Posted inArts & Culture

Brand New Heavies

It’s unfortunate that England is so obsessed with categorizing music for the sake of fashion; the limiting tag “acid jazz,” by encompassing such a remarkably wide range of styles, tends to denigrate the good stuff and exalt the bad stuff. Formed in 1985, when this music was an underground phenomenon, Brand New Heavies are the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Helbig’s Vendetta

After reading what proved to be another sinister attack by Jack Helbig on Paula Killen’s work, The State I’m In: A Travelogue, Continued, in the April 22, 1994, Reader, it is apparent that Mr. Helbig cannot conceal his personal vendetta for Ms. Killen. First he begrudges her her “ability to attract press attention” and then […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vandermark Quartet

In recent years more and more musicians have opted to straitjacket themselves into ever-narrowing niches. Rock bands now specialize in noise pop, slacker rock, techno, or any number of other pigeonholes; likewise jazz artists, once among the most eclectic musicians in the world, often restrict their expression to the confines of swing, postbop, free jazz, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Monty Alexander

The music of pianist Monty Alexander clearly shows the influence of several true jazz legends, but I place more importance on his proven success in absorbing their lessons. Lots of pianists have displayed the influence of Oscar Peterson’s relentlessly swinging, seamless bebop lines, for instance, but bassist Ray Brown and vibraphonist Milt Jackson–both longtime associates […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Poor Publicity

To the editor: Harold Henderson asks whether the advocates at Voices for Illinois Children, who authored the widely publicized Chicago Kids Count study, can count (City File, April 22). Yes, we can count. But can this Reader writer read? Mr. Henderson correctly notes the study found a 17 percent increase in the proportion of Chicago […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pilgrims in Cyberspace

WIRELESS BALLROOM Loofah Method at Live Bait Theater, through May 22 Wireless Ballroom, Loofah Method’s new show, has a moral to its story–it’s a classic, really, the one about not forgetting the human heart. But unfortunately, even as the Loofahs warn us of the dangers of technology, they’re completely overwhelmed by it; even as they […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

At the main-gate guardhouse at Stateville, the morning after Gacy’s execution, I’m in line with 12 other people waiting to visit inmates when a guard enters the waiting area pushing a two-wheel cart half filled with Gacy’s personal possessions. Two other guards are in the room. Sergeant says, “Whose butt did you kiss to get […]

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At a Very Strange Place

JOSEPH HOLMES CHICAGO DANCE THEATRE at the Shubert Theatre, May 4 and 6-8 WINIFRED HAUN & DANCERS at the Athenaeum Theatre, April 29 and 30 Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, which celebrated its 20th anniversary with these Spring Festival of Dance programs, is at a very strange place in its history. Randy Duncan, the company […]

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Pavement, a Band That Cares

Bill Wyman, Steve Malkmus’s (note correct spelling and the fact that he and Spiral Stairs are one and the same, silly) guitar playing, vocals and lyrics are great. Your compulsory cringing over Malkmus’s slight but on-target rants against Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins [Hitsville, March 11] is laughable because you don’t realize that this […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Alley Hoop

During the annual Bulls playoff frenzy we come under pressure from the youth of our neighborhood to repair our alley’s basketball facilities. A phalanx of neutered backboards flank the alleyway, the rims slam-dunked and hang-timed to twisted wreckage by dreamy-eyed kids working through growth spurts. Laura, my neighbor, got hers secondhand, a heavy-duty, homemade job, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Head coach Phil Jackson called Toni Kukoc and Pete Myers the “X factors” of the Bulls’ playoff run. He meant not X as in X-Men–although with his new two-tone, black-and-white goggles Horace Grant looks, more than ever, like a Marvel Comics hero. Not X as in exceptional, because Kukoc and Myers have been exasperating as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Poor Kids

To the editor: Harold Henderson has it wrong [City File, April 22]. In a study of demographic or epidemiologic trends, one must use percentages instead of raw numbers. Fifty cases of a disease may be an epidemic if we’re looking at a population of 100 people; if we’re looking at a population of two million, […]