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 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

The toughest call. “Number of calls the Illinois Animal Poison Information Center received last year regarding pets swallowing marijuana: 68” (Harper’s “Index,” September 1990). The decade we could have done without. In 1980 the average school-teacher earned $15,970 a year, while the average business CEO earned $624,996–39 times as much. By 1988 the teachers were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Curlew

A cause for celebration: Curlew, a wiggy but impressively grounded quintet, makes its Chicago debut. Perhaps the most lionized of the bands that inhabit the energetic jazz scene in lower Manhattan, Curlew is steeped in the blues, but you’ll hear that influence only obliquely; it informs pieces that also boast the soulful funk of southern […]