Posted inArts & Culture

Syl Johnson

R & B vocalist Syl Johnson first hit the national charts in 1967, but with his series of singles on the Memphis-based Hi label in the 70s he secured his place in R & B history: on these he augmented his trademark muscular flamboyance with a deeply affecting hard-won tenderness enhanced by the flawless artistry […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Burned About Byrne

To the Editor: I was glad to read Michael Miner’s and his correspondent David Peterson’s characterization of Sun-Times columnist Dennis Byrne as a raving “right-wing lunatic” [Hot Type, January 6] because the increasing dominance of religious right editorial views at the Sun-Times is troubling. Amazingly, Byrne has written that he has “always thought [he] was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

A decade ago I read all kinds of stories about the dreadful things my PC might be responsible for: brain tumors, breast cancer, miscarriages. Now I hear nothing. Were the stories nuts, or are we? –K, Chicago The stories were maybe a little exaggerated, although this is one area where you can’t make any definite […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brise-Glace

Jim O’Rourke has recorded several albums of improvised guitar music, and his compositions have been performed by the Kronos Quartet and ROVA Saxophone Quartet, but he doesn’t like to be called a musician. He’s interested in manipulating and sculpting sound, and in doing so he’s as likely to employ static, feedback, or an imperfectly tuned […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Train in Vain

To the Editor, Under News Bites in your Reader Hot Type [December 23] you mentioned the closing of the Milwaukee to Chicago Amtrak run as “irresponsible lunacy.” That just goes to show us how decisions are made in a Democracy. I took a course at Oxford University in England last year, and the professor, an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

This bread ain’t baked yet. The Evanston-based NEIS News (November-December) quotes former Sierra Club staffer Carolyn Raffensperger, speaking to state department heads implementing a draconian new state law on “low-level” radioactive waste disposal: “I look at the new Illinois law and see two things. First, it’s designed to come up with technical criteria. Second, it’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gianni, Jan, John…

World-class European theater can raise the ire of unsung local directors, who are often heard grumbling after a blistering international performance, “Well, sure, if my theater were state funded…” Let’s hope those cranks stay away from the 3/4 Theatre-Zusno’s thrilling puppet cabaret Gianni, Jan, John…. They might never recover. Founded in 1992 by Krzysztof Rau, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chi Lives: Casualties of War

Sue Uyehara Lofton began studying t’ai chi 15 years ago, before she retired from her job as an administrator at Roosevelt University. The petite Lofton now teaches the martial art to other seniors at the White Crane Wellness Center in Lakeview. Like many Japanese Americans of her generation, the 80-year-old Lofton was raised with a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dark Ride

Thunder Road Ensemble, at Strawdog Theatre Company. As a teenager I spent a summer working at a seedy amusement park near my home driving the kiddie train, a particle-board-and-outboard-engine monstrosity that slugged to such scenic locales as a highway off-ramp, a corrugated-steel tool shed, and an empty lot. Approaching the slightest curve, I had to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ladybird, Ladybird

Based on a true story, Ken Loach’s powerful and disturbing British drama about a single working-class mother with four children from four different fathers is made unforgettable both by stand-up comedian Crissy Rock’s lead performance and by the filmmakers’ determination to make the story as messy and as complex as life itself. After many abusive […]

Posted inMusic

Girl Group

The Newberry Consort at the Newberry Library, January 13 There’s something magical about the sound of disparate women’s voices singing in harmony, and composers such as Mozart and Richard Strauss made the most of it. The operatic literature is full of “girls’ glees.” There are noisy lots: Wagner’s Valkyries and the Maids in Elektra. But […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

JANUARY FRIDAY 20 The Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker outfits can put their much-hyped turf war on the back burner this weekend, finding common ground at the 1995 Cycle World Chicago International Motorcycle Show at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. Besides getting a peek at this year’s models, you can […]