Posted inArts & Culture

Young Fresh Fellows

Like the auteurs behind, say, Pleased to Meet Me and Darkness on the Edge of Town, Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey is a rock ‘n’ roll zealot, a true believer, someone you can’t imagine doing anything else but fronting a band. Unlike Messrs. Westerberg and Springsteen, however, he never takes himself too seriously, nor, in […]

Posted inFilm

Is It Life, or Is It Media?

THE ICICLE THIEF **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Maurizio Nichetti Written by Nichetti and Mauro Monti With Nichetti, Caterina Sylos Labini, Federico Rizzo, Heidi Komarek, Renato Scarpa, Carlina Torta, Lella Costa, and Claudio G. Fava. There is still so much we have to learn about TV!–Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus Some people have called Maurizio Nichetti the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rum and Coke

RUM AND COKE Center Theater It’s a depressingly familiar pattern. A country is invaded, supposedly at the spontaneous request of its oppressed citizens. To make their offense look defensive the invaders set up a provisional government, which then calls for a military occupation (ostensibly to protect the newly liberated citizens). The result: a coup camouflaged […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Yo La Tengo

The singing on Yo La Tengo’s fourth album, Fakebook, with leader Ira Kaplan flat as always and drummer Georgia Hubley coming out of the closet, vocalizingwise, is delicate and nuanced, weary and lilting, and somehow riveting. A fakebook, of course, is a fast and dirty collection of standards, with melody lines, words, changes, and little […]

Posted inArts & Culture

La Petenera

LA PETENERA Latino Chicago Theater Company at Cabaret Voltaire La Petenera, a play made up of poems by Federico Garcia Lorca, is about a condition, something mournful and murderous–as complex as love or as simple as a folk song. Or it might just be a cautionary tale for strong women. It depends. Originally produced at […]

Posted inArts & Culture


BORDERLINE Heartland Arts and Chicago Dramatists Workshop Charles Graham is the model of the successful American WASP male, circa 1988. A former college athlete, he now has a lucrative career in marketing and advertising, an expensive house in the suburbs, an attractive and devoted wife, a son–everything a man could want. But one night an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Billy Bragg

I’m hoping that Billy Bragg’s latest, an EP called The Internationale, is a detour. I know that everyone complains about Bragg’s “political stuff”; he’s like Woody Allen in that people will never let him forget the components of his earliest successes, in Bragg’s case a knack for luminous and complex (and often, truth be told, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Consider, if you will, that classic breakfast cereal, Raisin Bran. A Raisin Bran raisin is heavier than a Raisin Bran flake. Logic dictates that heavy things ought to fall to the bottom of the box. However, when we examine a box of Raisin Bran, we find to our surprise (and delight, of course, because we […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In the Mud

To the editors: In response to the Our Town article dealing with the Mud Beggars and the honorable Rush Pearson (aka Will’m the Rash) in the Reader of 8/17/90: Whereas I enjoyed much the piece and found it to be a fairly good attempt to describe the Sturdy Beggars unique Renaissance Festival comedy act and […]