Posted inArts & Culture

Run On

Between them Sue Garner, Rick Brown, Alan Licht, and David Newgarden have played ingratiating pop, howling free improvisation, off-kilter rock, and down-home country with Fish & Roses, the Blue Humans, the Mad Scene, the Shams, and half a dozen other groups. In the NYC-based quartet Run On they confine themselves to structured, accessible rock songs. […]

Posted inFilm

Redrawing History

Pocahontas Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg Written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, and Pillip LaZebnick With the voices of Irene Bedard, Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, Linda Hunt, Russel Means, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly, and Joe Baker. American history without Smith and Pocahontas is hard to imagine. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Charlie Sexton Sextet

Since he began recording a decade ago at the age of 16, guitar prodigy Charlie Sexton has had all the trappings of stardom: major-label support, the friendship of heavy hitters like Bob Dylan and Keith Richards, and performance experience with David Bowie and Don Henley. The one thing Sexton’s resume lacked was a standout record. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Like Father, Like Son

At age 40, Luis Rodriguez figures he should have enough life experience to deal with the problems of his 20-year-old son, Ramiro. He talks to Ramiro, draws him out about what he’s feeling. He talks to Ramiro’s friends, offering a nonjudgmental ear. He takes the boys to sports events and even helped them start a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Strange Pursuit

This young trio of sax, guitar, and drums has chosen an appropriate name for its endeavor: performing a repertoire of classic and original jazz tunes with this rather unorthodox instrumentation is a strange pursuit indeed. But on their recent debut, The Zone (Red Hook), they prove their obvious musicianship and an even more obvious commitment […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Root Doctor

The Root Doctor, Black Ensemble Theater. This is a strange piece of theater: is it a musical play about a “root doctor,” an advertisement for herbal healing, or just a plain old R & B revue performed by a terrific band? The Root Doctor, written by Jackie Taylor and Roy Hytower, begins strongly: Hytower enters […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

It was a hot early afternoon at the McDonald’s across from Wrigley Field. The place was packed with fans–lots of families or at least dads with their kids and maybe the neighbor’s kids–grabbing a burger-and-fries lunch before heading over to the game. Two different signs mounted side by side on the wall near one cash […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tribute to Louis Armstrong

For the last several years the Ravinia Festival has scheduled a blowout jam session to end its early-season jazz series; this year the concert plugs into the worldwide revitalization of interest in Louis Armstrong, offering a putative 95th-birthday tribute to jazz’s first enduring genius. (The concert takes place on what Armstrong himself always claimed to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Unclaimed Melodies

The Tender Land Chicago Opera Theater at Merle Reskin Theatre, through July 1 Tosca Ravinia Festival, June 24 Borrowing tunes from folk music is a time-honored tradition in classical music. Brahms did it, Dvorak did it, Ralph Vaughan Williams did it. And so did Virgil Thomson and his friend and contemporary Aaron Copland. (If you […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Small Wonders

Nicholas Sistler: Concentrated Views at the Evanston Art Center, through July 19 Nicholas Sistler, whose 17 miniature still lifes are now on view at the Evanston Art Center, names as influences surrealists de Chirico, Dali, and Ernst and abstractionists Mondrian, Josef Albers, Hans Hofmann, and Philip Guston; he also acknowledges inspiration from the more representational […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brilliant Demise

The Swans Lawrence Steger at Randolph Street Gallery, through July 1 The 14th trump card in the modern tarot deck depicts the Angel of Temperance. She holds a gold cup, the conscious, in one hand and a silver cup, the unconscious, in the other. With an expression of utter serenity, she pours water from one […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

JUNE OF 44 6/30, LOUNGE AX While I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t find a copy of Spiderland in most homes around town, in some ways Slint’s last album has become the Holy Grail of indie rock referents. On Engine Takes to the Water (Quarterstick), the debut album by June of 44–a quartet that includes former […]