Posted inFilm

A Prophet in His Own Country

JON JOST RETROSPECTIVE Last week Jon Jost, a Chicago-born independent filmmaker, was having the first commercial run of his career–All the Vermeers in New York, his tenth feature, at the Music Box. Typically, he couldn’t be around for the event because he was busy shooting his 12th feature in Oregon. The Music Box engagement launches […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Snooky Pryor

Harmonica player Snooky Pryor was a member of the circle of musicians (also including Floyd and Moody Jones and Johnny Young) who came to Chicago and laid down their elemental sounds in the 50s for such now-legendary small labels as Planet, Old Swing-Master, and J.O.B. They provided a kind of primal counterpoint to the increasingly […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Too Many Humans

To the editors: Concerning “Dirt Rich” [March 27]: Newspapers and magazines are always ready to do cover stories about the symptoms of the worldwide human overpopulation problem–in this case, loss of fertile farmland to suburban sprawl. When it comes to facing the root cause of the problem, and alerting the public to the fact that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sun Ra Arkestra

Earlier this year, a small label called Evidence released its first five CD reissues of Sun Ra albums–including his earliest recordings, made in 1953 in Chicago–and the music proved at once startling and familiar. In fact, it proved startling because of its familiarity: in recent years, Sunny has increasingly returned to off-kilter, slightly campy, often […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Homesick James

Homesick James Williamson is one of the last of the legendary free spirits of the blues. Born in Somerville, Tennessee, he ran away from home at a young age and joined the southern circuit of itinerant blues entertainers, playing with such notables as Blind Boy Fuller, Johnny Shines, and others before finally settling in Chicago […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Profit and Loss

To the editors: Re your article “Executive Pay” in Hot Type [April 17]; How can a company’s net income fall 126 percent? I wanted to write Cecil Adams but never can understand his answers to math questions. Bob Brooks Evanston Michael Miner replies: Doggone it, neither can I. But this one isn’t hard. Say Company […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Andrew Young

ANDREW YOUNG at Betsy Rosenfield Gallery Why paint? It’s slow. It’s expensive. It’s difficult to do well. And in a world of color Xeroxing and MTV, the opulent medium often seems something of an antique, an elegant old sage whose dancing days have passed. Yet perhaps because of its long association with geniuses and kings, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Theaters in North Carolina recently began showing a short, state-funded film advocating teenage sexual abstinence. In The Power to Create Life, a teenage couple in a car are contemplating having sex when the sky lights up and an alien emperor implores, “You have the power to create life. Don’t abuse it.” The kids […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Women’s Choice

To the editors: Some comment on the “No Choice” feature article in the April 17 edition of the Reader. As a sensitive male it disturbs me that many women are so gullible, so willing, so assured that the option to have the life in them torn from them as a relief to their circumstances in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

City of Angels

This deliciously funny and inventive Broadway musical, playing here in a national touring version, is at once a spoof of 1940s detective thrillers and a tribute to all writers’ most endangered asset–their integrity. Larry Gelbart’s witty script crosscuts between the black-and-white universe of a film noir tough guy named Stone–a wisecracking private eye played here […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Matt “Guitar” Murphy

The technique of Matt “Guitar” Murphy is one of the true wonders of the blues world: impossibly fast an light-fingered one minute, ecstatically raw-edged and metallic the next. He’s lent his dexterous fret work to stylists as diverse as Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Slim, and James Cotton, and in recent years he’s been leading his own […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Cancer Killer

To the editors: I read with interest the article “The Woman Killer: The Sexual Politics of Breast Cancer” [April 3]. Despite the continuing optimistic rhetoric by the orthodox cancer industry, the mortality rate for nonlocalized breast cancer has remained static at 18 percent for the last 40 years. Our nation’s libraries and research institutions are […]