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Posted inArts & Culture

Pure Movement

CHANCE DANCE FEST Bob Eisen and Fluid Measure Performance Company and Friends at Link’s Hall, August 3 In the fifth annual Chance Dance Fest, Bob Eisen once again captures the je ne sais quoi of pure movement. Like last year’s award-winning improvisation with Julie Worden, this year’s work created a Zen-like euphoria on a hot […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Iris De Ment

Iris DeMent’s debut, Infamous Angel, released on Philo two years ago, combined country and western verities with a healthy agnosticism: here was an authentically “new country” star whose antique approach to the music reassured those who distrusted some of the more psychedelic aspects of the new wave. At the same time, her debut demonstrated with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

El Vez

El Vez’s third appearance in Chicago–on the anniversary of his namesake’s death–is his first under proper conditions; at both of his previous dates he played with pickup musicians or taped accompaniment. This time Chicagoans will experience El Vez the way he’s meant to be, with his band, the Memphis Mariachis, his backup singers, the Elvettes, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Important Ideas

To the author of [“Wigger: Confessions of a White Wannabe,” July 8], I just want to say how happy I am that you wrote the article, “Wiggers.” I believe it gave voice to a number of important ideas–ideas that a lot of my white brothers and sisters (to co-opt a term that I think applies […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Arthur Blythe

Alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe doesn’t fit easily into any musical camp, and his success stems in large part from this stylistic slipperiness. Blythe’s earliest soundings came on some uninhibited “live” albums, and some of his latest as a temporary resident of the World Saxophone Quartet; both reveal the high-blown harmonic freedom that marks a great […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In Praise of Derf

In the July 29 issue of the Letters section, an editorial from Luis Perluna commented that Derf’s comic strip “The City” “achieves shameful new levels of stupidity, ignorance, and offensiveness.” I don’t know who Derf is, but I want to thank him personally for his hysterical point of view on modern living, as well as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Do you think it’s possible to write a love letter with the word “telecommunications” in it? –Modern Man, Chicago It’s a warm, sunny day and here I am, stuck inside, slitting open envelopes and finding letters like this. Not that I don’t appreciate your sense of humor. I know you probably need an outlet and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anal Attraction

BRAINWARP II: ASS RAPE A-GO-GO Metraform at Annoyance Theatre Ever since Susan Messing first sang “shit, motherfucker, blow job, suck my dick” in the first performance of Coed Prison Sluts, 555 shows ago, the Metraform folks at Annoyance have proved quite adept at wringing laughs from the most incredibly vulgar, infantile, almost obscene material. Rape, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Return-a-Bull

A three point play for Ben Joravsky, who demonstrated the same kind of energy, feeling, and hard work that Norm Van Lier and the 70s Bulls did. With Horace and M.J. gone, here’s an added hope that the Bulls convince “Stormin’ Norman” to reconsider his retirement and play for them again, especially on December 25 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“Much of the southern and central Midwest has been dominated by the oak-hickory forest-type for nearly 8,000 years,” according to Jeffrey D. Brawn in Illinois Natural History Survey Reports (May/June). But now “oaks are gradually being replaced by shade-tolerant species, especially Sugar Maples.” Should managers and conservationists try to maintain the status quo by prescribed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mother and Things

DIANE LEVESQUE at the Chicago Cultural Center, through September 11 I don’t know if Diane Levesque has children, but I think she probably does, and that they’ve left their stuff all over her house. Women’s lives have always been taken up with objects. Several of Levesque’s superb paintings–eight large oils on canvas and a series […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hello, Dolly!

An aging but still spry star struts, skips, and sashays through hit songs from the 60s, cannily marshaling every physical resource–gritty growl, gangly physique, expressive arms, larger-than-life lips and eyes–for maximum effect over the course of a two-and-a-half-hour love feast for an adoring audience. Mick Jagger on his Voodoo Lounge tour? No: it’s Carol Channing, […]