Posted inArts & Culture

James Carr

James Carr If James Carr had recorded only “The Dark End of the Street,” his place of honor in the R & B firmament would be secure. That 1967 hit, a chilling vignette of furtive love and romantic desperation, has been praised as the finest soul ballad ever waxed–Carr employs a pantheon of gospel embellishments […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Patriots

Perhaps the best commercial cinema France has to offer these days, this slickly produced spy thriller explores the moral ambiguities in manipulating lives for the sake of patriotism. At the center of the web of intrigue is the Mossad, Israel’s much-feared intelligence service, whose rival chieftains jockey for control. Director Eric Rochant, who also wrote […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Robert Earl Keen

ROBERT EARL KEEN Though Robert Earl Keen remains less well-known than Texas compatriots like Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle, as a songwriter he has few peers. Combining a natural country twang with folk’s long-running narratives, Keen pens vivid portraits of regular folks who get married, drink beer, have boisterous family gatherings, fight, go fishing, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: pictures of pent-up energy

In 1980 Nancy Rubins’s Big Bil-Bored, a sculpture made of thousands of used appliances packed in concrete, was installed in Berwyn’s Cermak Plaza Shopping Center to howls of protest. Headlines called it a “hunk of junk,” and people demanded its removal. Last year at the Whitney Biennial in New York she displayed her five-ton Mattresses […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lost in Translation

Adam Langer’s review of The Temple is just another illustration of the Reader’s ignorance and disregard for African-American culture [April 19]. Instead of digging up someone who has a small inkling about black culture (I know, it’s sooo hard to find black writers), you send a writer who seems to fancy himself truly in tune […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Monument to Survival

Near the corner of Polk and Oakley, on a block with several houses that Lavicka has rehabbed, is a 50-foot-wide grass-covered lot with flagpoles flying an American flag and flags from the four branches of the armed forces. On each corner of the lot are antique lampposts. To the left of a water pump are […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Chinese inventor Pu Danming recently claimed he’s sold 50,000 of the “healthy cigarettes” that he introduced in Beijing in November. The product is a cigarillo-size tube containing Chinese herbs, a small battery, a microchip, and a dozen other components but no tobacco. The cigarette is not lighted; rather, when the smoker takes a […]