Posted inArts & Culture

Chinese Classical Orchestra

For the past 15 years, as the head of the locally based Chinese Music Society of North America, Shen Sin-yan has been dispelling the impression that the traditional music of his native country is nothing more than quaint exotica. In fact, his expertise and his effort to heighten appreciation of the music’s sophistication have earned […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Truth or Cleverness

To the editors: With all respect to my friend Jim Krohe, I take exception to some of his remarks about Michigan Avenue [September 27]. 1. Krohe writes, “had [Eliel] Saarinen and [Frank Lloyd] Wright been allowed to build on the avenue, it might today deserve to be called ‘the Magnificent Mile.’” There are several problems […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Ever feel lost in a crowd? Like just a drop in the bucket? These dramatic photographs come from a series assembled over the past three years by Latvian native and Michigan resident Misha Gordin. The 30 black-and-white prints that make up “Crowd ” will be on display at Klein Art Works, 400 N. Morgan, through […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Are human beings still evolving? Or are we devolving? Are our genes, when passed on to our kids, copied faithfully like a digital recording? Or is the process more like a photocopy of a photocopy, deteriorating more and more with each generation? I hope it’s not the latter, because if the results are anything like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Charge Like No Other

DANCE AFRICA/CHICAGO: HONORING THE SOURCE at the Medinah Temple October 3-5 The Dance Center of Columbia College is stepping out. Last month it was “Dancing in the State,” a rough-and-ready circus of some six or seven acts performed in and around the giant arena of the State of Illinois Center. This month the Dance Center […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Jobs even the cops can’t do. South suburban Matteson police detective Richard Walsh, quoted in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Trends and Issues 91: “I’ve had calls from parents who say, ‘I just can’t handle him. He’s staying out at night, and he won’t go to school.’ Then I ask them, ‘How old is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

James Emery

Among the many virtues that distinguish the improvising guitarist James Emery, I admire most his willingness to follow musical ideas wherever they naturally lead; it governs his compositions as well as the formats he finds for presenting his music. He’s best known in the context of the acoustic String Trio of New York (he’s one […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bad blood between do-gooders: Hull House vs. the Clarence Darrow Center

Given all the problems social-service groups have to battle–crime, drugs, neighborhood disinvestment–they shouldn’t have time to fight each other. But that’s just what board members for Hull House and board members for its affiliate the Clarence Darrow Center have been doing for the last year: squabbling over who should run the southwest-side center. The details […]

Posted inMusic


“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the first song on Nirvana’s major-label debut, Nevermind, is a potent, almost mythopoetic rendering of the modern rock ‘n’ roll condition. “I feel stupid and contagious / Here we are now, entertain us,” sings lyricist-guitarist-singer Kurt Cobain with ferocious glee. The song’s shattering attack confirms Nirvana’s status as, finally, a group […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

On the eve of the upcoming Leverkusener festival in Germany, which will feature a 20-year retrospective of his work, percussionist Kahil El-Zabar tunes up tonight with the most durable of his performing units, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. Still fresh after all these years, this surprisingly versatile trio comprises two horns and El-Zabar, whose contributions range […]