Posted inMusic

Dub Syndicate

Dub Syndicate It took some cojones for pomo British dub wizard Adrian Sherwood to christen this innovative band–which evolved out of Creation Rebel and New Age Steppers in the early 80s–with a generic name like Dub Syndicate. Except for drummer, songwriter, and de facto leader Style Scott, who’s played on all but the first of […]

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John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & THE FREE SPIRITS Sometimes it gets a little tough for modern guitar junkies to recall that before Scofield and Metheny and their many musical progeny–even before (God help us) Al Di Meola–there was John McLaughlin. McLaughlin came to the U.S. from his native England in 1969 to perform in Tony Williams’s subversive […]

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Elsinore

Kevin Kline may have lampooned the idea in the movie Soapdish, but two of the world’s great theatrical innovators actually staged one-man versions of Hamlet last year. Texas-born Theater of Images guru Robert Wilson premiered his Hamlet at Houston’s Alley Theatre in May, while Quebec’s Robert Lepage (star attraction of Chicago’s last International Theatre Festival […]

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Jellyeye

When I was a kid watching the Raspberry Day parade in Hopkins, Minnesota, I always loved the drum-and-bugle corps best because they shook me right up the middle, from the bottom of my sneakers to the top of my baking head. Jellyeye also plays percussion loud–but the eight-member troupe does a lot besides. Like wear […]

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Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft, Pendulum Theatre Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Don Nigro’s play is a Sleuth-style puzzler that scatters more red herrings than a fishmonger in Finland: the handsome handyman at the Ravenscroft estate was recently killed by a fall down the stairs of the main house, only months after Mr. Ravens-croft met his end in the […]

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Julie Wilson

JULIE WILSON If you prefer icy dry irony to pop sentimentality for your Valentine’s music, don’t miss Julie Wilson, cabaret’s coolest queen, when she hits town next week after a two-year absence. A master of the sprechstimme style, which fuses singing and speech into an indivisible whole, this musical-theater veteran turns songs by the likes […]

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Fareed Haque Quartet

FAREED HAQUE QUARTET I don’t think you can play the guitar much better than Fareed Haque. On both electric and classical instruments he strikes each note with perfect attack and timing no matter what the speed–and damn the genre. His music contains plenty of genres, from flamenco to jazz-rock fusion, Indian music to pure American […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Latest nicotine urges: Connecticut inmate Frank W. Banks, assigned to a no-smoking prison, was convicted in December of mailing harassing letters to a judge. Banks said he thought threats via the U.S. mail would cause him to be sent to a federal prison where he could smoke. And in November three stranded Alaska […]

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Abba-Rama!

Abba-Rama!, Factory Theater. There’s something terribly wrong with the state of modern theater (or with me) when a poorly sung, sloppily choreographed, thrown-together musical revue is a great deal more entertaining than what can be found on the stages of some of the city’s most accomplished and ambitious companies. Then again, why criticize a theater […]

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In Print: voices of invisible men

“When you say “young black men’ everybody responds to that a certain way,” says Rohan Preston. “There’s a knee-jerk response equating black masculinity with violence and sexual deviance.” But he and Daniel Wideman are challenging that stereotype with a diverse anthology of poems, plays, short stories, essays, letters, and interviews called Soulfires: Young Black Men […]