Posted inArts & Culture

Variations on a Scene

70 SCENES OF HALLOWEEN Neo-Futurists There are those who believe that every work of art–every painting, every novel, every play–has its own true structure, and that the artist’s job is to create a work that comes as close as humanly possible to that work’s ideal form. These people don’t really live in the late 20th […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Pro Musica

At their best, programming gimmicks have a way of drawing felicitous connections and presenting them in one neat package. Take this concert by the Chicago Pro Musica, which kicks off the third season of joint events by the Art Institute and the CSO. The occasion is the museum’s ambitious exhibit of highlights from its hundred-year […]

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Intimate Partners

ART BRIDGMAN AND MYRNA PACKER at the Dance Center of Columbia College, October 28-30 Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer: their names make them sound like an old vaudeville duo. And this husband-and-wife team from New York do have a strangely romantic aura about them, like the old show-biz teams that played the circuit 60 years […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Dear Reader: The magazine salesman had a desperate look when he stopped me by the lake, measuring my smile and following my steps with a quick skip. The wind lifted his short blond hair, and he moved closer, complaining, “It’s so cold!” He spoke a tornado of venture capital, point systems, and cash, check, or […]

Posted inMusic

Academic Saloon

NEW MUSIC AT THE GREEN MILL Green Mill, October 31 A critic cannot be fair in the ordinary sense of the word. It is only about things that do not interest one that one can give really unbiased opinion, which is no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is always absolutely valueless. –Oscar Wilde […]

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Paul Plimley/Lisle Ellis/Gregg Bendian

In the 1950s musical polymath Gunther Schuller coined the term “third stream,” primarily to describe a synthesis of jazz and classical music. Three and a half decades later the concept is no longer new, but successful examples remain relatively elusive: among music theorists it’s this century’s version of the Holy Grail. Does that make crusaders […]

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Bobby Rush

Blues/soul veteran Bobby Rush has toned down his excesses in recent years: gone are the days when he’d streak from the dressing room to the stage clad in little more than a Speedo. But he’s still good for a bawdy time. His hits–“Chicken Heads” and “Sue,” among others–fuse a danceable funkiness with graphic sexual imagery […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Anyone who doubts that sport reflects the society at large hasn’t examined the Bears of late. The Bears embody almost everything that’s good–and that’s disappointing–about the 90s so far, especially compared with the 80s. There’s an air of political correctness about the Bears this season, with Dave Wannstedt as head coach. The Bears played the […]

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 […]