WBEZ | Brooklyn http://www.wbez.org/tags/brooklyn Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lana Del Rey walks the tightrope http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-06/lana-del-rey-walks-tightrope-110358 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/del%20rey.jpg" title="" /></p><p>No one can be surprised that the grand construct of Lizzy Grant&rsquo;s career, the self-abusing, retro-minded, anti-empowerment femme fatale better known as Lana Del Rey, is decidedly <em>not</em> a woman of her word. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;ll write another record,&rdquo; she said in 2012 after the release of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-01-31/album-review-lana-del-rey-%E2%80%98born-die%E2%80%99-interscope-96007">her second effort <em>Born to Die</em></a><em>. </em>&ldquo;I feel like everything I&nbsp;wanted to say, I said already.&rdquo; Yet here she is again, saying more of the same &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a bad girl who likes bad boys and gets hurt bad&rdquo; crap that didn&rsquo;t really need to be said last time, and smirking about the backlash to the backlash that greeted her much-debated breakthrough by simultaneously mocking and kissing up to the crowd that inexplicably embraces her tired act.</p><p>&ldquo;And my boyfriend&rsquo;s in the band/He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed/I&rsquo;ve got feathers in my hair/I get high on hydroponic weed/And my jazz collection&rsquo;s rare/I get down to beat poetry/I&rsquo;m a Brooklyn baby/I&rsquo;m a Brooklyn baby,&rdquo; she trills in a chorus to the song of that name, while anyone with half a brain retches.</p><p>Mostly, though, Del Rey is just a bore. Working with producer Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, she falls even shorter of her stated goal of creating the postmodern &ldquo;gangsta Nancy Sinatra,&rdquo; eschewing the hints of hip-hop we got last time for a straighter mix of early &rsquo;50s cocktail lounge schmaltz and echoes of spaghetti Western ambience. If anything, this is made even less enticing than it sounds by virtue of the fact that she (still) cannot sing, as is made glaringly obvious by ponderous and lumbering chanteuse showcases such as &ldquo;Pretty When I Cry,&rdquo; &ldquo;Money Power Glory,&rdquo; &ldquo;Old Money,&rdquo; &ldquo;Black Beauty,&rdquo; and the (allegedly) ironic &ldquo;F---ed My Way Up to the Top.&rdquo;</p><p>Lord almighty, musically, lyrically, attitudinally, and just about every other way you can name, <em>this </em>is why we need <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-04/le-butcherettes-are-back-vengeance-110032">Le Butcherettes</a>, Tweens, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-03/rimshots-powerful-stuff-two-alt-country-hell-raisers-109805">Lydia Loveless and Angel Olsen</a>, and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-05/savages-drop-startlingly-powerful-debut-107065">Savages</a>, to name just a few of the real recent femme fatales who put dear Lizzy to shame by not only promising but actually delivering a little of the ol&rsquo; ultraviolence.</p><p><strong>Lana Del Rey, <em>Ultraviolence </em>(Interscope)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: .5 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong> and </strong></em><a href="http://jimcarmeltvdinner.libsyn.com/"><strong>Jim + Carmel&rsquo;s TV + Dinner</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-06/lana-del-rey-walks-tightrope-110358 Chicago Bulls ready to cut down Nets http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chicago-bulls-ready-cut-down-nets-106873 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_nate_game_4_vs_nets%20Ji%20m%20prisching.jpg" style="height: 485px; width: 620px;" title="Can Nate Robinson come to the Bulls' rescue again? (AP/File)" /></div><p>There&rsquo;s no time to catch your breath after the thrilling triple overtime 142-134 win by the Chicago Bulls this weekend. The Bulls are in Brooklyn Monday night trying to close out the series. They now lead the Nets three games to one in this best of seven series.</p><p>It will not be easy. Then again, the Bulls have never had it easy this season.</p><p>The Bulls showed that despite injuries and not having their biggest star they have one intangible: heart.</p><p>Coming back from a 14 point deficit (with the crazy shooting of back-up point guard Nate Robinson) elevated the battered team.</p><p>Playoffs are not just X&rsquo;s and O&rsquo;s. The raw emotion from an overtime win may be a catalyst Monday.