group’s name (dal niente, “from nothing” in Ital- ian) is a tribute to Helmut Lachenmann's “Dal niente (Interieur III),” a work that upended traditional conceptions of instrumental technique. It’s also a refer- ence to the group’s humble beginnings, which they have transcended, becom- ing one of Chicago’s most adventurous proponents of new and experimental music. “In the past few years,” says Eighth Blackbird’s Nicholas Photinos, “this intrepid, boundary-pushing group has been pushing past Chicago and 26

33 • TOMEKA REID These MUSIC 45 performers appear so HALL consistently at OF the top of our biannual list FAME that we’re according them Chance their own the Rapper special ranking. Common Eighth Blackbird Kurt Lupe Elling Fiasco Robbie Buddy Fulks Guy Carlos Tim Kalmar Kinsella gaining an international reputation.” Its tural Center—where, as part of Febru- Vic Riccardo most recent recording is a 2019 album ary’s Frequency Festival, he curated a Mensa Muti showcasing the work of its harpist, “Ben portrait concert of the late composer Melsky / Ensemble dal Niente.” Julius Eastman. On the other side of the Smashing Mavis pandemic, he looks forward to bringing Pumpkins Staples SETH 29 to Chicago his newest show, “Translating PARKER the Atrocities of Our Past, Composing Tortoise Jeff WOODS the Language of Our Future,” a multi- Tweedy media event which features works by, In his student days, cellist and among other composers, Chicago’s Umphrey’s Ken JULY 2020 Newcity composer Seth Parker Woods studied Nathalie Joachim. McGee Vandermark briefly at Roosevelt University’s College of Performing Arts; in September of last JUNIUS 30 year he returned to the city, burnished PAUL by an international reputation, to take up a position at University of Chicago Young bassist Junius Paul, not as a Lecturer-Artist in Residence for yet forty, made a name for himself while Cello and Chamber Music. In the months playing with Makaya McCraven, Ernest since, he’s performed and curated per- Dawkins, Roscoe Mitchell Quartet and formances at the Art Institute, Museum the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but his of Contemporary Art and Chicago Cul- idiosyncratic style, both musical and sartorial, launched him into the forefront 27

“Freddie Douggie: Live On Juneteenth“ and a playfully boundary-pushing six- track EP, “East of the Ryan.” Gay’s inter- ests extend to the visual and performing arts. Last summer, his installation “Hecky Naw! Angles!” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago used video art and choreography to explore the history of Black social dances. TOMEKA REID33 36 • DANA HALL Jazz cellist and composer To- meka Reid received her Master of Music in late 2019, with the release of his debut, dess” featuring Raja Kumari and are degree from Chicago’s DePaul Univer- “Isms.” Produced by McCraven, the album scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza in sity and spent the early years of her was recorded over four years, both in Sweden this summer. career here, which included the forma- clubs and studios, featuring a heady list tion of the two groups with which she’s of guest players, including Isaiah Spencer, BEN 32 most associated: the HEAR in NOW trio, Tomeka Reid and McCraven himself, and which she co-leads, and Tomeka Reid sweeps over a breathtaking range from LAMAR GAY Quintet, whose 2019 album “Out Now” free jazz and hip-hop, to tone poems and was one of the year’s most lauded. Reid post-bop. The Chicago cornetist, key- has run the annual Chicago Jazz String boardist and composer has become a Summit since 2015; and when she 31 go-to guy for experimental and impro- moved to New York last year, people vised music. Gay released the dazzlingly asked whether the summit would move KREWELLA adventurous Latin-tinged soundtrack with her. She was adamant that it album “Confetti in the Sky Like Fire- wouldn’t. “I want the Summit to remain Electronic dance pop trio Krew- works (This Is Bate Bola OST)” in 2018, a Chicago thing; it’s my giving back to ella was formed in 2007 by sisters Jahan followed in 2019 by a sonically enigmatic the community that did so much for me. and Yasmine Yousaf and producer Kris collaboration with JayVe Montgomery, Chicago has blessed me my whole life.” Trindl. Each has a “6-8-10” tattoo, com- Because of the pandemic, this year’s memorating the date the three agreed Summit, which took place in May, was to devote themselves to the group (a streamed, and is viewable on the Sum- decision possibly regretted by Trindl mit’s Facebook page. Reid has spent the when he left under acrimonious circum- lockdown sheltering-in-place with her stances in 2014). The Yousaf sisters have partner in the West Loop. Post-quaran- been a de facto duo for the six years tine, a new album from HEAR in NOW since, and their second album, “zer0,” is planned. which dropped this January, is an elec- tropop tour de force. Lyrically, no topics 34 • MATT ULERY or words are off limits, making one won- Newcity JULY 2020 der how their Pakistani father feels about all this. “It's like I‘m fucking screaming but quietly,” they sing on “Anxiety,” a track that features Arrested Youth. Other guest appearances include Nucleya, Asim Azhar, Alaya and Yung Baby Tate. Krewella just released an acoustic ver- sion of “Greenlights” as well as a collab- orative single with NERVO called “God- 28

recorded an album of original music with a pan-African, pan-Caribbean fla- vor, uniting his ensemble dana hall spring with expanded woodwinds, horns and percussion. Called “for all seasons,” it’s due in October. Hall, who was touring, teaching and traveling nonstop (includ- ing an October residency in Portugal), intended to use the spring months to decompress. “I didn’t count on it being mandated,” he says with a laugh. He’s been using lockdown to write, reflect and revive a solo project he’s long meant to get back to. MICHAEL 37 J. MILES MATT 34 37 • MICHAEL J. MILES Banjo virtuoso Michael J. Miles ULERY has long been a folk music fixture, with unusual to see someone like frontman a bounty of recordings in his catalog and Bassist Matt Ulery is another Tom Higgenson beginning his second a repertoire of stage shows, including ubiquitous figure on the jazz scene. He’s act while the first is nowhere near a cur- “From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the led several groups while bringing his tain. Higgenson’s seminal power-pop American Banjo.” His latest work, funded distinctive voice and sensibility to col- band, Plain White T’s, exploded out of by three consecutive years of DCASE laborations with fellow luminaries such Lombard to rack up platinum singles in grants, is “Mississippi River Suite,” a as Makaya McCraven and Marquis Hill, the late 2000s; in 2018 they were back at twenty-two-minute performance poem and to new-music ensembles including it, rejoining their original label, Fearless for banjo, flute, bass percussion and Eighth Blackbird and Axiom Brass. Records, and dropping their eighth voice that takes “the river that ‘divides Along the way he’s released nine albums album, “Parallel Universe,” to general the nation' as the foundation for a musi- of original music. In the past two years acclaim. Meanwhile, Higgenson was cal portrait of a ‘divided nation.’” Miles alone he’s released “Sifting Stars” under working his synth-pop mojo in a new says, “I don’t think of myself as a sing- his own name, and “Wonderment” with project, Million Miler, whose debut single, er-songwriter; I think of myself as a com- drummer Jon Deitemyer and violinist “Take a Chance On Me,” made 2019 poser and instrumentalist.” The spo- Zach Brock. His most recent album, feel like 1983. Additional singles have ken-word element of the piece is per- “Delicate Charms,” was released in Octo- followed. Higgenson has managed to formed by storyteller Zahra Glenda ber and has drawn comparisons to art- crush the quarantine, too: In May, Plain Baker. A CD of the suite was released in ists as far afield as Charles Mingus and White T’s streamed a concert on Chicago May, with a livestreamed CD release Claude Debussy. Particular raptures Sound Check's Instagram Live. concert at Old Town School scheduled have accrued to its centerpiece, an for July 10. Miles is also committed to exhilarating thirteen-minute tour de DANA 36 posting a video each week during quar- force titled “Coping.” HALL antine to his YouTube channel. TOM 35 Dana Hall is possibly the town’s DANIELLE most indefatigable drummer. Kate Dum- 38 SINES HIGGENSON bleton calls him “one of the most tal- ented musicians in Chicago” and ob- Singer-songwriter Danielle Sines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observation serves that he’s played “more or less has seen her summery pop-punk trio, JULY 2020 Newcity from “The Last Tycoon,” “There are no seven nights a week all across Chicago Impulsive Hearts, grow from a side proj- second acts in American lives,” has (Green Mill, Jazz Showcase, Elastic Arts, ect to a band in demand. Its new album, been pretty thoroughly negated; it’s not Constellation, Hungry Brain and Win- “Cry All the Time,” dropped in March to ter’s).” He’s also a pivotal figure in any jubilant reviews. But Sines’ influence on number of ongoing collaborations, from the community goes further. CHIRP Clark Sommers’ Ba(SH) to Damon Radio’s Shawn Colvin attests that Sines Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble. He’s is “a highly visible activist for women and girls in the Chicago music scene, 29

