Posted inArts & Culture

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s aching, fluty yodel of a voice has its origins in at least two species of apartness: first, the remote area of Texas where he grew up and recorded his first work (with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock in the Flatlanders, back in 1971), and second, the almost antediluvian beginnings of folk and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Silent Messengers

MARY HATCH: NARRATIVE METAPHORS at Gilman-Gruen Galleries A perfunctory look at Mary Hatch’s paintings might give the impression that they’re simplistic narrative depictions of idyllic Americana–except that her palette is as lurid as a half-page headline in the New York Post. Bilious green and intestinal pink are juxtaposed: it should, by rights, make you want […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Orson Welles’s 1952 independent feature is finally back in circulation, looking better than ever thanks to restoration work, but also sounding quite different because of the restorers’ debatable decision to redo the brilliant score and sound effects in stereo. For all the liberties taken with the play, this may well be the greatest of all […]

Posted inFilm

Five Easy Pieces

NIGHT ON EARTH ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by Jim Jarmusch With Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Giancarlo Esposito, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Rosie Perez, Isaach de Bankole, Beatrice Dalle, Roberto Benigni, and Matti Pellonpaa. As the most popular American independent filmmaker around, Jim Jarmusch carries a special burden: his reputation makes his work particularly hard to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Expectations are a funny and dangerous thing in sports. So easily did the Bulls’ championship a year ago seem, in memory, to have been achieved that after the Bulls amassed the best regular-season record in the National Basketball Association everyone expected their run to a second championship to be equally easy. Then the New York […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jeffrey Schanzer & Bernadette Speach

Lyrical duettists Speach (piano) and Schanzer (guitar) are both composers as well as improvisers, and the questions their music prompts are like Chinese boxes. How much of their playing is interpretation and how much is improvisation? How much of their improvising follows fixed structures, and what are those structures? How free are their rules of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story A 31-year-old man turned himself in to police in Anchorage, Alaska, in January claiming to be the fugitive “Dr. Diaper,” who had been appearing at local day-care centers in diapers and trying to get them to take him in. In an incident two years earlier, Dr. Diaper had hired a baby-sitter over the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Dance Medium

CHICAGO DANCE MEDIUM at the Harold Washington Library Theatre May 8 and 9 The opening images of Rosemary Doolas’s premiere, Allez Pleurer Comme des Hommes (“Go Cry Like Men”), come from World War II footage of tanks burning and Paris being liberated. The soft black-and-white film is filled with celebrating Parisians: women in simple dresses […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Alfredo Jaar: Geography War

ALFREDO JAAR: GEOGRAPHY WAR at the Museum of Contemporary Art I could comment on the formal virtues of the carefully crafted pieces in Alfredo Jaar’s current installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Geography War.” The aesthetic qualities of his light boxes deserve some praise. But to focus on that would be to miss all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

TanaReid With kenny Burrell

In jazz, the rhythm section forms the heart of almost every ensemble, and the communication between rhythm section and leader largely determines the music’s success. So when the rhythm section is the leader–as with TanaReid, the two-saxophone quintet assembled by drummer Akira Tana and bassist Rufus Reid–you’ve got it made in the shade. One of […]