Posted inNews & Politics

More Misplaced Credit

To the editors: I relied on third-hand information and I got it backward [Critic’s Choice, May 7]. Bluesman Abe “Little Smokey” Smothers doesn’t play on a new Elvin Bishop album; it’s Smokey’s album, and Bishop appears on a few tunes. The disc is on the Black Magic label; it’s called Bossman–The Chicago Blues of Little […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Where the bird lovers live. Many of the calls to the Audubon Hotline are about wounded birds, but there are few sources of help for them in Chicago, according to the Chicago Audubon Society’s Compass (April). There’s the Forest Preserve District’s Trailside Nature Center and Sand Ridge Nature Center in Calumet City. And Doris Johanson, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Delivery Man

The last hitchhiker Michael Harrell picked up was kind of a mistake. “I stopped for this guy because I needed someone to help with the driving,” Harrell explained. “He took one look at my cooler and said ‘Do you have anything to drink in there?’ I said ‘No, just Pepsi.’ ‘Pepsi’s OK’ he said, and […]

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Imaginary War

To the editors: In company with most of the other Chicago booksellers, we are bored to death with the constant rehashing of the “Book Wars” theme [Culture Club, April 23]. Book buyers who find themselves with exciting new shopping options are not in the least bit interested in trade gossip and it might be appropriate […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mapping a Worldview

What gets mapped is what makes money for those who have money. And all the rest of it is a kind of technical handwaving. –Denis Wood, The Power of Maps I have an excellent map of the Loop. On those rare occasions when I must drive downtown, it reminds me that Randolph is one-way westbound. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Earl King

Earl King is a giant of New orleans R & B; his catalog of songs–written for himself and others–is one of the most extensive in the country. His 1955 “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” helped define the easy-rolling Crescent City ballad style–minimally sentimental and infused with an unquenchable good-time vibe despite the ostensibly sorrowful subject matter. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jackie McLean Sextet

Just three notes from the terrific alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and my mind flashes “The Sound” (my personal nickname for him). His tone grabs the ear with an almost magnetic force; it’s the sonic equivalent of moire fabric, a complex and layered design shimmering under the ear’s scrutiny. McLean’s tone enhances his vocal-inflected phrasing, which […]

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Field & Street

Last Saturday about 125 local birders fanned out over Cook County in search of birds. The occasion was the annual statewide Spring Bird Count, an event that has been held every year since 1972 and has now established itself alongside the Christmas count as a major event in the birding year. In the early days […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Children’s Hour/The Ritual Room

THE CHILDREN’S HOUR Shattered Globe Theatre THE RITUAL ROOM Shattered Globe Theatre Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour is one of those 30s-style socially conscious melodramas in which essentially likable people smash up against an intolerant society and are destroyed. In this case the likable people are Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, the headmistresses of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Katzelmacher

KATZELMACHER Center Theater Speed marked the brief but stunningly prolific career of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He made four or five feature films a year during the 1970s. In fact, between November 1969 and November 1970–his first year of filmmaking–he wrote and directed nine films, and starred in some of them as well. To get actors […]