Posted inArts & Culture

NRG Ensemble

NRG Ensemble When the founder and leader of NRG Ensemble, Hal Russell, died in 1992, the band stood at a crossroads. Having just completed its second record for the major jazz label ECM, NRG had to ask: should it continue in the vein of its work with Russell, performing as a repertoire band in the […]

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Celluloid Antiheroes

In the mid-1980s NYC Lower East Side hipsters Lydia Lunch, Foetus, Annie Sprinkle, Sonic Youth, Wiseblood, and the Butthole Surfers got together with such filmmakers as Richard Kern and Nick Zedd to make some very dark low-budget films that incorporated elements of hard-core porn, punk rock, violence, drug culture, and modern art, which Zedd dubbed […]

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Chi Lives: the consummate host

“Welcome, welcome!” says Truong Anh-Tuan as customers enter New Saigon, the Vietnamese restaurant he owns at Argyle and Broadway. “Please!” Anh-Tuan gestures for them to sit down. Then he moves from table to table, making sure everyone is happy. Today he’s even more animated than usual, as his thoughts are focused on the upcoming celebration […]

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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men, Bog Theatre. Hard times seem to renew John Steinbeck’s Depression-era blue-collar tragedy celebrating the solidarity of supposedly useless people. More than a chronicle of male bonding, Of Mice and Men compassionately charts the friendship between George, a loyal dreamer, and his hulking pal Lennie, a childlike giant with a dangerous penchant […]

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San Francisco Symphony

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY Michael Tilson Thomas, for my money, is the best American conductor around. More consistently thoughtful and engaging (not to mention photogenic) than National Symphony Orchestra’s Leonard Slatkin or Baltimore’s David Zinman and more riveting a presence on the podium and more catholic in his tastes than Seattle’s Gerard Schwarz, Tilson Thomas is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Petty Crime

January 30, 8:00 PM, 4700 block of North Harlem. Battery. Perpetrator approached another man leaving Kmart and said, “I remember you from karate class ten years ago. You poked me in the eye. Now I’m going to kill you.” Suspect rammed shopping cart into victim’s legs. Victim later told police he’d never taken karate. February […]

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Gerry Hemingway

Gerry Hemingway Few drummers can sustain keen interest throughout an entire solo performance. Gerry Hemingway is one of those few. Though Hemingway is best known for some impressive long-term associations (most notably the Anthony Braxton Quartet with Marilyn Crispell and Mark Dresser and BassDrumBone with Ray Anderson and Mark Helias), his own quintet–with trombonist Wolter […]