Posted inArts & Culture

Bucket Number Six

The Chicago-based Bucket Number Six is a semiacoustic folk-rock trio with a special talent for catchy understatement. Front man Doug Hoekstra’s talky singing does take some getting used to, but he’s a first-rate songwriter who specializes in droll, rough-hewn evocations of a slightly sentimentalized America in which Mark Twain or Thomas Hart Benton might feel […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Colby/Frank Caruso

If you look at the lineup, you figure you know the band; after all, the combo of saxophone, electric bass, percussion, and one of those ubiquitous multipurpose keyboards–which has come to spell “fusion”–can be found in high-tech nightclubs all across this great land. What sets Mark Colby and Frank Caruso apart from the pack is […]

Posted inFilm

Looking for America

UNCOMMON SENSES Directed and written by Jon Jost. The film essay, as opposed to the documentary, remains in some respects the most neglected of contemporary film genres, by filmmakers and audiences alike, perhaps because it is seldom acknowledged as a film form at all. The only recent mainstream examples that come to mind are the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shoot to Kill

Mayor Daley relished the year 1967. Around the country, blacks trapped and packed in steaming, stinking ghettos lashed out–in Newark, in Detroit, in more than 140 cities that summer. Not in Chicago, though. In Chicago, we had programs–“positive, constructive programs,” Daley said. In his successful bid to bring the Democratic National Convention to Chicago, he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Double Exposure

DOUBLE EXPOSURE at Victory Gardens Studio Theater I went to see Double Exposure just a couple of hours after sitting through Eight Men Out, John Sayles’s new film about the 1919 Chicago White Sox, the team that threw the World Series. So naturally, my mind was full of baseball analogies: Double Exposure is like a […]

Posted inMusic

Young the restless

Years ago, I sat in a small club in San Francisco and watched Gary U.S. Bonds mark 20 years in show business with yet another night in a half-filled room. The crowd was desultory–too many had come on the off chance that a big Bonds fan named Bruce Springsteen might show up–but Bonds was a […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The usual limitation of director Costa-Gavras (Z, Missing) is that he makes well-crafted thrillers with liberal political themes that preach to the converted. The interesting thing about his latest movie, scripted by Joe Eszterhas (Jagged Edge), is that it does something rather different–more unsettling and morally ambiguous and, as a look at the underground white […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Comic Abandon

IMPROVOLYMPIC at At the Tracks THE PHANTOM AND THE SUPERSTARS at Drury Lane South I recently saw a stage magician who made beautiful young models appear from and disappear into raised, thin, flat platforms on wheels. I assumed at first that some trick with mirrors was disguising a trapdoor into the stage; I later learned […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Ouch! I found the way you dispensed with Uri Geller [May 13] uncharacteristically simplistic. I personally witnessed two examples of Geller’s powers, and I can’t believe I was taken in by sleight of hand. I and two colleagues interviewed Geller in 1975. We met in a small, well-lit office we had borrowed for the occasion. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jazz Showcase Jam Sessions

Because it’s big and especially because it’s free, the Chicago Jazz Festival regularly decimates attendance at local paid-admission jazz spots; but a couple years ago, Joe Segal finally figured out how to make it work for him. Since many of the festival’s performers stay at the Blackstone Hotel, and since Segal’s Jazz Showcase occupies a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Now you can enjoy an actual symbol of third world exploitation in your own living room. Real Estate Profile (July 29-August 11) explains why some aquarium fish cost more than others: “One fish, the Black Tang, is hand-caught from the lower depths off Christmas Island . . . . many divers have been killed from […]