Posted inMusic

Notes Toward a Unified Theory of Rock

Age matters in rock music because rock is so intensely dedicated to ridding itself of its predecessors. Music, production techniques, and technology evolve, of course, creating more and more opportunities for loudness and dissonance; to some extent the music gets nastier naturally. But from the time there came to be a thing called rock (as […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

MICHAEL HURLEY, 11/6 & 11/7, QUICKSILVER Michael Hurley is a crotchety old folkie who’s refused to let straightforward narrative or topical muckraking taint his gorgeous, often hilarious songs. With a career that began with an album for Folkways back in the 60s, Hurley remains the quintessential outsider. His reclusive life-style (he currently holes up in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Willies

Ask anyone working in Chicago theater and you’ll hear the same despairing moan: the audiences have disappeared. Across the city actors are playing to empty seats. So if you’re one of those people who’s only planning on seeing one or two shows this season, make sure Jenny Magnus’s The Willies is on your list. This […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Alphonso Johnson Quinn, 36, was arrested near Bowie, Maryland, in September and accused by police of being the “crossbow rapist” who’d terrorized several women in their homes. According to Police Chief David Mitchell, Quinn, who sold home-security systems, committed the crimes to improve his business; his sales literature referred to the need for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wittgenstein

This Brechtian biopic by English filmmaker Derek Jarman about Ludwig Wittgenstein encompasses everything from the philosopher’s pampered childhood to his friendships with Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes and his relationships with rough young men. This is probably the best of Jarman’s narrative features to date, presented in a series of spare but powerful tableaux–beautifully […]

Posted inNews & Politics

More on Burma

To the editors: Just a short footnote to Michael Miner’s article regarding local coverage of Amoco’s joint venture with Burma’s military junta [Hot Type, September 17]. The article mentioned that the only local print coverage we (the Chicago Coalition for a Democratic Burma) knew about were Frederick Lowe’s articles in the Sun-Times and those in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Woody Guthrie’s American Song

WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG Briar Street Theatre The songs and stories of Woodrow Wilson (“Woody”) Guthrie have become so much a part of the American idiom that one frequently finds them anthologized as traditional folk ballads–a confusion exacerbated by Guthrie’s practice of co-opting the structure and melodies of earlier folk songs, adding his own lyrics. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Savanna on Sheridan

To the editors: I was startled to read your article in the latest Reader [Field & Street, October 15], as well as the bulletin of the Nature Conservancy, which arrived at the same time, about the attempts to restore the savannas. If I properly understand what a savanna consists of, then you will be as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hi-Class Yankee Star Search

Over the past 13 years the Atlanta-based cable access American Music Show–best known, if at all, as the show that spawned RuPaul and Wigstock impresario Lady Bunny–has mixed the trash sensibilities of disco with a surreal, subversive wit and biting social satires of southern culture. The result is a show that transcends camp, in which […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Burn This/The Hole

BURN THIS Gateway Theatre Company at Red Bones Theatre THE HOLE Theatre: Ground Up at the Splinter Group Studio The cliche is that personal fulfillment is bad for one’s art–that it is only the work of the repressed and the depressed that burns with poetic passion, that requited love leads to complacency. Surely there must […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Keep Rosenbaum

To the editors: I have recently been exposed to severe (“Get rid of him”) criticisms of Jonathan Rosenbaum [Letters, October 22]. May I say that, although I disagree with his assessments many times, I nonetheless find his criticisms always challenging, his writing provocative and concerned with film art as opposed to politics. If these anti-Rosenbaum […]