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ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2014 | By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins and RedEye Sound Board
What do Chance the Rapper, Rockie Fresh and Vic Mensa have in common, other than being Chicago rappers garnering national attention? They've all worked with Closed Sessions, meaning that Michael Kolar and Alex Fruchter, the team behind the Humboldt Park-based record label, might be the most important names you've never heard in the Chicago rap scene. Before you get your "Fire Ernest Wilkins" campaign ready, recognize that almost every important non-"drill" rap release to come from this third wave of Chicago rap (1994-'96, 2006-'07 and 2012-present)
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2014 | By Kate Bernot, RedEye
When Goose Island opened the doors to its Clybourn brewpub more than 25 years ago, "craft beer" was barely in Chicago's collective vocabulary. Now, new breweries open here each year, and we can brag that our favorite beers are made just a neighborhood away. All of that hometown pride culminates annually in Chicago Craft Beer Week - actually 11 days of $4 pint specials, tap takeovers and bar crawls - which runs May 15-25. So, how to prepare yourself? First, you should start carrying around a giant bottle of water ... right now. This will serve you well.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2014 | By Matt Pais and RedEye music editor
***= Recommended shows On sale noon Thursday Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion, Monday, June 23 ($40-$55, all ages) at City Winery. On sale 10 a.m. Friday ***Lily Allen, Tuesday, Sept. 30 ($28.50, all ages) at Riviera Theatre. Jeff Daniels, The Ben Daniels Band, Friday, Aug. 22 ($25-$45, all ages) at Space. Kasabian, Wednesday, Oct. 1 ($25, 18+) at Metro. ***Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Thursday, June 26 ($25, 18+) at Park West. Us the Duo, Friday, July 11 ($15-$18, all ages)
NEWS
May 12, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
UPDATE ( 10 a.m. ) : The Inspiration Waggin' will be in Pioneer Court at 435 N. Michigan until 5 p.m. No one will blame you if you're late to work on Friday.  A truck full of puppies and kittens is currently touring the United States, and May 16 is Chicago's turn for playtime. The truck -- called the Inspiration Waggin' -- is part of a tour by PetSmart to promote its "Inspired by Pets" campaign , and will also be stopping at retirement centers, universities and other locations.  The truck will arrive in Chicago at 9 a.m. in front of the American Medical Association headquarters at  330 N. Wabash Ave., travel to Pioneer Court near Tribune Tower at 10 a.m. and stay until 11 a.m. Puppies and cats will be on hand for the public to play with, according to a press release.  The truck is also making stops in Toronto and New York.  Want more?
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2014 | Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye movie critic
For the record: While I'm a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, I did not program the CFCA-created Chicago Critics Film Festival, which takes over the Music Box through Thursday. I have, however, seen several of the movies on the schedule. Here are some tips about what to see at the fest ($12-$15 for individual tickets; $75 weekday pass; $100 weekend pass; $150 for full festival pass; full schedule at chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com), kicking off at 7 p.m. Friday with David Wain's “They Came Together.” The film stars Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler; Wain will be in attendance for a post-movie Q&A. 'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon' 9:30 p.m. Friday *** (out of four)
SPORTS
May 8, 2014 | By Matt Lindner and For RedEye
It seems like you can't walk a block in Chicago without stumbling into 10 bars dedicated to different Big Ten teams. If you're an English Premier League fan in Chicago, however, finding your team's bar is more difficult. Don't worry - we've got you covered. Here's a list of soccer specific bars and the teams they support: Tottenham Hotspur: The Atlantic, 5062 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square Manchester United: Temple, 3001 N. Ashland Ave., Lakeview Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton: AJ Hudson's Public House, 3801 N. Ashland Ave., Lakeview Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle, West Ham United: The Globe Pub, 1934 W. Irving Park Road, North Center Other top soccer bars: SmallBar, 2049 W. Division St., Ukrainian Village and 2956 N. Albany Ave., Avondale Cleos, 1935 W. Chicago Ave., Ukrainian Village Fado Irish Pub, 100 W. Grand Ave., Near North Want more?
NEWS
May 8, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
As if the newlyweds couldn't be happier, a chance meeting got one of their favorite photographers to capture the moment. This past weekend, Paul Octavious -- whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post and has almost half a million Instagram followers -- sat down for a late lunch at Eataly. As his waiter -- Judd Mealey -- returned with the beer he'd ordered, he told Octavious he recognized him. He was a huge fan. And it just so happened he and his partner Scott were just talking about his work as they prepared for their wedding at City Hall.
SPORTS
May 8, 2014 | By Paul M. Banks and For RedEye
Summer is the most popular season in Chicago, starting with the pleasant weather. Unfortunately, the teams playing in Chicago - mostly the Cubs and White Sox - are notoriously far from top-notch. English Premier League football, on the other hand, is the cream of the crop. And with it comes some of the most devoted and passionate fan bases on the planet. The league boasts Manchester United, perhaps the most popular sports club on the planet. Surveys estimate that MUFC has 670 million fans worldwide . After United lost to their bitter rivals, Liverpool, earlier this season, 450,000 people unliked United's Facebook page.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 2014 | By Matt Pais and RedEye music editor
***= Recommended shows On sale noon Thursday The Bangles, Sunday, July 27, Monday, July 28 ($55-$75, all ages) at City Winery. ***Blitzen Trapper, Parkington Sisters, Tuesday, June 10 ($16-$26, all ages) at City Winery. On sale 10 a.m. Friday Miley Cyrus, Thursday, Aug. 14 (49.50-$89.50, all ages) at United Center. Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett, Jukebox Mafia, Friday, Aug. 15 ($29.25-$54, all ages) at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. ***Robyn, Royksopp, Sunday, Aug. 24 ($25-$59.50, all ages)
SPORTS
May 2, 2014 | By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco and RedEye
Oh, it's on, Hawks fans! Mayor Rahm Emanuel placed a friendly bet with Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul, Minn., on the Hawks vs. Wild series that starts Friday. "In the unlikely case that things don't go our way, I am prepared to send a six-pack of our hoppy pride and joy: Half Acre Daisy Cutter, a barrel of Chicago's own Garrett's Popcorn, and some of our Chicago-style Giardiniera that can spice up any casserole," Mayor Emanuel said in a news release. What will Chicago get from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman?
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