Posted inArts & Culture

The Big Easy

Coinciding with the Film Center’s Jim McBride retrospective (whose most provocative program, on Thursday, August 20, combined the flaky sex comedy Hot Times and a brilliant Twilight Zone episode about Elvis, The Once and Future King) is the release of McBride’s least personal and most commercial movie to date. Rewriting a hackneyed crooked-cop story by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Judy Roberts Trio

When Judy Roberts sings “I Got It Bad,” she starts in the middle of the tune–at the bridge–and so by the time she hits the more familiar main melody, it’s in a different context, and it sounds slightly out of place and altogether fresh. At her best, Roberts offers up subtle touches like that in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eden Court

EDEN COURT Skin of Our Teeth Productions at the New Lincoln Theatre Is God dead? Do our lives have any meaning in the universe? What is the secret of happiness? Enquiring minds want to know. That’s Eden Court in a nutshell. Murphy Guyer’s comedy veers strangely, unevenly, but engagingly between the “big questions” and lamebrain, […]

Posted inMusic

Replacements: rock for the wary generation

I got this bizarre queasy feeling last week while driving down Highway 61 in Minnesota. The Replacements’ sixth album, Pleased to Meet Me, was blasting through my sister’s boom box, and like most of their recent sold-out show at the Riviera, it sounded just great–more than inspirational, a little over the edge, and neither larger […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Have you ever considered the puzzle of doubling ancestors? Everybody has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, and so on back through time, with the number of ancestors doubling in each generation. Go back 30 generations and the number of ancestors tops one billion. Eventually we arrive at a time when we have more […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dizzy Gillespie With Sam Rivers

It’s one thing for a 70-year-old trumpeter–who happens to be the most historically important jazzman living. and who not incidentally still sounds terrific–to continue touring, as Gillespie has done. But it’s quite another to find him employing the talents of a revolutionary from another jazz era (Sam Rivers) in what promises to be a quite […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Sounds we never expected to hear: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that one of its engineers has hooked up a stethoscope to a loudspeaker and a computer in a system “so sensitive that he’s been able to hear, in a few seconds, the movements of a single one-day-old maggot in a grapefruit.” “At least […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Fifteen years ago, Jeff Lescher was just another kid in my Boy Scout troop. These days, the raspy, crafty singer-guitarist leads Green, an aggressive pop trio whose recent debut album ranks among the western suburbs’ finer cultural achievements. Part primal squawker, part brooding balladeer, Lescher writes songs with a casual flair that spares his wit […]