</p><p>But the Bulls still have to overcome injuries, and on Saturday, minutes mounted up on already aching players.</p><p>Joakim Noah, with his sore foot, went way over his allotted time. He played 40 minutes even though the team&rsquo;s medical staff recommended a limit of 25.</p><p>Luol Deng was hobbled after Saturday&rsquo;s victory too. He has been active on defense and come up with a big shot here and there. There is little doubt that Deng will do everything he can to be on the court.</p><p>The biggest concern is for Kirk Hinrich. He suffered a deep thigh bruise and may not get to play. Hinrich played a team high of 59 minutes in the last game. His steady hand running the offense and gritty perimeter defense is a big reason the Bulls have an advantage in this series. If he is unable to start, that job will go to Nate Robinson.</p><p>Robinson can light up the scoreboard, but doesn&#39;t match Hinrich on defense. This void would give the Nets&#39; Deron Williams more opportunities.</p><p>There is one more advantage the Bulls have over Brooklyn: coach Tom Thibodeau.</p><p>The Bulls coach has this team well prepared and they trust him. Somehow you don&rsquo;t get that feeling with the Net&rsquo;s P.J. Carlesimo. The interim Brooklyn coach doesn&#39;t look in sync with his team. They have had clear advantages and still find themselves one game away from elimination.</p><p>Thibodeau made the choice to keep ineffective veteran Richard Hamilton on the bench Saturday. We&rsquo;ll see if that changes with the Hinrich injury.</p><p>If Marquis Teague sees playing time, Williams and Nets back-up C.J. Watson will eat the Bulls rookie alive. Thibodeau might have to use Jimmy Butler to defend Williams.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></em></p></p> Sun, 28 Apr 2013 20:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chicago-bulls-ready-cut-down-nets-106873 An error-filled errand in Brooklyn http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-10-18/error-filled-errand-brooklyn-93232 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/awaywego.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We do <em>The Interview Show</em> each month in Chicago, but last week we brought it to Brooklyn’s Union Hall. I love it there, but I did not do Brooklyn very well.</p><p>My mistake was venturing out from where I was staying on the morning of the show.</p><p>But I had to find a computer printer. I type up questions for each interview, and before each show, I print them, cut out the sentences and tape them to index cards, because I aim to turn everything I do in life into an arts and crafts project.</p><p>I didn’t want to go FedEx Office Cougar Mellencamp Kinkos or whatever it’s called now. It's rarely a smooth transaction there. My theory is there was one original Kinkos employee and all the rest are just ever-fading photo copies of that guy.</p><p>So, I went to a place called Away We Go Postal. This was a less-wise choice.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-18/awaywego.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 374px;" title=""></p><p>First, it took 15 minutes for the guy behind the counter to set me up with a computer. He couldn’t get his mouse to work. The woman working next to him had a working mouse, but she was on the phone with a friend. It seemed like a fun call.</p><p>Eventually, I was set up, and I printed out my pages. The printer was behind the counter, and the guy handed me my 25 or so pages and got ready to ring me up. &nbsp;But the ink was very faded — hard-on-the-eyes, tension-headache-inducing faded — and so, I said exactly what every other human being would have said in my shoes. Which was: “Um, these are faded. ”</p><p>To which the woman behind the counter, looking up for the first time from her phone call, interrupted me:</p><p>“Are they legible?”</p><p>“Well, yeah, um, they’re legible, but . . .”</p><p>“Then you have to pay for them.”</p><p>I tried to challenge her, but my challenge hit a snag when I couldn’t remember the term “ink cartridge.”</p><p>“Don’t you have one of those little things you put in a printer that, you know, makes the printouts darker — what are they called again, you stick them in and then …”</p><p>To which the guy answered, “No, we don’t.” <em>We have one ink cartridge that will last us until we go out of business.</em></p><p>And then the woman repeated, “Are they legible?”</p><p>I paid for the printouts.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-18/storm pegasus.