Posted inArts & Culture

XLNC/Bindu

The bhangra music that originated in the Punjab region of northern India, performed during harvest celebrations, combined ecstatic singing and rapid percussive flurries on the dholak, a two-headed drum vaguely related to the tabla. The migration of Indians to England over the past 30 years has transformed the traditional style, cross-pollinating it with the music […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]