Posted inMusic


The last time the Slugs played Schubas, everything came together–the natural warmth of the room, with its ornate wood proscenium; the good-natured friendliness of the typical Slugs crowd; and the band itself, an almost casually proficient threesome. Leader Dag Juhlin has a lanky, offhand charisma, and the band–with brother Gregg on bass and Mike Halston […]

Posted inFilm

Sex Is Difficult

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS *** (A must-see) Directed by Tim Burton Written by Burton and Caroline Thompson With Johnny Depp, Dianne Wiest, Winona Ryder, Alan Arkin, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, and Anthony Michael Hall. Although nostalgia for childhood, particularly boyhood, underpins many a Hollywood extravaganza, that longing is not usually loosed with any emotional restraint. Perhaps that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

My Brother’s Wedding

My favorite of Charles Burnett’s three features (the other two are Killer of Sheep and To Sleep With Anger) focuses on the family pressure exerted on a young man in Watts (Everett Silas) who works at his parents’ dry cleaners–pressure to abandon his disreputable ghetto friends and adjust to a more middle-class existence. This struggle […]

Posted inNews & Politics


You had to know there was going to be a fight. The Blackhawks had just gotten spanked, 5-4, by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sunday-evening contest was unsatisfying to the Chicago Stadium crowd for a variety of reasons. First, the Flyers were Blackhawks coach Mike Keenan’s old team. This night, too, the Flyers net was minded […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Zeena Parkins

Zeena Parkins plays the harp, and she’s no angel. Using a unique electric instrument–which she designed and built with new-music cellist Tom Cora, incorporating elements of classical and folk harps as well as electronic-effects pedals and a vibrato bar more commonly seen in the company of guitarists–Parkins conjures a menagerie of unexpected sounds. Few people […]

Posted inArts & Culture

What the Butler Saw

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Effective Theatre Company at Sheffield’s School Street Cafe Thus spake Nietzsche, by means of Zarathustra: “And when I beheld my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn. It was the Spirit of Gravity, through him all things are ruined. One does not kill by anger, but by laughter. Come let […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

When I was in an artillery unit in Vietnam, we were told that each shell we fired cost the taxpayers several thousand dollars to manufacture, disregarding the cost to develop the weapon itself or the cost of training the manpower to shoot it. We speculated that, considering the great number of rounds we fired, the […]