Posted inNews & Politics

Potshots Unbecoming

To the editors: With his expansive essay on R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People, Bill Wyman demonstrates once again that he is among the most insightful pop music writers in the country [Hitsville, March 5]. But a few comments are in order. Wyman seems disconcerted by the fact that Automatic–a brilliant album length work on death […]

Posted inFilm

A Musical Way of Seeing

FILMS BY STAN BRAKHAGE **** (Masterpiece) Stan Brakhage has been making films for more than 40 years. By now he’s made hundreds, ranging in length from a few seconds to four hours. He makes them very cheaply–because he photographs them himself, generally working without cast or crew, the main costs are film and lab bills. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anthony Burr

Of Helmut Leichenmann’s solo clarinet piece Dal niente (1970), Anthony Burr explains that “it reveals the means of production. Rather than in playing classical music generally, where you try to pretend that you’re doing anything other than actually playing the clarinet, this is about playing the clarinet.” Listening to the piece, one is confronted with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Art and Graffiti

To the editors: In regards to your article “Graffiti Theory” in the March 26 issue. Let’s get one fact straight. Graffiti is vandalism. To claim it is art would have the equivalency of using a rocket launcher on a building and calling the remains a sculpture. Vandalism simply defined is destruction of property, private or […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Storioni Ensemble

The Storioni Ensemble, founded by Russian emigre violinist Victor Yampolsky last season and named after a famous instrument maker, is already the pride and joy of Northwestern University’s School of Music, which has wanted the world to know that its string faculty is just as capable as its wind and brass coaches. The core of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beauty From Brutality

BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY at the Civic Opera House, March 11, 13, and 14 I’ve gotten into arguments with everyone I’ve talked to about Batsheva Dance Company, which appeared at the Civic last month as part of the “Festival of Israeli Dance.” Dancers loved the performance, but nondancers couldn’t find words strong enough to vilify it, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Torn on the Fourth of July

LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART Halsted Theatre Centre It’s fitting that Terrence McNally set his very funny new play during a Fourth of July weekend and filled it with all-American types. After all, what could be more American than paranoia, prejudice, envy, and lust? McNally puts two New Jersey couples in a Fire Island summer house […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Do you need a key to start an F-16? –Dave Johnson, Chicago No. I feel it is important to make the public aware of this. An F-16 definitely is something you do not want to leave overnight on the street in a bad neighborhood. Why do they call it Latin America? It always sounded like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bocon! (The Big Mouth)

BOCON! (THE BIG MOUTH) Stage Left Theatre Near the beginning of Stage Left’s production of Bocon! a young Salvadoran boy, Miguel, says that when he lived in his village he noticed that a lot of people were disappearing. Bocon (“big mouth” in Spanish) is the nickname affectionately given to Miguel, who wonders out loud about […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

No doubt. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (April) picks this up from columnist Lars-Erik Nelson in the New York Daily News (February 8): “On Friday, February 5, at 10 o’clock in the morning, I telephoned the Pentagon press office and told the colonel who answered the phone that I needed information on duplication in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cyrano de Bergerac

CYRANO DE BERGERAC Apple Tree Theatre Company Edmond Rostand’s deservedly popular portrait of silent passion Cyrano de Bergerac celebrates the gallant 17th-century swordsman and wordsmith, his vaunting bravado and his selfless devotion. “One of those rare animals who have opted to be free,” as his noble enemy De Guiche describes him, Cyrano is ferociously independent, […]