Chicago Reader

24 articles
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Losing the War

An essay, originally published over two issues, on how and why we forget war.

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Jason Molina's Long Dark Blues

How the seminal midwestern songwriter behind Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. descended into dipsomania.

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They Came in Through the Bathroom Mirror

A Chicago housing project resident reports intruders breaking into her apartment through a medicine cabinet. Days later, she’s found dead.

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The Legend of Buster Smith

A profile of the greatest checkers player of all time.

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Brickyard Blues

On the brick stackers of Chicago.

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Los

On a mission to the moon, a female astronaut reflects on her mission and her family life.

"John left and I had Jonah and I felt like I had a hole in me like rocket man, starting between my legs and going right up inside me. I asked Houston if I could stop the special events and training and trajectory and thrust for a little while so I could see my children's special events and training and trajectory and thrust. Houston copied that and so I did. For a little while. But after a little while it felt like a long while. John came back and my children were good and my status was good but I felt the moon calling."

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Anatomy of a Heroin Ring

How a Chicago drug organization did business.

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Thank God For Facebook!

The trials and silliness of Facebook, from beyond the grave.

"In a last, desperate attempt to recapture our imaginations, Madeline began posting pictures of herself with dead celebrities like Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, even Benjamin Franklin. But they were doing things like high-fiving, watching TV, and playing darts. As a community, we agreed it was in bad taste."

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Chicken of the Trees

“The squirrels may take my tomatoes and spit them back, but they would not go unanswered. The time had come to close the circle of life.”

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Coffee Club Closes

A coffee shop owner finally gets to shut down his store.

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How Chicago House Got Its Groove Back

A look at Chicago’s DJ culture in the ’90s.

One day in 1997, Sneak promised his friend and fellow Chicago DJ Derrick Carter a new 12-inch for Carter's label Classic, then spent hours fruitlessly laboring over a basic, bustling four-four beat. Finally, Sneak gave in and smoked the J he'd had stashed for later in the day. When he came back inside, he carelessly dropped the needle onto a Teddy Pendergrass LP, heard the word "Well . . . ," and realized, "That's the sample, right there." He threaded Pendergrass's 20-year-old disco hit "You Can't Hide From Yourself" through a low-pass filter to give it the effect of going in and out of aural focus, creating one of the definitive Chicago house singles.

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Kill-Crazed Animal?

A profile of William Heirens, the convicted “Lipstick Killer” of Chicago, who died this week.