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Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama, Japan, announced in October that it had manufactured an experimental sausage by adding soybean protein and steak flavoring to “sewage solids” from Tokyo. “Sewage isn’t really such a dangerous and dirty thing,” said a spokesman. However, he did not foresee that the sausage would be commercially marketed: […]

Posted inFilm

Addams Family Values

This sequel starts off with the same sort of hard-sell blackout gags as its predecessor, most of them built around the premise of Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) having another baby. But once Joan Cusack enters the picture as a nanny-cum-serial-killer/gold digger with her eye trained on Fester (Christopher Lloyd) things get livelier, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TV or Not TV?

To the editors: Lee Sandlin’s story Just a Weekend in the Big City in the October 22 issue I found interesting and well written. I am, however, troubled by the tone of the brief characterization of Rudolf Steiner’s work and of his particular contributions to child development and education referred to in the story. A […]

Posted inArts & Culture


This decidedly offbeat 1992 French comedy-drama–Confessions d’un barjo in French–from Jerome Boivin (Baxter) is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Confessions of a Crap-Artist, set in contemporary provincial France rather than 50s California but otherwise reportedly fairly close to the original. The central characters are an unconventional pair of fraternal twins who maintain an unusually […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Jazz Law

To the editors: If WNUA is serious about the “acoustic jazz” as Mr. Ruffin says they are (“What Is Jazz?,” November 12), they wouldn’t ghettoize it in a few off-hours radio programs. They would play it at the peak of their radio audience. Mr. Ruffin calls the “classic” jazz listeners that don’t like WNUA “close […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vanessa Rubin

“Vanessa Rubin sings with soul.” That sentence sounds like a jazz album title from the early 60s. But it makes perfect sense when you learn that during her youth, the Rubin family hi-fi brimmed with records by Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley, and others who exemplified the earthy mid-50s melding of jazz with rhythm and blues. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Chamber Orchestra

The Chicago Chamber Orchestra is one of those low-profile local groups that offer programs mostly for free and that are taken largely for granted. Under the direction of its founder, the redoubtable Dieter Kober, the 35-member ensemble gathered a cult following as an inexpensive introducer of beloved classical works, and its quality was wildly uneven, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sam Lay

Many folks know drummer Sam Lay best for his 60s-era association with pop superstars like Paul Butterfield; locally, he was an institution with the Siegel-Schwall Band. Make no mistake, though: Lay is first and foremost a masterful Chicago-style blues percussionist, as capable of tasteful shuffle accompaniment as he is of driving rock-pop blues. His experience […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shedd Hospital?

To the editors: The Reader’s usual quality and diligence was evident in the November 5 article about the Shedd Aquarium. It is impossible to cover all aspects of a controversy this complex, but Grant Pick did a better job of it than I would have previously thought possible. Both Pick and photographer John Sundlof were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Down the Slippery Slope

SEARCH AND DESTROY Strawdog Theatre Company Martin Mirkheim is a small-time booking agent–polka bands, wrestling matches–nearing the end of the line. His wife has left him, the IRS is after him, and his friends can no longer lend him money. Ah, but Martin has read this book–an inspirational novel, Daniel Strong, whose author, one Dr. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dick Dale

Sensible people tend to avoid nostalgia road shows: the old fans know what they’re getting (and by definition they’re gonna get what they want) but the merely curious–well, they generally don’t end up seeing what the fuss was about. “King of the Surf Guitar” Dick Dale, who played at the Cubby Bear a few months […]