bums since 2003, most recently the self-released “Ajai,” which may be his finest work, recorded “right when this started from the pad,” he says, referring to the pandemic. 40 SHOWYOUSUCK teaching with Girls Rock! Chicago, 41 • THE HECKS Show (born Clinton Sandifer) active with Resilience (formerly Rape (Andy Mosiman) has been known of late as the rapper in Victim Advocates) and generally provid- Air Credits, the trio he formed with The ing a powerful voice in Chicago for punked. But his bona fides are legit: Hood Internet, but he’s also a gifted hip- women, girls, and non-binary folx in Cohn grew up splitting time between hop artist in his own right. He hoped to independent music. She's also taken the Chicago’s South Side and the suburbs drop a full-length album by the end of lead on projects to bring people following his parents’ divorce when he 2020, but the pandemic and a cancelled together online during the pandemic, was five, started listening to hip-hop at tour forced him to rethink that goal, and headlining a Midwest Action live-at- twelve, began penning rhymes at Mor- for now he's focusing on releasing four- home showcase and doing virtual GR!C gan Park High, and attended SIU in or five-song EPs via his Bandcamp page, workshops. Her day job as a marriage Carbondale where he met Open Mike most recently “I went into quarantine and family therapist informs the work Eagle. (Since then he's collaborated and all i got was this damn $wag VOL.1.” she does in the music world.” Sines says with Polyphonic, Yoni Wolf, Advance The demos and home recordings under- she “will also be releasing my first song Base, Tobacco, Son Lux and Sufjan Ste- score an ongoing obsession with pop called ‘Dearie’ as a solo artist on a ‘Cav- vens). Serengeti’s made over thirty al- culture, but Show is moving toward a ity Search 2020’ compilation coming out narrative that conveys his personal story. this summer.” 38 • DANIELLE SINES He's started doing comedy, and as a member of the improv troupe Fly Clap 39 has performed at local venues such as Laugh Factory and Second City. A new SERENGETI Air Credits record is scheduled for a release “fall-ish,” Show promises. THE 41 HECKS Formed in 2012 as a duo by Andy Mosiman and Zach Hebert, The Hecks recruited guitarist Dave Vettraino to join in 2017 after he engineered their self- Newcity JULY 2020 Is David Cohn (a.k.a. Serengeti) the Andy Kaufman of hip-hop? If Cohn’s talent wasn’t so clear from his dexterous rhymes and ingenious wordplay, not to mention the skilled paintings of his soundscapes, the average listener and even some hip-hop aficionados would have to wonder if they were being 30

titled 2016 debut. The group rearranged 45 • SUNSHINE BOYS and rerecorded material from 2017 to (Freda Love Smith, Dag Juhlin reflect the contributions of their newest member, keyboardist Jeff Graupner, and & Jacqueline Schimmel) their sophomore full-length “My Star” was released at the end of 2019. Their bio dubs the group “a splash of neon against an otherwise drab scene,” a reflection of their sound that echoes eighties synth- pop. The Hecks were excited to “bring our message to more ears across the planet,” but haven’t toured due to the pandemic. Sheltering separately, they’re working on new material, and say that “the frenzied outpouring of foaming-at- the-mouth demos and sketches” clog- ging up their group texts provides hope for The Hecks; they say, “It sounds like THE FUTURE.” 42 FACS The post-punk band released is still determined to tour the album down the beach, boat rides, fishing... JULY 2020 Newcity “Void Moments” in March, their third full- “when it’s safe to do so. We won't put out That's more exciting than putting out length since the band formed three another record until we've gotten a albums.” Tree clarifies that he’s not aban- years ago, after Disappears lived up to chance to properly promote this one.” doning music; he may even start a label. their name. Guitarist Brian Case, whose The band is demoing new songs, but “But as far as the whole rat race, nah, I’m impressive pedigree already included “we’re in no rush to book studio time, more novelty rapper at this point; I’m a Ponys and 90 Day Men, formed FACS especially given the uncertainty of the collector’s item.” with Disappears drummer Noah Leger, future and the fact that we can’t get the adding bassist Alianna Kalaba for full band [also including guitarist Dave SUNSHINE 45 the 2018 “Lifelike” album. While “Void Sagan, bassist Sean Neumann and BOYS Moments” provides a fantastic sound- drummer Marcus Nuccio] back together track to the claustrophobia under stay- until stay-at-home orders are over.” In Don’t call them a supergroup; at-home orders, from a practical per- the meantime, Ratboys have launched they'd rather think of themselves more spective, the record's release was ill- a weekly video show via Twitch, called modestly, as three musicians with the timed. As Case puts it, after releasing the “Virtual Tour,” in which they “play songs, good fortune to find each other. Local record they promptly cancelled all tour do Q&A, have lots of segments. It's institutions Dag Juhlin (The Slugs, Poi dates and they are “in the very early really fun and keeps us creative and Dog Pondering, New Duncan Imperials) stages of rescheduling for 2021.” He says gives us something to work on.” on lead vocals and guitar, Freda Love FACS are “trying to use this time to pass Smith (Blake Babies, Antenna, Mysteries new ideas around and get ready to 44 of Life) on drums and backing vocals and record some new music that will poten- Jacqueline Schimmel (Big Hello, Justin tially be ready for 2021. We're looking TREE Roberts) on bass and backing vocals this forward to making new music together spring released their second full-length, ASAP and, we hope, getting to play at Since dropping “We Grown Now” “Work and Love,” a masterpiece reminis- least a few shows before the year is out.” in April 2019, Tree (born Tremaine John- cent of REM's jangliest moments. Like its son) traveled the world, focusing on predecessor, 2018’s debut “Blue Music,” 43 becoming a better person. In February “Work and Love” was engineered by Matt he released “The Blue Tape,” his latest in Allison (known for his work with Alkaline RATBOYS what he calls “soul trap,” his own hip-hop Trio, Smoking Popes and The Webstirs). niche. Tree's raps are drawn from a hard- Juhlin says “the biggest motivation for me The rock quartet released its scrabble Cabrini-Green upbringing; he is the sound the three of us make third record, “Printer's Devil,” in late Feb- has no patience with rappers bragging together and how easily we all work ruary and played two sold-out shows at about fame and money. “I’m a hero to two together. I want to keep writing for us if Lincoln Hall and The Hideout—“A really kids in particular,” he says of his sons, six only to keep this sound alive. This sound awesome weekend for us,” says sing- and twelve; and that's enough for him. keeps me going.” er-songwriter Julia Steiner. A subse- “When you don't have to worry about quent tour planned around South By making money from making music, you Southwest was canceled, but the band find peace in small things [like] walks 31

rts & Culture “Another Idea” The Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry takes the ubiquitous virtual art exhibition one step further with a knockout conceptual group show. Artworks in “Another Idea” are inherently ephemeral. Many will unfold over time and appear at various moments. Through July 31. Cauleen Smith, \"COVID Manifesto” 2020, digital images of text and drawing on paper/courtesy the artist

Art “Manos Solidarias—Manos Libres/Hands in Solidarity, Hands in Freedom,” a mural by Daniel Manrique Arias/Photo: Luke A. Fidler Solace cultural diversity of the working class and a call to organize. Designed in partnership with Lockdown Offers a Chance to Revisit Chicago's Public Art workers, the piece came out of a collaboration between muralists in Chicago and Mexico, By Luke A. Fidler who joined in the late nineties to make a series of public works addressing labor movements The museums are closed, the galleries art of Chicago that I have taught in college and and the deep cross-border connections that JULY 2020 Newcity shut down but art goes on. As a historian community classes for years, to explore the informed radical struggle in both cities. Mike accustomed to thinking about images and murals I’ve never had time to squeeze into Alewitz painted the best-known examples objects analytically, I have noticed a growing lesson plans and revisit the monuments that from the series on the Frente Auténtico del change in the ways I come to art in the anger, make up the city’s rich public sphere. Trabajo headquarters in Mexico City and, just anxiety and loneliness of lockdown. For the down the street from Manrique’s mural, at first time in years, I find real solace in the art I Take “Manos Solidarias—Manos Libres/Hands Teamster City at 300 South Ashland (dis- seek, a closer and more personal joy in in Solidarity, Hands in Freedom,” a mural cussed insightfully in Sheila Streeby’s book on paintings and sculptures that may not have painted on the United Electrical Workers Union the visual culture of world movements), both had me or the pandemic in mind. I am not Hall in 1997 by Daniel Manrique Arias. A frieze murals depicting Chicago revolutionaries Lucy alone in this; even Jerry Saltz has turned of quasi-Cubist figures, rendered in bold and Albert Parsons. introspective, waxing poetic about Botticelli. primary colors, raise their fists in joyous But the new strictures imposed on everyday solidarity, flanked by masks, hands and an Almost as soon as they went up, the murals life have been an opportunity to slowly and inscription explaining the picture’s iconography were taken as examples of how artists can methodically work my way around the public as an ambitious testament to the racial and contribute to radical struggle by visualizing intersectional histories of activism and 33