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: right; width: 396px; height: 336px;" title="">And left in a huff, my mood brightening only when I saw a Target. I had to go in. My son wanted me to bring him back a Beyblade. These are cheap plastic tops with names like “Storm Pegasus” and “Dark Gasher.” They cost $10. The Beybladium, the official, plastic oversized dog bowl to spin these tops, is sold separately! &nbsp;Plus, I read The New York Times every day, and every third article is about how all the stores in Brooklyn are artisanal, so I wanted to see what an artisanal Target looked like.</p><p>It was spectacular. I’d never seen anything like it.</p><p>On my way out, a limited-edition <a href="http://www.beyblade.com/beyblades/1/beyblades-and-accessories.aspx">Beyblade</a> now all mine, I had to go the bathroom. And I didn’t, dear reader, wash my hands. The Target bathroom was packed, and I had in my backpack a little bottle of Purell I started to reach for. But before I could grab it, a teenager yelled: “That’s nasty! You got to wash your hands, man!”</p><p>For some reason, I walked over to him and showed him the Purell bottle. We then had an awkward conversation.</p><p>By the time I got outside, all I wanted to do was get to Union Hall and put my ill-fated journey behind me. That’s when I heard someone yell to me, “Are you Jewish?” That’s not a question you’d ever get asked in Chicago, unless it’s 1997, you are dating my now-wife and having your first conversation with her father.</p><p>But in Brooklyn, this happens. Lubavitch Jews ask it. Young, earnest ones, often. They want you to wear the Tefillin. It’s a little black box you put on your head that looks, well, kind of like an ink cartridge. (For a real description of what they are and mean, go <a href="http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/tefillin.html">here</a>.)</p><p>Anyhow, I couldn't lie to him. So, I went over to him and found myself agreeing to wear the tefillin. I wanted to know how he identified me as Jewish. Was it my nose? Was it the hair on my back sticking out of the top of my shirt again? Was it the Purell in my hand? The correct answer, as I learned later, was that he asks everyone except burly blond men over 6’5”.</p><p>He took out a kepah (yarmulke) and asked me to put it on. It was the dirtiest thing I’d ever seen meant to be put on one's head. I think if one more head lice had been in there, they would have had a minion. Hello!</p><p>So, I refused. The kid weighed my answer. He calculated how many people he’d successfully stopped that day. Maybe he asked God for guidance. Either way, he let me proceed kepah-less.&nbsp;He put the box on my head, which, with two black straps hanging from it, looks like a strange electric device.</p><p>As he led me through my assigned lines in Hebrew, I said a silent prayer to not be electrocuted, at least not until after the show.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-10-18/error-filled-errand-brooklyn-93232 Aja Monet’s Nuyorican dream http://www.wbez.org/story/aja-monet/aja-monet%E2%80%99s-nuyorican-dream-83940 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-18/aja photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.youngchicagoauthors.org/">Louder Than a Bomb</a> teen poetry festival wrapped up its annual competition last week, and gems from the event are already <a href="../../../../../../episode-segments/2011-03-11/louder-bomb-young-chicago-poets-inspiration-83549">making their way onto our airwaves</a>. Here&rsquo;s another golden nugget, taken from one of the many performances associated with the series.</p><p>In this poem, <a href="http://www.nuyorican.org/">Nuyorican Poets Café</a> alum and Brooklyn native <a href="http://ajamonet.com/">Aja Monet</a> envisions herself sitting on a Bedford Avenue curb as a parade of deceased neighborhood icons saunter by - Biggie, Basquiat, Jackie Robinson. It&rsquo;s a nuanced and nostalgic depiction of city life, and you can hear it in the audio posted above.</p><p><em>Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Aja Monet performed before an audience assembled by </em><a href="http://www.youngchicagoauthors.org/"><em>Young Chicago Authors</em></a><em> in March. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../story/culture/art/all-women-reading"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear the event in its entirety, and click </em><a target="_blank" href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast. </em></p></p> Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/aja-monet/aja-monet%E2%80%99s-nuyorican-dream-83940