Posted inArts & Culture

Ernie Krivda

Perhaps it really is Cleveland’s year: the Indians have reached the series, and Ernie Krivda has a record deal with an international company. To extend the analogy, Krivda fits into the small Cleveland jazz scene in much the way Albert Belle serves the city’s baseball team: he’s not only its most valuable player but also […]

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Rounder Bluegrass Tour

This superb bill deftly counters many preconceptions about bluegrass. Although it’s often maligned as hillbilly music, at its best the genre bristles with unbounded energy and dazzling instrumental lyricism. Organized by Rounder Records, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary as one of the premier presenters of American roots music, this package tour attests not […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Party Pooper

I was startled to read David Futrelle’s bitter attack on Karl Marx, Marxism in general and the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in particular in your September 15 issue. Not because David was critical of the ISO–he hasn’t agreed with our political analysis for some years. But I was surprised by David’s use of dime-store psychoanalysis […]

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1001 Arabian Nights

1001 Arabian Nights, Griffin Theatre Company. Resourceful Schehera-zade’s telling of 1,001 tales offers the ultimate proof of the power of art over life and love over death: she both saves her life and wins a king. Distracting the merciless monarch from his vow to behead the lady with whom he’s spent the night, Sherizade (as […]

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S.F. Seals

For years San Francisco’s Barbara Manning has been a maddeningly inconsistent folk-rock outsider. Solo records like Lately I Keep Scissors and One Perfect Green Blanket were loaded with amazing material, but her lack of prolificacy and the occasional dud seemed to perpetually get in the way of her success. When she finally got a fairly […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

A nice magazine with New Age tendencies once asked me to write a calendar of ideas on how to enjoy each month of the year in Chicago’s bioregion. I started with May, the month the issue was to come out. “Watch the warblers at Montrose Harbor,” I gushed. “See the phlox and wild false indigo […]

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Emotional Rescue

All’s Well That Ends Well Goodman Theatre All’s Well That Ends Well, the Shakespearean scholar A.L. Rowse wrote, “has never been thought of as an attractive play…. The subject did not fire Shakespeare’s imagination…[so] it gives the impression of being thought out, rather than felt along the heart and nerves.” Academic opinion has thus generally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Performance: recycled Elvis

Dave Pyle isn’t the average Elvis impersonator–even if he wears a white jumpsuit. His hour-long show combines witty lyrics with karate kicks and stage banter about blue-bag recycling, vegetarianism, and environmental racism. “I’m just tryin’ to save the planet one song at a time,” says Pyle, whose stage persona is Green E., the “environmental Elvis.” […]

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Sonic Outlaws

When the musical group Negativland released a record sampling a U2 hit, U2’s label sued, forcing it to be recalled. Craig Baldwin’s Sonic Outlaws takes this event as a starting point for a densely layered meditation on borrowing and originality in art. Baldwin interweaves lots of images–clips from old movies, Warhol’s Marilyns, and humorously modified […]

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Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross, Profiles Performance Ensemble. In an age of phenomenal gains in productivity–built on the backs of the overworked, the underpaid, and the downsized–David Mamet’s brutal two-act portrait of hard-bodied contemporary capitalism as reflected in a sleazy real estate office should be relevant. The contest that sets the plot rolling could even pass for […]

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Alvin Cash

If adjectives had faces, “irrepressible” would wear the grinning countenance of soul man Alvin Cash. Cash’s “Twine Time” on Chicago’s Mar-V-Lus label launched a major dance craze in the mid-60s, although his contribution to the tune consisted mostly of shouting hoarse imprecations over his backup ensemble’s funky R & B riffing. He never scored that […]

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Andrew Hill

In the liner notes to The Complete Blue Note Andrew Hill Sessions (Mosaic)–the excellent seven-disc set that arrived earlier this year–the Chicago-born pianist explains the frequently published myth that he was born in Haiti. “It seemed like a good career move at the time….Growing up in the black belt, I could only go so far […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Sound of One Hand

Laetitia Sonami at Randolph Street Gallery, October 13 and 14 The human hand is a powerfully expressive instrument. Consider the lover’s hands, gently caressing, firmly clasping, warmly pressing. Consider the aggressor’s hands, bundling up in bony, gnarled rage, communicating anger more directly than words ever could. Perhaps the hand’s emotional transparency in part explains its […]