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO GRAHAM FOUNDATION 201 East Ontario Street 4 W. Burton Place 312 787 3997 312 787 4071 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Through July 25 Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego Viewing available online @artsclubchicago or Through September 26 Jennie C. Jones: Constant Structure on Miguel Fisac June–September Garden Project | Marissa Lee Benedict, GRAY David Rueter, Daniel de Paula: Repose Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment (subject to change due to COVID-19) At Northwestern University 312 642 8877 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL [email protected] / 847 491 4000 [email protected] / Gray Online Viewing Room Join us as we #MuseumFromHome on social at @nublockmuseum Through June 26 Evelyn Statsinger: Forest Rhythms and KAVI GUPTA GALLERY CARL HAMMER GALLERY Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard 740 N. Wells Street Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) 312 266 8512 [email protected] / Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Tues–Sat 11-5:30 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Through Summer CJ Pyle: Corona Traveler - New Drawings 312 432 0708 on Vintage LP Album Covers [email protected] / View online at Visit online at Tony Tasset: The Weight (Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) DEPAUL ART MUSEUM Roger Brown: Hyperframe (Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd.) Through July 31 Alfred Conteh: Our Reality At DePaul University 935 W. Fullerton Avenue LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS 773 325 7506 [email protected] / At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Museum closed until further notice. 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 773 702 2787 Please visit our website to sign up for our email newsletter [email protected] / and follow @DePaulArtMuseum and #DigitalDPAM Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates, (subject to change due to COVID-19) digital events, and more. Please contact gallery for more information.

MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY 451 N. Paulina Street At the University of Chicago 312 243 2129 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor [email protected] / 773 702 8670 Open by appointment [email protected] / July 11–August 22 Chase Hall Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 July 11–August 22 February James (subject to change due to COVID-19) April 18–June 28 Miho Dohi MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY At Columbia College Chicago 1711 W. Chicago Avenue 600 S. Michigan Avenue 312 455 1990 312 663 5554 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5 Please contact gallery for more information. (subject to change due to COVID-19) July 10–August 22 Anne Wilson: If We Asked About the Sky Until August 30 Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance July 10–August 22 Chris Garofalo: falling up September 10–December 23 What Does Democracy Look Like? Subject to change. Please visit for up-to-date information. SMART MUSEUM OF ART THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM At the University of Chicago FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue 773 702 0200 At the University of Chicago [email protected] / 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 773 795 2329 (subject to change due to COVID-19) [email protected] / Please contact Smart Museum of Art for more information. Gallery closed until further notice. March 12–August 21 Apsáalooke Women and Warriors WRIGHTWOOD 659 POETRY FOUNDATION 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue 773 437 6601 61 W. Superior Street [email protected] / 312 787 7070 Temporarily closed due to COVID-19, until this fall. [email protected] / Check for updates on our Post-COVID quarantine exhibition schedule will be announced current exhibition and hours. at Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for reopening information. ZHOU B ART CENTER 1029 W. 35th Street 773 523 0200 [email protected] / Mon–Sat 10-5 (subject to change due to COVID-19) Please contact gallery for more information.

“Les quatre saisons” by Marc Chagall/Photo: Luke A. Fidler. Newcity JULY 2020 ONE incorporating authentic strategies of solidarity I don’t mean to romanticize the many walks RECOMMENDATION in their working methods. It’s noteworthy that I’ve taken to see public art. It’s hard to forget a short walk north and west of Manrique’s the reason why the streets are so empty or, as Another Idea painting takes you past less thoughtful Minneapolis burns, to forget how public space commemorations of labor history. A recent is regulated by structural violence. A spate of The Gray Center takes the statue in Union Park honors James Connolly, recent exhibitions and publications have ubiquitous virtual art exhibition the Irish Socialist who helped lead the Easter shown how the rich legacy of Black, Latinx one step further with a knock- Rising and was executed by the occupying and Native American contributions to Chicago out conceptual group show British army in 1916. A straightforward life-size public art was long ignored by the art world featuring perennial favorites like bronze, it simply reprises the monumental and, indeed, physically destroyed by forces of Pope.L and Susan Hiller. The formula used to memorialize figures from all gentrification. Walking Chicago means coming works include a participatory walks of history. Worse is Mary Brogger’s across the traces—some large, some website by Philip von Zweck on memorial to the 1886 Haymarket riot, installed small—of power etched in the urban artificial birds in Chicago, a on Desplaines Street which, as Nicolas environment. In a classic study, George Lipsitz dance party on the moon Lampert shows, blunts the events’ radical poli- showed that “race is produced by space, that hosted by Kyle Bellucci Johan- tics with a saccharine ode to free speech. it takes places for racism to take place,” and son and images encompassing I’ve stumbled into absences and erasures as I Cauleen Smith’s \"COVID Rachel Cohen, my former professor, has kept try to track works down. When I arrived at the Manifesto,\" one of which reads: an online notebook revisiting works of art she site of “Knowledge Is Power,” an Afrocentric \"The internet is not the answer.\" remembers from before COVID-19. She also mural painted at a Boys & Girls Club where Detroit artist Chelsea A. Flow- writes about murals and sculptures encoun- young members of Earth, Wind & Fire played ers' karaoke-style video is tered in the present, like the recent bust of talent shows, I found nothing but cookie-cutter particularly indelible, caustically Gwendolyn Brooks in a small Kenwood park: housing; when the Henry Horner Homes were pronouncing that the race and “I am learning about this sculpture… by visiting demolished, the mural came down, too. (The power dynamics of the art it many days in these months. It is of great Chicago Bulls had already built the club a world make segregation value to me to have a thoughtful sculpture controversial new facility in 1996.) appealing. Through July 31 growing from a writer’s life that I can go and look at, and be in the space of.” To visit, to The Floating Museum has done a lot in recent 36 look, to revisit and look again marks out a years to tease out local histories of race and contrapuntal rhythm of viewing that many violence through public art. I hiked to their critics frame as the ideal way to get to know collaboration with Mark Blanchard at the 51st artworks, frustratingly hard to come by in a Green Line station and was unexpectedly world of frenetic schedules and rotating riven. A glowing lightbox depicting the shows. Contemplating Marc Chagall’s iconic lakefront at sunrise, it emerges from the mosaic “Les quatre saisons” in an eerily station’s shabby walls as a striking reminder of deserted Chase Plaza, I realized that I could, the public spaces that are so inaccessible to for the first time, pace slowly around it, taking us now. Words scratched over the concrete in in repeated images of the Chicago skyline the lower right corner of the photo read “I riddled with the artist’s lumpy figures and know a kid who wore a hoodie…,\" qualifying trademark animal-human hybrids. I’d never the idyllic scene with the chilling memory of noticed before just how the shimmering fields Trayvon Martin's brutal 2012 murder. The work of color are made to extend across discrete floods your senses and stabs your heart. To scenes, or the variety of techniques that be moved and made to think: I’ve always Chagall used to translate his distinctive known that public art can do these things, but painterly marks into the very different medium I’m more grateful now than ever for its of grout and tesserae. capacities.

Dance ONE RECOMMENDATION Spectrum Dance Theater's SHOT Photo: Raymond Jerome. Reimagining In 2017, Donald Byrd, the the Role of Dance Tony-nominated and Bes- sie-winning choreographer, Red Clay Dance Teams with Health theater artist and artistic Professionals in the Dance Pamoja Challenge director of Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater By Sharon Hoyer created “SHOT,” an hourlong dance performance about the When the Illinois stay-at-home order was “I was personally affected by COVID-19—I lost murder of unarmed Black peo- JULY 2020 Newcity issued and virtual dance classes flooded a family member—and I was thinking about ple at the hands of police. social media livestreams, Red Clay Dance how Red Clay’s work could speak to what Three years later, the list of Company held back, taking time to reflect on we already know about underlying conditions names of the dead projected what online dance classes could accomplish. in our community,” Sanders-Ward says. on the set and recited by the “I was in a space where I wasn’t sure if we “There were a lot of inequities in terms of company has tragically grown, wanted to move our classes virtually,” says access to the technology that was needed. and Byrd’s urgent piece Red Clay's founding artistic director Some of our students didn’t have Wi-Fi, deserves a spot on the lists of Vershawn Sanders-Ward. “One, because of some didn’t have computers, some of our must-read, must-watch the way we approach dance and movement [teaching assistants] didn’t have the resources about racism, white and how much of a community space it technology that was needed. So it took us a supremacy and police vio- creates. And then to have it public-facing, while because we always try to be thoughtful lence in America. Spectrum where it wasn’t for our current participants, about the moves we make.” Dance has made a full-length but to open it up to other folks—I really video of the performance wanted to think very deeply about that.” During that time of reflection, Dr. Jewel available to stream on their Younge, clinical pharmacist at UIC, and fellow website along with a viewer Red Clay Dance Company, which normally dancer, contacted Sanders-Ward to see how guide, plus questions for rehearses and offers classes out of the Red Clay might play a greater role in public reflection and calls to action Fuller Fieldhouse, is grounded in an health through dance education. “I said we penned by Byrd in the days intentional approach to dance-making and were thinking about [virtual classes], but we following the murder of education (Sanders-Ward is a self-described wanted to [have more impact] than just George Floyd. Watch it at “artivist,” a portmanteau word describing the dance and movement,” Sanders-Ward says. relationship between creative action and an “And that’s when we started brainstorming obligation to the greater good). The impact together about what this program could be.” of the pandemic on Red Clay's South Side community demanded a considered The program became The Dance Pamoja approach to virtual dance classes. Challenge, a yearlong project dedicated to 37

