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Posted inArts & Culture

Earth Club Live!

It’s often music, more than verbal political commentary, that enables Americans to make truly intuitive connections to other cultures, which in turn adds dimension to our impressions of international political events. Given this, WBEZ’s recent dismissal of Stuart Rosenberg–who in his programs “The Earth Club” and “Radio Gumbo” generally ignored nationalism, elitism, and even the […]

Posted inArts & Culture


With all the attention currently being lavished on Chicago’s music scene, it’ll be a tragedy if the town’s veterans get overlooked in the frantic search for the next Liz Phair or Smashing Pumpkins. Paul Caporino’s two-person band MOTO (for Masters of the Obvious) has played here sporadically since he became a Chicago resident in 1989, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

After the Revolution

DEBORAH HAY at Link’s Hall, February 11-13 Deborah Hay’s slant on dance came to her while she was on a road trip in the 60s with Robert Rauschenberg, Steve Paxton, and Yvonne Rainer–all seminal figures in postmodern dance. On a stop in New Orleans they decided to see a strip show. The strippers danced lasciviously, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Charlie Kohlhase Quintet

In from Boston rides this pianoless quintet, one of the better bands you haven’t heard. Charlie Kohlhase’s combo boasts three horns and a palette slightly darker than usual: with a front line of trumpet and baritone and tenor saxes, you don’t expect him to be painting pastels. But Kohlhase lets plenty of daylight into this […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Brilliant, problematic, and hyperbolic, Mike Leigh’s postapocalyptic look at post-Thatcher England may look like allegory, but only because the picaresque story line, this time involving lone individuals rather than families, seems to sprawl more randomly than usual (which, incidentally, makes the customary clash of acting styles all the more glaring). What passes for a plot […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Landscape of the Body

LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY Defiant Theatre at American Blues Theater A dark joy bursts out of John Guare’s ugly/beautiful Landscape of the Body. This offbeat survivor’s saga requires all of Guare’s lilting ballads, all of the dialogue’s lyrical outbursts, and all of the energy an ensemble can muster to outweigh its ferocious plot, packed with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dave Oderdonk & Mark Walker

In one respect, not much has changed about this guitar-percussion duo since I wrote about them a couple years back: it’s still about one guy banging sticks in time and another guy shortening and plucking strings in tune. But since then they’ve enhanced their finely focused interplay; they’ve slowly but steadily begun to gain a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Reuters News Service reported in December that a 72-year-old retired gardener in England was credited with self-diagnosing a tear in his bladder. The man urinated into a pot of soil, and eventually a tomato plant sprouted. Doctors said that that indicated a leakage of microscopic tomato seeds from his bowel into his bladder. […]

Posted inFilm

I’ll Undo Everything

** I’LL DO ANYTHING (Worth seeing) Directed and written by James L. Brooks With Nick Nolte, Whittni Wright, Julie Kavner, Albert Brooks, Joely Richardson, Tracey Ullman, Jeb Brown, and Angela Alvarado. First riddle: How can a movie about Hollywood professionals also be a movie about learning to be a parent? Answer: When all the Hollywood […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Quimby’s Queer Store

Quimby’s Queer Store is no ordinary bookstore. Browsing in it can make you dizzy. “My goal is eventually that when people walk in they’re just overwhelmed: like, ‘Oh my god what is this.’ I want them to be stunned,” says proprietor Steven Svymbersky. You might have been more than just overwhelmed had you walked in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Red Red Meat

Red Red Meat’s evolution from bombastic, overwrought noise merchants (a sound carried over from their previous incarnation, Friends of Betty) to hazed but focused blues-touched rockers is a classic story of a band finding their niche by falling into it. On their 1990 debut single, “Hot Nikketty Trunk Monkey,” grimy, craggy guitar churned over a […]