Posted inNews & Politics

Dead Pets Department

“This is not the kind of job you talk about in social situations, because most people find it distasteful,” says Don Smith, frowning. “What we do isn’t for everybody. But it’s a job that has to be done. We can’t have deceased animals lying all over our streets.” A city worker for 29 years, Smith, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dog Fight

The young boy sat on the stoop of his West Rogers Park home, dressed in a three-piece blue suit in preparation for Saturday services. He was busying himself by sharpening a twig against the cement. A girl with a ponytail and a small dog on a leash stamped past on the lawn of the young […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Teenagers in Love

They were in love. They were together in the way only teenagers can be: oblivious to the honks and yells of truckers, to the disapproving stares of old ladies and the sad, envious glances of old men. Sitting on a couple of milk crates borrowed from the Jewel down the street, they’d set themselves up […]

Posted inArts & Culture

House of Freaks/Concrete Blonde

The duo House of Freaks is basically the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of Jack Nicholson’s chicken salad sandwich in Five Easy Pieces: Order your basic flaccid rock band, then hold the keyboards and bassist and stick the lead guitarist between your legs. Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott play guitar and drums respectively, and sing about […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Tractor

For a few years, it looked as if Love Tractor was going to lead the way to the reinvention of the instrumental band. You could listen to them for hours, swept along by the dreamy riffing and gentle melodies, never giving a thought to vocals on the one hand or surf rock or the Ventures […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dennis Gonzalez Quartet

New jazz is alive and well in Dallas of all places, and. you can lay much of the blame on Dennis Gonzalez; as founder of the Dallas Association for Avant-Garde and Neo-Impressionist Music (aka daagnim), he acts as concert promoter, record producer, and guiding light for a surprisingly busy phalanx of innovative musicians. He also […]

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Beaux Arts Trio

Chamber music often takes a backseat to orchestral music during the summer months, but this week there is a feast that will prepare chamber-music lovers for the dry weeks ahead: the Beaux Arts Trio playing the complete piano trios of Beethoven in three consecutive concerts. The tight ensembling and depth of interpretation that the Beaux […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Everywhere you go you hear people say, “If you don’t like the weather here, just wait ten minutes and it’ll change.” As though where they live is the only place with variable weather. But who really has the right to say this? I leave it to you to decide what constitutes variability, but I’d suggest […]

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Restaurant Tours: Joel Ponchalek seeks a wider audience

Clark Street between Belmont Avenue and Wrigley Field is distinguished by a motley assortment of ethnic eateries. You’ll find Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Ethiopian, and Philippine restaurants along that stretch. American food tends to be limited to hot dogs and hamburgers with one interesting exception–Joel’s Theatre Cafe. For the past four years the Organic […]

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The City File

“Let’s face it,” says Glenn O’Brien in Interview, quoted in Utne Reader (July/August 1989). “Reprieved chickens and ducks wouldn’t be wild animals; they’d just be unemployed animals, homeless animals, animals whose enforced mutations mean that there is no going back. There’s no wild to go back to. If everyone were vegetarian, chicken would be an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Young Blood, Real Talent

LBJFKKK Cardiff Giant at Angel Island I had begun to question my judgment. Was the theater I’d been seeing all that bad, or, as has often been suggested, did I really hate everything? Had I become jaded, bitter, burnt out? Was it time to apply for law school? I tell you, I was seriously thinking […]