preventing death from COVID-19 among community and connectedness to the project. serve that need. We’re still fundraising to Black families on Chicago’s South Side. Cohorts are defined not by individuals but by support this program through the full Semi-weekly virtual dance classes are one the number of families participating. twelve months, and it’s important that limb of a program designed to build resiliency Sanders-Ward hopes that the semi-weekly there not be a fee for participation,” she against the virus through physical, mental dance classes and the blog, regularly says. “It was in response to a thing, but and spiritual health services. Pamoja updated with information from specialists on we’re learning it’s an ongoing need to see Challenge participants have the option to the Pamoja team, will provide rooting places longterm change, and for people to take receive equipment and training to monitor for a program that operates largely virtually, at ownership of their health and have the blood pressure and blood glucose levels at least for now. tools to do it. And not to be siloed, but be home, receive nutrition coaching, participate able to do it with a group of people. It’s in group sessions with a mental health Last month, lawmakers in cities across the important for people to understand that professional or participate in a COVID-19 country, from Denver to Cleveland to other folks are going through the same testing study conducted by Dr. Audrey Tanks- Indianapolis to San Bernardino officially challenges and you can work collabora- ley of ACCESS Community Health Network. acknowledged that racism is a public health tively to figure that out together.” A Resiliency blog on the Red Clay website emergency. Chicago city officials have made offers resources for health information, no such pronouncement, although the Sanders-Ward is committed to keeping the including recipes and places in the neighbor- disparity of wealth and health outcomes work focused on the needs of Red Clay's hood to shop for ingredients. (The program is between predominantly white and South Side community. “The project is optional and free of charge.) predominantly Black communities couldn’t intended and continues to be centered on be more stark, well before COVID-19 drew Blackness,” she says. “I cannot emphasize “The exciting part is that the overlap of arts and our city’s most glaring problem into even that enough. This is about Black lives sciences is happening in a very organic way sharper relief. The need for initiatives that mattering and us being present for ourselves. that we don’t get in certain educational support the well-being of the whole person, We want to continue to center that in our settings,” Sanders-Ward says. “This felt really which understand physical and mental work. We’re hoping our community continues real to me. There’s a real conversation in that health are inseparable, that are specific to to hold us to that. Even as this project there was no, 'I know more, you know less,' the problems faced by Black communities, evolves, to make sure it’s not hijacked and but we both have expertise. There is overlap, will exist well after lockdown is a memory. I refocused on something else—even outside let’s figure out ways to heighten and elevate asked Sanders-Ward if she saw a life for the of the pandemic that this continues to be the that overlap.” Dance Pamoja Challenge beyond the focus and purpose of why we started it in twelve-month timeline. the first place.” Pamoja is the Swahili word for “together,” and during our conversation Sanders-Ward “I would hope that as long as there’s a need To learn more about the Dance Pamoja repeatedly mentions the importance of for it in our community, that we’re here to Challenge visit Newcity JULY 2020 38

Design DESIGN TOP 5 Photo: Cleanup crew evacuating a COVID-19 victim, by Michael Workman 1 Office Ours. AIGA Chicago. Virtual studio tours designed A Troubling Blind Spot to help creatives with a behind-the- scenes look at the design industry. Putting Race into the Urban Design Conversation July 7 By Michael Workman 2 CAC LIVE: Buildings and Beer. Chicago Architecture Since the start of the pandemic and in the future, with Nicholas de Monchaux, Center. River North pubs, JULY 2020 Newcity then the national riots, the notion of head of the department of architecture at MIT, warehouses and Gilded Age “building back better” has been on the lips writing in The New York Times on the history mansions tell the history of Chicago of pundits, news people and even of spaces shaped by pandemics, praising brewing from an architectural historians. Many may not realize that it’s a how several cities, embracing \"slow street\" perspective. July 18 term of art devised by the United Nations movements, have closed “streets to cars and to provide a framework for nations to opened them to pedestrian and bicycle 3 Bauhaus Chicago: Design increase future resiliency by taking a close traffic,” but without mentioning the adjacent in the City. Art Institute of look at how and where existing infrastruc- privatization of that public space by Chicago. Contemplate Bauhaus’ ture fails in a disaster. Proposed in the UN restaurants and retailers. Alissa Walker, influence in the city of Chicago at the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk writing at Curbed, pointed this out, as well as German school’s centenary. Reduction 2015-2030, which is a disaster how many of the current proposals, including Through Fall 2020 playbook drafted in response to the 2004 Monchaux’s, “never once mentions race, Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that revealing a troubling blind spot in the way 4 Classic Chicago: The Art of killed nearly a quarter of a million in urban designers talk about this crisis.” Architecture. Elmhurst Art fourteen countries. Museum. A 360-degree virtual tour of She wrote that before the protests and riots, late-nineteenth-to-early-twenti- Those in urbanist circles have seized on the before the breaking point of George Floyd eth-century Chicago via large-scale notion as a clarion call to offer advice and calling out for his late mother as he’s murdered graphite drawings by Jack Nixon. projections on how to improve public space on video by police. For any serious urbanism Through August 2 5 Bauhaus at the IIT Institute of Design. Illinois Institute of Technology. Two online exhibitions, \"50 Years Bauhaus, 1969\" and \"Founding an American Bauhaus,\" dive into the design movement’s history. Ongoing 39

to emerge that does in fact seek the worthi- driving what we don't talk about.” property owners of the largest multifamily units in the neighborhood, and history ness of a standard to “build back better”—and repeats as you start to look at the facts of this is a disaster nexus on par with the Indian “So when people say 'abolish the police,' who owns what, who is extracting the Ocean earthquake and tsunami—it’s clear we, people say ‘how is that possible?’ At this point, money out of the community, then it more and more people are saying, ‘what becomes even clearer and it's like, ‘Oh, as a public, must demand a focus on those these people have names.’ and it doesn't communities disproportionately affected by it exactly am I paying you to do?’” mean they're bad people but that they're part of a system that rewards them and and the social determinants of health that have It seems a logical conclusion: defunding the punishes others.” It’s good to hear, and cold comfort. Overcrowding, as widely reported, produced those outcomes. police at the current degree of militarization has also directly served to inflame the disproportionate levels of deaths among “Chicago is seventy percent Black and Latino or that we, as a public, are presently funding multifamily unit tenants. Mexican,” says L. Anton Seals Jr., executive them—at a minimum—which may provide director of Grow Greater Englewood, member room for radical new thinking in urbanist It seems a moment when urban design of Mayor Lightfoot’s Economic Recovery Task approaches to civic interests, starting with could be poised to undergo a deep Force and co-founder of The Future of Public. ending policies still operant that are rooted in revolution against what has been a history “A big portion of your taxpayers are Blacks and redlining-era approaches that directly affect of exploitation, or of some overall less Mexicans, and then if you look at the data in communities, including the South Shore. “Yes, transactional planning of public space. “Just terms of education, housing, poverty, wealth, and it has transformed even because these think about it: people three to four years health, they lag in all of those things, does the are policies, racial covenants give way to the ago had to fight for fifteen dollars,” Seals government response to those things meet the kind of devaluation of homes,” says Seals. “so says. “There was still an argument that that we had the Great Recession but between then would hurt business if you had to pay needs of those people? We could clearly people fifteen dollars, which isn't even we also had the Plan for Transformation, and I enough to maintain a roof over your head.” articulate using data that ‘Hell no.’ Right?“ don't think people talk enough about how Look for an extended interview with L. Seals makes no bones about the ongoing Anton Seals Jr. online ( harm in these communities: “But if I as a Black that's reconfigured the city.” in mid-July. man and a citizen say, ‘Where is this money going?’ well, you've got teachers, but you've “The Plan for Transformation was the also got other public servants, and what's the removal of public housing in Chicago, when other big two that come to mind? Firemen, of they eliminated the State Street corridor, lost a lot of those constituents who moved course. And then—who else? The police. Right? So I'm underwriting the tyranny, and it's into South Shore, and then who benefited all over this country, and that's the anger that's from that?\" Seals asks. \"You look at the COLLABORATIVE | PRENUPTIAL WE CARE ABOUT YOU FAMILY | DIVORCE | MEDIATION WE SUPPOORRTTYYOOUU Strategic support, creative guidance, WE HONOR YOU effective leadership: these are the qualities Extreme challenges make coping with we offer our clients as they work stress, anxiety, or defeat difficult to manage. Learning Oriental Medicine can strengthen your toolbox and supply better options to replenish health with ancient medicine for modern times. PHONE through their challenges. AND VIDEO Newcity JULY 2020 CONSULTATIONS AVA I L A B L E . CALL CHICAGO & EVANSTON TODAY. 847-733-0933 | [email protected] MMidwest CCollege of OOriental MMedicine | BrigitteSchmidtBellPC 8 0 0 -5 9 3 -2 3 2 0 40

