Posted inArts & Culture

Melvyn Poore/Martin Blume Duo

To many folks the tuba is inextricably linked with traditional German oompah-laden beer-guzzling songs performed by portly guys in lederhosen. Yet the instrument has a lengthy if near invisible jazz history, from serving a bass function in Dixieland to the big, polished bottom Bill Barber puffed into the modernistic big-band music of Gil Evans. The […]

Posted inMusic

Notes of the Weird/Schmitsville

Notes of the Weird “It’s not about pointing out what’s theological about a technological upgrade,” explains Gastr del Sol’s David Grubbs, referring to the title of the group’s new album, Upgrade & Afterlife (Drag City). “It’s about pointing out what’s secular about something like afterlife. People now talk about the afterlife of computers, and I […]

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Cube

Toru Takemitsu, who died earlier this year at age 66, was arguably Japan’s most versatile modernist composer. Largely self-taught, he claimed to have been influenced by Schoenberg, Messiaen, and the musique concrete movement. During the decade after World War II, Takemitsu was part of the avant-garde of painters and composers in Tokyo who looked to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Trib Still Zoned Out

By Michael Miner In journalism’s good old days a lot of interesting stuff that happened on Chicago’s south side never got reported because it wasn’t news. Now there’s a way to put those south-side doings in the paper yet continue to spare folks up north the annoyance of reading about them. It’s called zoning. Consider […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Of Labor

Dig at Creative Reuse Warehouse, through June 29 By Justin Hayford It is the first Saturday of summer–sunny, warm, conspicuously free of humidity. Along the six-block stretch of Halsted south of Roosevelt, near the former site of the Maxwell Street flea market, the sidewalks are full of men strolling back and forth. They offer me […]

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Douglas Ewart

Douglas Ewart plays his instruments better than anyone else in the world–partly because he knows them better than anyone else, having constructed them himself. But that hardly diminishes his accomplishment. In fact, the gorgeously simple, follow-the-wood design of Ewart’s instruments–bamboo flutes of Asian descent, nasty-talking didgeridoos adapted from the Australian outback, and the bamboon (an […]

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Six Finger Satellite

This Rhode Island quartet borrows here and there from the best of the old synth bands, taking the playful pop of Kraftwerk and the edgy darkness of Chrome and adding funky bass lines and a raw, searing guitar. But 6FS seem to take the most pleasure in playing with cool sounds, using a massive collection […]

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Hour Town

HOUR TOWN, Union Palace Players, at Stage Left Theatre. Improv’s dirty little secret is that it isn’t all created out of thin air. Improvisers, at least the good ones, develop a repertoire of stock characters–goofy neighbor, dumb boss, neurotic nerd–they can draw on if the improv set starts to flag, which it does on all […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What’s the best way for a male to sterilize himself without his betrothed’s knowledge? I’m not so hot to have kids, but the little lady is–the sooner the better, and a whole litter of ’em if she has her way. So surgery is out of the question; she’d divorce me. I’ve thought about routing around […]

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In the Soup

“Underwater we are really related,” says Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, whose installation Sip My Ocean projects shots of underwater scenery into a darkened corner on the third floor of the new Museum of Contemporary Art. “People tell me it feels real familiar.” With Rorschach-style symmetry, the floor-to-ceiling vista shows a kaleidoscopic image of Rist […]

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The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

The BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre. Only in Texas would an 83-year-old bordello be cherished as a cultural treasure. But that just confirms the genius of Carol Hall, Larry L. King, and Peter Masterson’s foot-stomping musical, in which you love the good-time girls of Miss Mona’s Chicken Ranch because of their enemy, […]

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Los Lobos

More than 20 years into their career Los Lobos radically revamped their approach to roots rock, twisting it inside out and becoming America’s best rock band. This year’s brilliant Colossal Head (Warner Brothers) got a creative jolt from the Latin Playboys side project, and now it seems the east LA quintet can do no wrong, […]

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Blakk Love (Storeez Of A Darker Hue)

Blakk Love (Storeez of a darker hue), Chameleon Productions, at Preston Bradley Center for the Arts. This collection of poetry and prose invokes as its refrain “the revolutionary idea of blakk people loving each other.” And indeed, love seems in pitifully short supply in these tales of past suffering and injustice, present-day violence, tribal suspicions, […]