Posted inMusic

Making Scenes

Joe Henry Fuse (Mammoth) By Tim Sheridan Among the many lasting images Stanley Kubrick left us is the ultimate shot in Dr. Strangelove, when Slim Pickens rides down to Russia astride the H-bomb. Kubrick created a perfect ironic moment: it’s absurd and pathetic, and yet Pickens as Major T.J. “King” Kong is ecstatic as he […]

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Houses Undivided

The Complete Jazz at the Philharmonic on Verve 1944-1949 (Verve) By Tim Sheridan If you were ever sent to the principal’s office as a child, you know the power of a room. Stepping across the principal’s threshold most likely made you blind with panic, even if you hadn’t done anything wrong. It wasn’t the layout […]

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Two Great Tastes That Sound Great Together

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach at the Chicago Theatre, October 16 By Tim Sheridan Maybe it’s fear of mortality that has some folks freaking out about the recent musical marriage between Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach. Despite the new martini craze, many thirtysomethings associate Bacharach with their parents–whom they’re trying desperately not to become right […]

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Cheese, Please

Have a Nice Decade: The ’70s Pop Culture Box (Rhino Records) By Tim Sheridan As I took one last longing look at the candy rack in the grocery checkout line, desperately plotting a last-ditch plea for a box of Everlasting Gobstoppers, I heard the clerk tell my mother, “Have a nice day.” That’s when I […]

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The Hunt for Monk

Leslie Gourse Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk (Schirmer Books) Thomas Fitterling Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music (Berkeley Hills Books) Laurent de Wilde Monk (Marlowe & Company) Chris Raschka Mysterious Thelonious (Orchard Books) Thelonious Monk The Complete Blue Note Recordings (Blue Note) By Tim Sheridan In a moment captured in […]

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Pure Hype

Chet Atkins Christmas With Chet Atkins (Razor & Tie) Louvin Brothers Christmas With the Louvin Brothers (Razor & Tie) Richard A. Peterson Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity (University of Chicago Press) By Tim Sheridan What could be more perfect than Christmas in the country, watching the snow bend the pine boughs while in your little […]

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Superfly’s Big Score

Curtis Mayfield Superfly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Rhino/Curtom) By Tim Sheridan The hero of blaxploitation cinema strutted across the urban landscape of the 70s looking clean and carrying a large can of Whupass. He (or she, in the case of sisters like Coffy or Cleopatra Jones) was usually a streetwise private eye righting the wrongs […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bang Bang

The fact that improv requires nothing more than an empty space and a willing audience makes it very attractive to neophyte comedy groups with little or no capital–and often, unfortunately, little or no original material. That’s what makes a company like Bang Bang, with its discipline and considerable wit, almost a revelation. The company consists […]

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Hey! Whoops! Bang!/Bang Bang

HEY! WHOOPS. BANG! Cardiff Giant at Shattered Globe Theatre For better or worse, Chicago is an improv town. While many companies clearly approach the form as a cheap way to perform, others have developed working methods that yield more entertaining results. Two established companies with two different approaches to improv are now offering shows that […]

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Salvation Intermission Damnation

SALVATION INTERMISSION DAMNATION Tangent Theatre at Puszh Studios In his first works for the stage, filmmaker William Haugse offers two one-acts that consider the secular aspects of salvation and damnation–potentially intriguing meditations on age-old questions. Unfortunately, the plays ramble in too many different directions to offer much of the insight that they are so obviously […]