&DrDininkiinngg \"We totally did not anticipate anything like this. It started as a favor. Someone had wanted cupcakes, and they asked, ‘Do you guys do anything like that? We don’t want to go to Mariano’s or Jewel.’ I said, ‘Well, sure, we can do that,’ and next thing you know, we’ve done like two-hundred cakes in two-and-a- half weeks. “We’re doing red velvet, carrot and flourless chocolate cakes, and we started doing fruit tarts. Standard is yellow cake with butter- cream frosting, and then the garnish is up to me. Those are probably the most requested, and they’re also the ones I like doing the most, because you have a blank slate. “We’re receiving a lot of requests right now that are like, 'We were supposed to get married last weekend, but now that’s postponed, so we thought we’d have a celebration with a mini-wedding cake.' “The whole idea was that if we do a couple of these a week, there’s the extra money, which helps pay staff, buy product or whatever, but Mother’s Day we ending up doing thirty-five cakes, just for that Saturday.” Gearing up to produce around a hundred cakes a week has motivated a rearrangement of Acadia’s production flow. “We’re not set up like a bakery. We’re doing this out of the pastry station in the corner. It’s nuts. We had to go out and buy cake pans and a cake stand, piping bags and tips. Photo: Acadia “We streamlined it pretty well. We have the two JULY 2020 Newcity people who make the cakes and they frost Prosperity in Pastry them. Then they give them to me, and I do all the decorating. Every cake you see, I basically Acadia Becomes… A-Cake-ia just did. By David Hammond “At some point every day, I say, 'Guys, I need some cake decorating time,' and they drop the One of the positive developments arising curbside-delivered dinners, what people really temperature of the dining room to fifty-five or from the larger catastrophe of the pandemic want to eat is cake. sixty degrees. It’s pretty cold for an hour. The is the way restaurants have discovered new whole credenza in the dining room is full of ways to serve their customers and communi- “I woke up this morning, and by the time I cakes. I go down the row, and there are all ties. Acadia, the Michelin two-star restaurant showered and got dressed, I had like ten these cakes with their special requests and in the South Loop, discovered that although more email requests for cakes,\" chef-owner notes with an explanation of the occasion, their customers are loving Acadia’s changing Ryan McCaskey says. anniversary, graduation, whatever. We cleaned out our cooler by the wait station, and we have single- and double-door coolers for white wine and Champagne; we moved all of that out. That whole cooler is full of cakes now.\" 41

DINING & DRINKING Photo: Acadia on-call. A hospital will contact us and see if TOP 5 we can come by on a specific day, and we go. While many restaurants are furloughing I drive the food down in my car.\" 1 Chewing. Chicago Tribune’s employees, McCaskey is hiring more staff to Louisa Chu and WBEZ’s Monica take on the challenge of the cakes. Eng pack their podcast with Newcity JULY 2020 interviews and commentary, “We did just recruit new help, which is amazing, McCaskey is experimenting with merch, too: updated with stories about how Claire Crenshaw, who was a pastry chef at “We’re selling T-shirts that feature some of my local food operations are surviving, Moto and Tru. She was at the Drake and sayings, things I say in the kitchen and that as well as non-pandemic stories. she’s been furloughed, so I called her and people who’ve worked at Acadia know I say. Ongoing said we needed help. They’re more on the order of what you might hear from Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre 2 The Feed. Chicago chef “Claire will be helping with the main menu, and White, maybe a little less PC. I’d like to start Rick Bayless and food we’re changing our menus every four to five designing a backpack, maybe totes, and we journalist-author Steve Dolinsky talk weeks now. We’re finishing up Italian right might be doing hoodies soon.\" to chefs both local and international now and then we’re moving into Spain, which about traditional foods and culinary I’m very excited about. We’re going to have New consumable items are planned as well, trends; The Feed won a 2015 Beard giant prawns on the plancha, simple and but the changes at Acadia go beyond that. award for best podcast. Ongoing shareable, and perfect for the weather McCaskey is moving ahead to transform the change. We’re also doing the Basque cheese- business in ways that would be difficult to 3 Fooditor Radio. One cake thing, but I told Claire we can do implement if the restaurant were doing of Chicago’s smartest, cookies, we can do Spanish tarts, we may business as usual “We’re renovating Acadia. best-informed food journalists, add a few new things to the menu now that As soon as this thing lifts, it’s going to be Beard-award-winner Michael Gebert we have someone who can handle it. Acadia 2.0. It’s going to look like Acadia, but produces the Fooditor podcast, revamped.\" digging deep into what chefs, Cakes are just one of the ways Arcadia is restaurants and customers are evolving. On Saturdays, weather permitting, McCaskey says, “I’m so tired, but as long as I thinking during the crisis. Ongoing McCaskey and crew run a free market can keep it going, whenever we get news that grocery day, which has provided 1,500 we’re coming out of it, we’re going to be 4 Overserved. In gregarious pounds of food to the needy, as well as neigh- ready. It’s going to be brand new, and we and informative conversation, borhood folks who might walk by and see have a new format, and the dining room will Chicago wine maven Ari Bendersky something they like. look different. It won’t be just 'back to Acadia.' and food writer Maggie Hennessy It will be a new thing. We joke that we may interview mixologists and chefs The Acadia team is also serving on the call the new place 'A-cake-ia.'” about what’s happening right now. frontline at local hospitals. ‘Yesterday, we Ongoing cooked another 150 meals for a local hospital. “We’re not advertising our cakes so it’s all I take about half-a-Sunday off, maybe half a word-of-mouth. I tell people that if they want 5 The Racist Sandwich. Monday. I’m working more now than the first a custom cake, we’ll need three-to-four days’ Although  on hiatus, co-hosts year we opened. We do 150-500 meals per notice. Just email at Rmccaskey@acadiachi- and producers Stephanie Kuo and week for frontline workers at hospitals. We’re!\" Juan Diego Ramirez have a backlog of podcasts that examine the relationships between food traditions, politics and social change. Ongoing 42

Film “Tenet” trailer Backwards improving on representation, increasing and Forwards diversity, but all the while getting lost in the intangible specifics of vast, reflected dreams? Crisis And Movies Make your own succession of thousand- By Ray Pride word lists, the end of the world as we know it in a succession of threaded tweets. This Golden sunshine! a location, Lynch smokes and rasps against world tears a deck of index cards into shreds, JULY 2020 Newcity morning haze with statements of sameness drains Sharpie after Sharpie. “Good morning! It’s June 16, 2020, and it’s and agreeable positivity. He’s working wood a Tuesday. Here in L.A., thick gray clouds. and catching the big fish. Have the movies returned with a vengeance Very gloomy. No wind. Sixty-three degrees since I wrote this? The smell of popcorn Fahrenheit right now, around seventeen Meanwhile, elsewhere, outside, beyond instead of war-crime tear gas? The soft Celsius. All this should burn off by around ten the fortress, outside of isolation, catastro- whir of projector exhaust instead of burglar and we should have golden sunshine and the phe mounts. alarms across the way? Christopher Nolan’s high around seventy-five degrees, twenty-four palindromic 7/17 release date for “Tenet” Celsius, Have a great day—everyone!” Which catastrophe? Which plague? Pick a moved to the thirty-first, and may move farther plague, pick any plague. I will now leave out in the hours to come. (The trailers model a Seventy-four-year-old David Lynch, wizened so many. I started on the back of some index protagonist who makes leaps through time in quarantine, returns to a stir-crazy daily cards, keep it simple, make it stark, what wearing an oxygen mask, as well as an routine from a decade ago, a terse weather challenges are there for the movie industry, immense theater undergoing what could report from a horizon he’s lived with for not the ragged rattling of the entire American well be the 2002 terror attack on Moscow’s decades, one that seldom disappoints in its enterprise, let’s stay to just the big machine Dubrovka Theatre in which at least 170 sameness. Reporting from the workshop that’s choked and stopped, the system of people were killed.) Could a movie inhaled building of the compound he designed and making movies, showing movies, proffering by a mass audience in IMAX, 70mm and built before “Lost Highway,” in which it was parable and allegory and wish fulfillment, 35mm take minds off pandemic, the invisible agent of social control? From streets insurgent with mass protest after barefaced, unashamed on-camera murders by police? Curfewed blocks after attacks on property? Police unions that denounce the citizenry their members are sworn to serve? The sky-high geysering of centuries of anger? 43

