Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

While reading your first book I came across a reference to President Zachary Taylor dying of eating strawberries on a warm day. The only other reference I have heard to something like this was in The Book of Lists, which mentions someone having eaten cherries with milk on a warm day and dying. Everything else […]

Posted inMusic

After-Fest Jam Sessions: HotHouse

Now that tenor saxist Joe Henderson has attained household-name status–at least in jazz households–one wonders if his contemporary Dewey Redman can lag all that far behind. Henderson’s late-breaking popularity, well-deserved as it may be, stems in large part from his affiliation with a major record label; but Redman has gained no little attention for fathering […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Least appealing headline, from a recent appliance-company news release: “Honestly Now, When’s the Last Time You Cleaned Your Can Opener?” “What happened to [Chicagoan and soon-to-be-former Democratic National Committee chairman David] Wilhelm is an allegorical tale of Washington, in which the allegiance he offered to the president who appointed him was returned neither by Clinton […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Make-Believe Baseball/News Bites

Make-Belive Baseball When the baseball strike began, the Sun-Times shifted to the tumult and shouting of a “make-believe season.” STATS, Inc., of Skokie is syndicating this computer-generated fantasy to papers in most big-league cities, and the Sun-Times is giving it a page a day–a big commitment. Some purists immediately denounced virtual baseball as blasphemy. Otherwise, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Around the Coyote

Taking its name from the Tower Building at the intersection of North, Damen, and Milwaukee, which once housed the Coyote Gallery, this multimedia arts event includes a sizable theater and performance segment. Running September 7 through 11, the fifth annual Around the Coyote features nine different productions at Centrum Hall, 1309 N. Ashland, and the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bobby Parker

Guitarist Bobby Parker is best known among R & B aficionados for his 1961 hit “Watch Your Step,” which influenced, among others, the Beatles (Lennon credited the song for inspiring the “Day Tripper” guitar riff) and Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant has cited Parker as a major musical role model). Now that Parker’s back in full […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cheap and the Dear

JAZZ DANCE WORLD CONGRESS at the Navy Pier Skyline Stage and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall of Northwestern University, August 20-24 Hoots, howls, and whistles flooded the Skyline Stage when handsome, tuxedoed soloist Tommi Kitti walked into a spotlight during the Jazz Dance World Congress and proceeded to remove his shoes, pants, and jacket. But this was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Everyone’s an Artist

THE JEANETTE/GENETTI SHOW: DON’T MISUNDERSTAND MOLASSES Jeanette Welp and Carol Genetti at Link’s Hall, August 26 and 27 Performance has always been the Switzerland of the arts, a neutral place welcoming exiles from all media, no questions asked–the genre’s greatest strength and most crippling weakness. On the one hand, performance has provided a comfortable place […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Home, a new 11-minute film by Ulrike Reichhold, opens with a shot of Reichhold’s hand–the camera is in her other hand–turning on a water faucet. The flowing water has the effect of setting the film in motion, and the dense collage of images and sounds that follows intercuts more shots, mostly black and whites of […]