Posted inArts & Culture

The Bridges of Madison County

Clint Eastwood movingly resurrects the star system, the Hollywood love story, classical Hollywood direction, middle-aged romance, the late jazz singer Johnny Hartman, and the mid-60s, but despite a great deal of craft and sincerity he and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese don’t quite turn all the cardboard in Robert James Waller’s popular novel into flesh and bone. […]

Posted inMusic

Woman’s Liberation

PJ Harvey Vic, June 10 PJ Harvey’s electric guitar has served as a heavy cloak, smothering all but the most basic elements of her onstage personality. A calm, knowing smile and effective vocals were all that shone beneath her brilliantly terse and knotty guitar playing. Unencumbered by the instrument on her current tour, Harvey’s sprung […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Grant Park Symphony Orchestra

The tuba, the basso profundo among brass instruments, is handicapped by a straight-and-narrow range and a booming sonority, yet unwieldy as it may seem, it has its ardent practitioners and fans–including the thousands who will participate in next week’s International Tuba/Euphonium Conference at Northwestern University. One aficionado is John Williams, who likes to garnish his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Snooks Eaglin

Even in New Orleans, where versatility is a given and unorthodox stylistic blends are coin of the realm, guitarist Snooks Eaglin is a musical universe unto himself. Eaglin was there when Crescent City R & B was being born: that’s his guitar on “Jock-A-Mo,” Sugar Boy Crawford’s rollicking 1954 prototype for the “Iko Iko” cycle […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Moving Company

According to Nana Shineflug, in Bali there’s no word for art. It’s simply part of communicating with the spirit world–as essential to daily living as eating or breathing–keeping bad spirits at bay and the mind, body, and soul well balanced. For Shineflug, one of the city’s oldest choreographers (she turns 60 next year), dance seems […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Butterflies and Spiders

Emergence Dance Theatre is an anomaly in an anomalous discipline–a postmodern company that, like many these days, straddles the boundaries of performance art, time art, and dance yet does not have a liberal agenda–here art for art’s sake rules. Imagine, program notes without pedantic explanations of the philosophy, the meanings and sources, the Marcusian or […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wilco

I’m not sure who first used the term “No Depression”–the title of Uncle Tupelo’s debut album–to describe country-friendly rock bands like the Jayhawks, Bottle Rockets, and Wilco, but it’s a pretty silly notion. Rock bands have incorporated the sounds of country music for as long as rock’s been played, if not longer; country mothered rock. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Halfaouine–Boy of the Terraces

This lovely first feature from Tunisia (1990) is the work of Ferid Boughedir, the best-known film critic in the Arab world, whose documentaries Camera d’Afrique and Camera d’Arabe are models of their kind. Exquisitely sensual without being prurient, sensitive without being arch or affected, this portrait of a 12-year-old boy’s life, family, and community is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Idiotic Death of Two Fools

The Idiotic Death of Two Fools, Annoyance Theatre. I hope actors Eric Hoffman and Mike Monterastelli and director Gary Ruderman don’t think this one-act comedy, created through improvisation, is anything close to original. It’s not just that the premise is an obvious steal from Waiting for Godot: two guys spar and banter while awaiting the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe Henderson

The tenor of our times? Quite possibly: the innovative signals of saxophonist Joe Henderson’s luminescent style have long made him a favorite of his fellow musicians. (These include his unflappable and wholly modern swing; his burred, woody tone; the fluttery expressionism of his upper register; and his nomadic improvisations, which seem to sprawl but cut […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Information Held Hostage

Just a few lines about Neal Pollack’s cover story about Mayor Richard Daley and open government [May 5]. It is well done and I commend your treatment of the issue, which is vital to the future of the city. However, the reply by mayoral chief of staff Gery Chico [Letters, May 12] is terribly disappointing. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

If guns are like viruses, then a suburban murder wave is coming. “Residents of suburban low-crime areas are much more likely to own handguns than those living in the city,” according to a recent press release by the Metro Chicago Information Center, taken from its 1991-95 polling data. “Sixteen percent of suburban residents [and 25 […]