“The Siege” ONE Release doesn’t mean loss of control, devastation approaches a star-crossed couple, RECOMMENDATION abandonment of focus. Where is Dionysian as crisp as diamonds, as lost as love. There release? Sport and music and theater and is chaos on the street and then the rocket, If Chicago movie reviewers are movies, which require the assembly of the sky. The stars look down. allowed to see “Tenet” before its celebratory strangers: defunct? Can any of eventual release, the circumstances that “phase four” be revisited or reinvented, None of these fragrant, manufactured will likely be optimal, such as at let alone restored? memories are what I saw today. Yesterday. Navy Pier IMAX, which has 300 Every day. The new everyday. We’re all on seats in nine rows. How many Will there be drive-ins under the cold, saber edge: watching, but what do we see? masked crusaders could that cold stars, in fields near the city and in How much dare we search out and hope to vaulting space safely service? urban parking lots on the hot, humid nights see? What is going on out there? What is And how many regular moviegoers of August? Will all y’all repose in a “high- going on in here? can sit together, apart, once the touch”-proofed environment with individually reportedly $225-million-plus edifice, wrapped eats and garnishes, steeled, Nothing’s going to happen in the garden of tagged by an “insider” to Variety crouched six or eight feet away in the dark Zoom to match “Look out, Haskell! It’s real!” as a “massive, innovative, action from our masked fellows? from Haskell Wexler’s 1969 metafiction blockbuster,” is brought to market? “Medium Cool,” shot in the summer of 1968 How do we rest the eyes from death-scrolling, against a backdrop of the Democratic Time warps and is malleable, doom-scrolling, mind drooling through digital Convention. We could summon fact from “Tenet”’s most recent trailer hints windows onto what’s outside and how documentaries like Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” and (or misleads), but virus is circumstance is readily exploited by forces Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” pungent imperturbable. The clever 7/17 malign? Movies? Films? Perhaps? chronicles of what’s gone wrong so long. release date went by the wayside, Newcity JULY 2020 and July 31 is the date that So many lists, fevered and fanciful ones about Today, what’s out there is so real, you won’t Christopher Nolan and his house movies by theme and history and righteous- believe your eyes. It’s past the middle of the studio Warner Bros. have slated ness, of concentration and of diversion, so month and past midnight as I type, and on for moviegoers to break out of many more lists than we’ve already blinked Twitter, correspondents have lost track of lockdown and be vigorously at over the past decade. the count of the hanging deaths of young entertained worldwide. New Black men from the past two weeks—is it six? Zealand and Switzerland have Literal depictions of societal collapse (as Is it seven? done exceptional work in returning opposed to psychological breakdown) don’t commerce to their countries; tell this tale. What do any of us anticipate from Brute Steve Bannon (once a distributor of China, in mid-June, reported a the dystopian landscapes we’ve absorbed? high-end art movies and later a shabby, failed handful of virus outbreaks and (“Walking Dead,” “Walking Dead,” “Mad Max,” maker of filmed essays) counseled Donald shut sectors of Beijing, including “Walking Dead.”) Trump to “flood the zone with shit”: when international flight and cinemas. things are going bad, that’s good, pitch in A hundred other countries have Lean back and remember, a kaleidoscope of a terror or two to make a sated or stunned their own statistics, their own imagery turns and turns again, the unthinkable nation forget the day before, even the morning hopes for divining a “new normal.” of social breakdown, the shot-countershot it woke to. The United States, you know about of cautiously envisioned apocalypse peopled that. About us. Are we ready for with B-story personal drama: the military man Can mayhem and madness and malice be a glassy, nattily attired, post- who populates the horizon of Manhattan with reduced to simple narratives that reassure Hitchcock globe-girdling suspense armed vehicles, then fills the bridges and the (or perhaps reinforce) in the form of serial thriller (largely shot in Estonia as memorable one-sheet of 1998’s “The Siege” entertainment or feature films? Narrative is well as six other countries)? Are (three years before 9/11)? There’s a Trumpian atomized in an endless cycle of news bulletins. we ready to go indoors? vista there, writ small in Lafayette Square as What form of story can bring meaning together, 44 soldiers were dispatched to gas peaceful to stitch sensation to reason? protestors to clear the way for an inept photo op with the President holding a Bible, handed There is one story that divines the fate of the him by his daughter, as if it were a rat on a smaller stories, the character of collapse or the string. There were no words, no sound effects, dream of rebuilding: in a little over 120 days, no music, just botched theater. Bruce Willis’ we will face the greatest fear of those who bad man was brighter. would bring wickedness down on us all. That story begins Tuesday, November 3 and will Revolution from the streets instead of against resound (but not resolve) when the final votes the streets? Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 “Battle are tabulated a few days or weeks later. of Algiers” with back streets alight to a martial beat. Or “Miracle Mile” (1988), as nuclear Very gloomy! Have a great day—everyone!

Six Feet Tall Lit Sara Paretsky Talks “Love and Other Crimes,” her Upcoming Story Collection By L.D. Barnes Sara Paretsky has written twenty-two Paretsky wearing brass novels, one autobiography, one e-book and knuckles made by Tim Wright two story collections since 1982. In that body of work, only two of the novels did not contain is changing in such unexpected ways, one of the technicians, and I don’t know how JULY 2020 Newcity her female private eye, V. I. Warshawski. making my work irrelevant, at the end of every he did it, it was not something he ever talked Writing in a time when women mystery writers week, my work for the week now ending has about, to inject him, inoculate him with the were not common, she created Sisters in becomes irrelevant… But the Litvak family organism, which is halfway between a virus Crime, a worldwide organization to support are so dear to me they’re playing a major role in and a bacterium, so it is RNA with a fractured women crime writers, which earned her Ms. the new book. piece of DNA. It can’t quite replicate outside, Magazine’s 1987 Woman of the Year Award. never mind, we all have RNA on the brain She is a two-time Anthony Award nominee Anything else to say about this new book? these days because of COVID. But he had for best novel (“Killing Orders” and “Blood himself inoculated with it to bring it back to Shot”), Anthony Award winner for best story With “Love and Other Crimes,” I just want to study it in his lab. It is a disease carried by tick collection (“A Woman’s Eye”), and recipient say that it really is a collection of stories that bites, so he wasn’t endangering the people of the Anthony Lifetime Achievement award. runs the gamut of love: love of family or love around him unless they had fleas or ticks on She earned a Cartier Diamond Dagger Award of pets or love of money. My favorite personal the plane. He got off the plane in Kansas City for lifetime achievement as well, and a Gold story in the collection is called “Miss Bianca.” with a fever of 104 degrees but he wouldn’t Dagger Award for “Blacklist” from the Crime Actually, there are several stories in the start antibiotics until his tech had come and Writers’ Association. She is the winner of the collection that I like a lot, but “Miss Bianca” drawn blood from him to culture. That story Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers was sparked by my father. He was a cell just boggles my mind. I think my father was, of America. With all these awards, it is easy to biologist who worked on a microorganism that in many ways, he was a lunatic, certifiable, call her the Agatha Christie of Chicago. Days back in the Cold War days the Russians and and I don’t know if this was a sign of his insanity, before the release of her latest collection of the Americans both thought had potential as a bravery or what. But the story [“Miss Bianca”] stories, we conversed via Zoom. biological weapon. He was sent to a confer- is told from the standpoint of a ten-year-old ence in Czechoslovakia where the Soviets had girl, whose mother is the secretary to this Let’s talk about your book coming out a big biological weapons lab. He persuaded scientist, and I think it brought me back to my June 30, “Love and Other Crimes.” That was fun. Not everything I write is fun. But, I had a really good time with that one. I had wanted to [publish] my V.I. stories. The ones that I’d written through the mid-nineties were published in “Windy City Blues,” but I kept writing short stories and not always about V.I. I wanted to collect them in an anthology. I self-published some of them through Lulu, but William Morrow was willing to bring out the whole collection. The title story is new for the collection. I grew up with a family not unlike the Litvak family in “Love and Other Crimes.” They clung together like glue, they were highly dysfunctional, but they all stood up for each other. I just had so much fun imagining what a family like that, how they would react as adults if one of them got into hot water. And so I had a very fun time creating them, so much so that the book I’ve started working on, the one that I keep throwing out and restarting because the world 45

