Posted inArts & Culture

Tortoise

When you hear the word “supergroup” you probably think of aging rock stars, flabby, ego-bloated performances, and exorbitant ticket prices. If so, you should probably check out Tortoise, a kind of indie-rock supergroup whose intriguing music incorporates subtlety, understatement, and unassuming sophistication. Dan Bitney, John Herndon, John McEntire, Doug McCombs, Bundy K. Brown, and Brad […]

Posted inMusic

Battling the Jazzosaurus

KAHIL EL’ZABAR QUARTET WITH DAVID MURRAY BELMONT HOTEL, JULY 29 Artists express themselves–their tastes, interests, limitations–not only in the projects they choose to do, but in the projects they choose not to do. Restraint often shows good taste, or at least good judgment. Unfortunately, in today’s shriveled support system, artists are forced to look hard […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story According to the annual Firearms Discharge Assault Report of the New York Police Department, disclosed by Newsday in June, city officers fired 155 shots at dogs in 1993 (mostly pit bulls), scoring hits 72 percent of the time. However, of the 1,195 shots fired at human perpetrators, only 19 percent were hits; even […]

Posted inArts & Culture

I Am Hugo

I AM HUGO, Facets Multimedia International Performance Studio. If Kevin Rechner doesn’t make it in theater, he might consider opening an amusement park. The carefully rigged set for his original one-person show, I Am Hugo, includes many delightful little surprises, from a pencil that defies gravity to a bathroom sink that swallows him bodily. Having […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Agnes of God

AGNES OF GOD, Temporary Theatre Company. Early in the book of Revelation, Christ growls: “Would that you were cold or hot! Because you are lukewarm . . . I will spew you out of my mouth.” He could have easily been talking about Suzanne E. Hannon’s production of Agnes of God. Little of the power […]

Posted inFilm

Recycled Cinema

*** DIVERTIMENTO (A must-see) Directed by Jacques Rivette Written by Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent, and Rivette With Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, Emmanuelle Beart, David Bursztein, Gilles Arbona, Marianne Denicourt, and the hand of Bernard Dufour. One of the more deceitful explanations for the compulsive repetition that informs most contemporary movies is that Hollywood is simply […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Patricia Barber

Patricia Barber has given her latest album (due in about five weeks from Premonition) the title Cafe Blue; now, two nights a week, she turns the Green Mill into just that. Instead of the big piano on the west-wall stage, she sits at the baby grand nestled in behind the bar, which allows her to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Getting Lucky

“It’s nice to see a man looking like a complete piece of meat for a product endorsement,” said Rhonda from the Heidi Salon in the Merchandise Mart. She and her colleagues Monica and Patty were taking a little Monday-afternoon diet Coke break in the lobby. Actually, it was a big diet Coke break. It was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny Cash

Let’s talk first about “Delia’s Gone,” the song that’s been the focus of attention on Johnny Cash’s “alternative album,” American Recordings. The song is a sanguinary ballad limning the sadistic killing of a cheatin’ wife; the point of it, apparently, is to make the case that murderous misogyny is not merely the province of today’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Townes Van Zandt

There’s darkness on the edge of town, and it’s from there that Townes Van Zandt writes and sings. Van Zandt’s vision is as bleak as the Texas landscape and as desperate as a parched man wandering that landscape in search of water and salvation. On guitar he’s one part Lightnin’ Hopkins–sparse finger picking, occasional flurries […]