Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: art of war

As a boy growing up in Alton, Illinois, Ned Broderick listened to his father and uncles talk about World War II. “They told of going without sleep, having a hard time finding food, being in cities that were bombed flat.” He remembers saying something bad about the Germans and being surprised to hear his father […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Paranoid and Proud

To the editor: The Reader is certainly not to be commended for printing an article on the whole notion of conspiracy by the likes of David Futrelle [“Who’s Responsible for This?” July 28] when it could have done Chicagoans a real service by giving Michael Parenti some press–in a manner similar to that of smaller […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why is Jesus so popular? I mean, how did he become so incredibly well known after his death when up to that point he was a rebel and a heretic? His crucifixion is irrefutable evidence of his singular lack of popularity with the powers that be at the time. It can’t be the miracle thing, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Buster Williams Trio

For the better part of the last 25 years–ever since he joined Herbie Hancock’s bands in the early 70s, having already spent a decade playing with such California stalwarts as Bobby Hutcherson and the Crusaders–Buster Williams has practically defined the role of the modern jazz bass. After Charles Mingus and then Scott LaFaro began to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“Auto writers and readers alike have grown accustomed to road tests that fail to reflect the kind of driving that most automobiles endure regularly,” writes James Flammang in Tirekicking Today (July), a newsletter published on West Foster. “Let’s face it, the only person who might truly need blastoff acceleration from a standstill is the guy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Carmen From Kawachi

To most Japanese, a character like Bizet’s Carmen epitomizes wanton sexuality and fiery independence–qualities, often associated with bar girls and prostitutes, that elicit disapproval tempered by pity and grudging respect. With Carmen From Kawachi, one of director Seijun Suzuki’s trilogy of women-centered films from the mid-60s, the emotional scale is tilted subtly toward sympathy for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

By The Light of the Moon

By the Light of the Moon, Raven Theatre. Romance is the unifying theme in Raven Theatre’s evening of short plays “By the Light of the Moon,” yet what ultimately cripples the works of all three playwrights is the difficulty of portraying love plausibly onstage. John Patrick Shanley oozes sentimentality, Edward Albee of course glowers cynically, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Conjunto Cespedes

The impassioned music of this Bay-area Afro-Cuban combo provides a serious challenge to New York’s hegemony on the salsa scene. With their somewhat folkloric stylistic diversity Conjunto Cespedes paint a significantly more inclusive picture of Cuban music than the reigning stars in New York, many of whom aren’t even Cuban. On a pair of excellent […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lonely at the Top

It’s been a renter’s market in downtown Chicago since the late 1980s. Even prestige addresses cut deals to attract tenants. And what building has the most vacant space in the city? Sears Tower. Five years after Sears Roebuck fled to Hoffman Estates, the world’s tallest building is still one-quarter empty. That translates to more than […]

Posted inMusic

From Despair to Triumph

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Ravinia Festival, August 13 For an opera company, programming is pretty straightforward: you need a mix of chestnuts and novelties, masterworks and divertissments–along with a smattering of stars that help sell the shows that don’t sell themselves. For an orchestra, it’s more complex. Since symphonic works that fill an evening by themselves […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

For the 12 years I’ve known her my friend Edie Farwell has been an enthusiastic proponent of a type of oven powered by sunlight. She’s on the board of Solar Cookers International, an organization that’s been promoting the use of homemade solar ovens as a way to save fuel, reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and […]