Newcity JULY 2020 ONE childhood and the lab in Kansas where my main characters, the team, they always walk RECOMMENDATION brothers and I would go after school and the away without any dirt on their clothes, any graduate students would feed us chocolate injuries, and that is so ludicrous, but I love it In many of the timely reading lists cake. [laughs] That is one of the stories in the and I love them. of the current moment, there is an collection that I just feel good about. absence of books that speak to I think of Sam Hanna, played by LL Cool J. people who experience the brunt You have an advanced degree in history. If I’m ever held up by a terrorist in an elevator, of racism, policing and health-care Would you ever write historical fiction? I will refuse to leave unless Sam Hanna comes discrimination. As the relaxing of to rescue me. shelter-in-place begins, even as I’m not keen on historical fiction with real a second wave of COVID-19 is characters, although the exception is Hilary Then there is a very soft show that Patricia anticipated, here is a short list of Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy; I’m not comfortable Barber, the jazz singer, recommended to me; books speaking to readers who with imagining that you know how a real it’s called “My Life is Murder.” It’s an Australian experience racism, rather than person thought and felt. My other problem show. The main character is a woman, a those who are unlearning it. with historical novels is that they are overdeter- detective who came into a small inheritance mined. You know that it has to end in the and she retires from the Melbourne Police. “Emergent Strategy” way that the historical character ended. So by adrienne maree brown I am not reading the third Mantel novel, the I don’t like “Chicago P.D.,” partly because I fictionalized account about Thomas Cromwell, can’t stand the gravelly voice of the guy, the “Unapologetic: A Black, because I know that he will get his head main one. [She imitates him and laughs.] Queer and Feminist Mandate chopped off and I can’t bear it. I don’t know how much of a true Chicago for Radical Movements” detective he is because I haven’t watched by Charlene Carruthers But I would certainly write a book set in the one all the way through. period of the anti-slavery movement, specifi- “How We Fight White cally the immigration to Kansas to make it I also don’t like “Criminal Minds,” I think the Supremacy: A Field Guide come into the Union as a free state. I’ve done dialogue is really terrible. Joe Mantegna, to Black Resistance” some reading, some research. I think having what were you thinking? The series that I edited by Akiba Solomon this history training also is a handicap because found compelling but very hard to watch was and Kenrya Rankin I’m aware of how much detail you have to “Homeland,” with Mandy Patinkin and Claire master in order to bring a historical period Danes. The emotion in that was a little over “Making All Black Lives convincingly to life. So I’ll keep reading diaries the top sometimes, always authentic, but very Matter: Reimagining Freedom and memoirs, but I work slowly, and I don’t stressful to be present for. in the Twenty-First Century” know if I’ll live long enough to pull it together. by Barbara Ransby In a perfect world, who would play V.I. Do you think Chicago still has in the ultimate V.I. movie? “Beyond Survival: interesting criminals? Strategies and Stories In the ultimate movie, I would be V.I.! But I from the Transformative Depends on what you mean by interesting. really do like Daniela Ruah, the woman on the Justice Movement” I think that as long as we have high-level “NCIS: Los Angeles” team. V.I. is a dark-haired, edited by Ejeris Dixon and Leah white-collar crime, we will have interesting darker-skinned woman, her mother was from Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha crimes and interesting criminals. I’ve never Italy and was Mediterranean looking. Daniela been particularly interested in street shootings, Ruah is Portuguese-American, so I feel that “The Unapologetic Guide but they do a lot of damage to a lot of people. ethnically, she kinda fits the V.I. look. I like her to Black Mental Health” I think white-collar crime is more damaging attitude in the series, the way that she inhabits by Rheeda Walker because it causes widespread misery. I think the character. She would be one of the people of people like Charles Keating, whose bank I’d love to have considered. 46 was one of the savings and loans that de- frauded people of their life savings [in the Who would be the doctor, V.I.’s friend? 1980s]. Ten-thousand old people lost their life savings. Some of them committed suicide and Doctor Hershel, that’s a hard one. You know, some went to prison for shoplifting. You know, Meryl Streep can play anyone! I have to think that man got less punishment than an African about that. Lotty Herschel is another dark American selling a couple of ounces of cocaine. person and short. Lotty physically is my For me that kind of crime is both more socially father’s mother. She was four-eleven. I have damaging and more interesting to write about to say that every time I talk about her, because just because of that, than street shootings. in my mind, she was six feet tall. She had so much energy! She projected six feet. That’s I was amazed that you didn’t grow up how I think of Lotty, I also think of her looking in Chicago! like my grandmother. My grandmother wore earrings in the shape of a bunch of grapes, Well, I married a man with three sons who and when I picture her it’s those grapes were always violating curfew, so I got some vibrating because she was never still. of my city knowledge from them, going to find them. It’s true that reality is the biggest trigger for my imagination. I wish I was like Anne of Green Do you watch any of the TV crime shows? Gables, with an imagination that just soared, took off, and separated me from the world I confess, this is really embarrassing, but I am around me, but I need something real to give addicted to “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and it’s a me a springboard. ludicrous show in every way. Also, it exposes a culture of violence that I abhor. At the end, Go to for an extended version there is always a big shootout, and the four of the interview.

Music Project Inclusion Orchestral & Conducting Freeman Fellows /Photo: Chris Ocken Photography Orchestrating “What does it mean to make Violinist, violist, writer and JULY 2020 Newcity Change art now? When survival is the thinker Danielle Taylor is not primary thing on our mind, talking about survival figurative- Chicago Sinfonietta Confronts Racial Bias and then also to do so under ly or only in relation to the in Classical Music circumstances where you can’t coronavirus. In a country that make art with people, like in the routinely murders its citizens By Seth Boustead same room with people, which for being Black, and too often I think for Black people, lets perpetrators get away culturally has been so, so with it, she is talking about important in surviving in this actual survival. country. Being together and making music, from churches I had contacted Taylor about to jazz. Being deprived of that her role as director of Project at this moment is yet another Inclusion at the Chicago piece that feels so broken.” Sinfonietta to talk about 47

MUSIC TOP 5 the initiative’s extraordinary work. I had a cause it can’t be divorced from race and conundrum on my hands: I had agreed to gender and all of the often-negative ways Lockdown—self-isolating—sheltering in write the classical music article for Newcity that we’re perceived. Allowing that space to place—whatever you call it, goes easier for July but there are no performances to have those conversations is also important. with these outstanding album releases by write about and, given our current climate, The power of Project Inclusion comes from stellar Chicago artists, all available now. writing about how classical music groups are building a strong community with all of the reaching audiences virtually felt tone deaf. fellows and instead of seeing each other as 1 Ric Wilson & Terrace Martin. competitors, they see each other as family.” “They Call Me Disco.” Wilson’s As in the wake of the MeToo movement, six-track collaboration with L.A. classical music is having to confront a But Project Inclusion is only one project at producer Martin is the irresistible, legacy most organizations would prefer not one institution. Reaching the goal of changing seventies-nostalgia-driven dance to talk about—in this case, a long legacy of the face of classical music, it’s going to take record we all need like medicine. racial exclusion in nearly every area, from all of us. If you use email, you’ve probably the stage to key administrative and manage- been barraged with messages from arts 2 Dennis DeYoung. “26 East, ment positions. organizations saying they “stand in solidarity” Vol. 1.” The former Styx with the protest movements. These are noble frontman remains a legitimate It’s this legacy that Project Inclusion hopes sentiments and I don’t doubt the sincerity of legendary rock god; this is his first to change. “This fellowship exists to make organizations sending them out. But you don’t solo album in over a decade, and up for the lack of opportunities and all the have to look far to see that by not acknowl- it’s as sumptuously supercharged years that come before,” Taylor says. “Those edging the history of exclusion and the pain as a superfan could wish. opportunities look like private lessons but also that it has caused, these messages often do the privilege of choice, because what money more harm than good. Just by being part of 3 Louis the Child. “Here for can provide is the choice of saying, okay, this the fabric of a racist society, most institutions Now.” Robby Hauldren and teacher doesn’t work for my child anymore. are complicit. Frederic Kennett are Winnetka’s gift So we’re going to move to a different teacher to EDM, and while they’re meant to who can prepare them at a higher level. “Every single one of these institutions absolutely be experienced at a club, this album has enacted harm,” Taylor says. “It’s part of in your living room is a close second. “And there are so many people who come their organizational structure because your up through very important nonprofit schools, organization is not an organization. It is a 4 August Hotel. “Stations.” yes; but that does not compare to intensive building filled with people that make decisions, The irrepressible indie-pop one-hour lessons where you can choose and those people have values and prejudices quintet delves into complex who’s going to take you to the next level. and all of that. So to me, there’s not a chance emotional territory on its second Then there are festivals which are extremely that there’s a single organization that hasn’t EP, but whether desperation or expensive, and there are people who can’t enacted harm. delight, it’s urgently melodic and afford the application fee, let alone a plane ridiculously danceable. ticket to get there. “I know people are thinking very carefully and very deeply about the statements about 5 Tenci. “My Heart Is an Open “We can’t talk about race without also talking racism. But it’s not clear who they’re speaking Field.” Singer-songwriter about economics, without talking about who to. I think they’re speaking to the general Jess Shoman and company’s has the accumulated wealth in the country. world. So they want them to know that, hey, debut release, recorded entirely at And it has not been Black people and people we see bad things are happening. They’re a bandmate’s house, is gorgeous, of color and that leads to exclusion. When not speaking to the people who are most intimate DIY dream pop, and there are people not feeling welcomed or harmed. They’re not speaking directly to Shoman’s voice is appealingly encouraged or supported by their institutions Black people. Most of the institutions don’t lithe and low-key. and teachers, ultimately that can lead to even say ‘Black people,’ it’s vague things like dropping out, to deciding to take a different ‘injustice’ and ‘protest.’ Who are you talking 48 career path. to? That’s not for us.” Newcity JULY 2020 “By the time you get to the people who are There’s no easy solution, and classical music actually in the field and have jobs, that’s such is not alone in dealing with a racist legacy. a small number of the people who would have But we in the arts are by and large a sensitive worked passionately with all their might to bunch. We can admit that we’ve done harm get there.” and have been complicit in doing harm. We can stop pretending that Black people, or any Project Inclusion currently has fellowships for other excluded people, should mistake our string players and conductors, and are adding feeling bad for real change. Because it isn’t a composition fellowship this year. The training real change. Not while any single person in this is intensive and hands-on. The fellows take country has to wonder if they’ve been exclud- private lessons and master classes, but ed from reaching their full potential because perform with the Chicago Sinfonietta as well, of the color of their skin, and certainly not while an incredible opportunity. They also practice anyone in this country has to worry about their mock auditions and media interviews and very survival. master all aspects of being a successful classical musician, on and off stage. The protests will die down, the pandemic could end. We’ve been given the challenge “There’s also the time and the space to talk of reinventing our organizations and we’ve openly about the challenges that our fellows been given plenty of time for self-reflection. face navigating the field,” Taylor says, “be- What will we do next?

