Posted inArts & Culture

Suicidal Tendencies

GLASS SLIPPER TOTEM Molly Shanahan and Madd Shak at Link’s Hall, June 24 and 25 First impressions really do matter. After the houselights had gone down for Glass Slipper Totem at Link’s Hall and five dancers and musicians had slipped into their places, I was assaulted by an extremely loud crash from the drum set. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Grifters

Manipulating gutbuckety noise, hook-laden melody, and deliberate obscurantism, Memphis’s Grifters have forged a striking sound that exploits the notion of tension-and-release. Over the course of three albums–and especially on the recent Crappin’ You Negative (Shangri-La)–this quartet has taken unusually strong and oddly arranged melodies full of jarring twists, shifts, and explosions and managed to disfigure […]

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G. Love & Special Sauce

“I’m your garbage man,” mumbles G. Love, demonstrating how he has managed to broaden his curious mush-mouthed delivery into an original and effective rap-influenced sprechgesang–all of which serves to underline the old saw that often it’s not what you mumble, but how you mumble it. Meanwhile the Special Sauce rhythm section follows him up with […]

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Phantom of the Country Palace

PHANTOM OF THE COUNTRY PALACE Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre A labyrinthian opera house, an orphaned soprano with a voice of indescribable beauty, and a mysterious mentor whose macabre machinations protect her from those who would do her harm . . . is there anyone out there who does not recognize The Phantom of the Opera? No […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Illegally turning left onto Clark from some east-west street in Lincoln Park recently, I got pulled over. As the police officer was writing the ticket, a woman ran out of a doughnut shop and approached the cop. “A man just pulled a gun and tried to rob the doughnut shop!” she said, pointing to a […]

Posted inFilm

Stupidity as Redemption

** FORREST GUMP (Worth seeing) Directed by Robert Zemeckis Written by Eric Roth With Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field, Michael Humphreys, and Hanna Hall. In the opening shot of Forrest Gump–a movie that might be described as Robert Zemeckis’s flag-waving Oscar bid–the camera meticulously follows the drifting, wayward trajectory of […]

Posted inFilm

90s Noir

*** RED ROCK WEST (A must-see) Directed by John Dahl With Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, J.T. Walsh, and Lara Flynn Boyle Like poor relations, films noirs have never gotten much respect. Eyed with suspicion by the studios that produced them and dismissed as a guilty pleasure by the public that viewed them, the films were […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

The statue of Christopher Columbus, at Columbus and Lake Shore Drive, seemed to be pointing the way to Soldier Field as we walked over from the CTA stop at Roosevelt Road. There was something appropriate in that. The crowd had such a distinctly international flavor that it was almost as if we were all part […]

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For Sale: the duds of Arthur Rubloff

Arthur Rubloff earned a reputation as one of the country’s real estate giants, a philanthropist who donated millions to local universities and the Art Institute–and a dapper dresser. After he died in 1986 at age 83, his wardrobe was gathered from his residences in Chicago, New York, and Palm Beach, packed into 72 boxes, and […]

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Monte Warden

Nominally a rockabilly artist, Monte Warden is most frequently compared to Buddy Holly, and both that influence and that of the Everly Brothers are unmistakable on his self-titled 1993 solo debut on Watermelon Records. The former frontman for the Austin-based Wagoneers, Warden follows an energetic pop-rock ‘n’ roll path, the one Holly himself was blazing […]

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Gross Anatomy: afflictions of the flesh

With all the hysteria about flesh-eating strep, the color lithographs of skin disorders in the International Museum of Surgical Science’s Skin Disease, 1860-1884 exhibit are suddenly in vogue. The 25 lively images depict victims with rotting, scaling, and blistering flesh suffering from a variety of ailments, ranging from leprosy to acne to syphilis. The red-and-white […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In May Jams Von Arx, 41, who’d been on probation for child molestation in Wausau, Wisconsin, was jailed after he refused court-ordered sex therapy designed to induce interest in adult erotic images. He argued that requiring such therapy would be unconstitutional because it would require him to masturbate, which is against his religion. […]