Wolfgang Amadeus Aleksandr “Aleks” Fa has a lot of baggage. The protagonist of Joe Meno’s new novel Book of Extraordinary Tragedies has that name, after all—which also serves as a clue about what burdens the young man. Born into a perfectionist but impoverished Bosnian/Croat/Polish family in Evergreen Park on the border with Chicago’s south side, […]
Julie Doucet is back
In 2018, the Reader ran a cover story: “Julie Doucet is done making comics.” The underground artist famously abandoned the scene in 2006, leaving fans of her cult-classic series Dirty Plotte and graphic novels like My New York Diary bereft. Through the years, her autobiographical comics became renowned in the canon. She explored other art […]
Communicating from beyond
Have you ever felt like a thing was made especially for you at just the right time? This was my overwhelming impression as soon as I walked into the Art Institute’s Ray Johnson show. I didn’t know much about Johnson prior to a deep dive I took, prompted by this exhibition’s sprawling collection of his […]
Charli XCX claimed her pop crown at Pitchfork
She’s long been an expert collaborator, but she’s finally ready for stardom on her own terms.
Mavis Staples sanctified Friday night at Pitchfork
Even when Mavis Staples wasn’t singing gospel at Pitchfork, her powerful spiritual voice could bring together generations.
Lyrical Lemonade’s first outdoor festival: scads of Soundcloud rap, thousands of teenagers, and hours of waiting for food
Three Reader writers hash out the highs and lows of the Summer Smash, which showcased a young rap scene that’s innovating a vital new sound but also celebrating alleged abusers.
Fever Ray’s erotically charged electro-pop dazzles at any time of night
Fever Ray added an early show at Metro after the late one sold out, raising the question of how well sexy dance parties mesh with evening commutes.
At HaiSous, Thai Dang mounts the restaurant comeback of the year
The former Embeya chef leads a peasant revolt in Pilsen with homey, unfussy Vietnamese food.
Clever Rabbit is a feeding frenzy for plant eaters
But will the West Town spot survive past the summer?
Mirabella is the Gene & Georgetti of the neighborhoods
A G&G veteran’s old-school Italian steak house in Irving Park scratches the itch with classics cooked with precision.
Temporis will leave you wanting more
The West Town spot’s 11-course tasting menu is a delight—emphasis on “light.”
Fake stamps make for provocative art at Carl Hammer Gallery
A retrospective of local artist Michael Hernandez de Luna’s work with postage provides satire at its sharpest.
Swift & Sons is a cut above in Fulton Market
The Boka Restaurant Group’s long-awaited steak house reimagines the format in a repurposed meat locker.
The Cotton Duck weathers rough seas
Mike Sula reviews the Cotton Duck in West Town.
Traveling and listening with Gloria Steinem in My Life on the Road
With her new memoir, the 81-year-old feminist, journalist, and activist shows the power of hearing others.