Stage Andrea Mattson as Gaea Lady /Photo: Greg Inda Red Hot There is one thing we know about a Po’Chop: I don’t know, that’s a hard thing Chicago Chicago summer: It will be sweltering. So to say. The idea that going outside is very Summer if we’re already going to be hot and bothered, different for everyone, it feels like there’s a why not also be hot and bothered? I sat with shift that is happening in our society, how Fiery Femmes of Burlesque three of Chicago’s beloved burlesque belles: we see each other. I’ve always enjoyed Speak About History, dancing warrior Po’Chop, enchantress Gaea performing intimately, but now even the idea Intimacy and Self Love Lady and goddess of artists, aesthetics and of intimacy is different. The idea that I’m women’s empowerment Red Hot Annie. The going to be taking off my clothes in front By Hayley Osborn trio of temptresses dive into their experiences of people, even six feet apart, seems close. with the art form and its outlook in the age But I hope still magical and special and of social distancing. cool and uplifting. JULY 2020 Newcity What will coming back from the stay- Red Hot Annie: You’re asking the ten-mil- at-home order look like for you and for lion-dollar question. I have turned this over burlesque in Chicago? a thousand times in my head and I’m sure I’ll turn it over my thousand more times before Gaea Lady: I have no idea. I think that the we’re at stage four or five. Every time I come key is not to expect what it looks like and to a transition in life I always try to be open more to continue to develop tools of resilience to what might change. Especially I try to be so we can adapt and thrive. We have the open to letting go of anything that has expired opportunity right now to do a lot of self work. or no longer feels relevant. To look at our structures and our communities and the way things are done. I’m excited for Burlesque has a long history of being a lot of change to happen. I think a lot about stigmatized and misunderstood even how this is an unfortunate and strange gift. though its origins are conservative by 49

Newcity JULY 2020 STAGE TOP 5 today’s standards. Why do you think RHA: Classes. That’s probably the easiest way burlesque has courted controversy to get involved, through Vaudezilla or Chicago 1 2666. Goodman Theatre. in the past? Academy [of Burlesque] or really anybody An unflinching look at the who’s willing to give you lessons. But also, the nature of evil, this soaring adaptation RHA: Things that are predominantly feminine beauty of this virtual time is that you could just of Chilean-born author Roberto always have this way of being relegated to create a video of yourself performing in your Bolaño’s masterpiece is an being extra or a side dish. It’s kind of bullshit. living room and send that to the producers, ambitious work unlike any other When you go to the supermarket and see too. If you’ve got the courage to just put theatrical experience. Free, Ongoing magazines with women in skimpy clothes together an act in your living room you should on it because it’s sold under this sort of male because that’s what we’re all doing. Now is 2 That’s Weird, Grandma: gaze, that approach toward sexuality, it’s the best time that you could ever get involved. House Par-Tay. PlayMakers seen as acceptable. But whenever women Laboratory. Playmakers Lab takes are expressing their sexuality there is a fear What can someone expect when trying its signature revue online, featuring around that and rightly so, because we’re an online burlesque class or workshop? a creative line-up of stories written really powerful. by elementary school students, GL: My classes are based in looking at the adapted and performed by Has the burlesque community always roots of burlesque and how that emanates professional actors. Ongoing been progressive or has this communal out. So finding the empowerment, the self inclusion just recently emerged? love, the sensuality and the comfortability in 3 BOING! 2020. Chicago oneself to discover your authentic movement Children’s Theatre. Theater RHA: The history of burlesque has been and your authentic unique style. Which then artists and musicians from around whitewashed like many [histories]. On some becomes a true and very gratifying form of the country participate in a one-of- level, you’d see mostly white women of a burlesque. It’s not like prance and pose or a-kind online event, all in under certain body type when you look at the copy my movements. It’s seeing where your an hour. Ongoing history of burlesque. But the reality is there own sensuality and sexuality emerge from were burlesque performers of all sorts of because we’re all so different. You don’t 4 The Golden Girls: The bodies and even more so nowadays. The need to be cookie-cutter. Lost Episodes, Vol. 4 — great thing is we are progressive and we are LOCKDOWN! Hell in a Handbag a little bit like in-your-face about it. If we think RHA: It’s definitely a different format because Productions. Blanche returns from that it’s the right thing to do, we’re going to in classes we were able to focus a lot on SantaCom with souvenirs, wild tales do it, regardless of whether some people technique. To an extent we are able to still and possibly Legionnaires’ disease! support it or not. do that, I’m surprised by the amount of The doctor orders a thirty-day technique that can make it from here to quarantine. Will the girls make it PC: It’s complicated. Within the structure there. But we focus a lot more on getting out before they kill each other? of burlesque, when it comes to booking gigs, comfortable in your body and fully expressing performing at corporate or higher-paying yourself from that place within you. So we Through August 8 gigs, it loses some of that [progressiveness]. are like “Touch your body,” “What feels good I think that’s wrong. There’s definitely standards to you?,” “What do you like seeing your body 5 BAM @ a Distance — as far as body type and types of acts that are do?’” So it’s a different light. School’s Out Edition! presented. The more that you begin pushing BAMTheatre. BAM has reimagined the bar against the burlesque aesthetics and What do you want people to know its musical theater-focused content, it limits where you’re going to be. about burlesque? programming through virtual master It’s commercial versus underground. classes, workshops, choirs and RHA: At its heart, burlesque is about self-love other activities to keep students How can Chicagoans get involved and self-acceptance. A lot of women know connected. Through July 10 with burlesque even in the era of that sort of shame around their bodies, and social distancing? we work on opening that back up and feeling 50 self love. Not feeling ashamed of any sort of GL: I would say show up at whatever online thing that you may have experienced in a events you can find. Follow the performers woman’s body. We want to have that love who make a difference in your life and those and acceptance that everybody deserves to of others and then take classes. Taking feel. But it’s also sparkly and pretty. It’s as classes, whether you want to be a performer glamorous or not glamorous as you want to or not, is a great way to understand the art make it because a lot of burlesque is ugly and form. That being said, a lot of this is under- strange. And that’s part of what makes it so ground because the mainstream has an fun, is that that person is coming into it like, issue with feminine empowerment and bodies “What am I going to represent in this art form?” and sensuality and sexuality. So get on mailing lists, get on Patreons, so you can You can learn more about Po’Chop and her get the inside scoop. online magazine “The Brown Pages” at Gaea Lady offers events, PC: Find a mentor. Find someone who can lessons and online classes on her website guide you. Just finding someone that you You can collaborate look up to, send them an email and say and support Gaea Lady through her Patreon you’re interested in learning burlesque and She will be hosting seeing what’s happening. And if that doesn’t Stay-At-Home Supper Club livestream on July work, keep going after it. People are pretty 26, details online. To see Vaudezilla’s full class open to welcoming striptease. If you just want schedule and sign up for a class taught by to support burlesque, I would go to your Red Hot Annie, visit Vaudezilla! favorite artist directly and say “How can Virtual Dance Parties hosted by Chicago I support you?” Send them five dollars or burlesque favorites, featuring virtual games send them two dollars. Whatever you have. and the chance to win prizes, are forthcoming.

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