Posted inMusic

In the Eye of the Ear II

IN THE EYE OF THE EAR II Artists who design sound installations are working at a frontier where the aesthetics are still being debated, where the criteria for critique are yet to be determined. With, say, a Mozart symphony, which is an assemblage of identifiable sounds organized according to certain principles, most of us can […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

The mood around the White Sox at the end of the season was dominated by a severe and almost tangible sense of loss. Another in a series of career years from Frank Thomas; 101 runs batted in from comeback-of-the-year candidate Danny Tartabull; the first 30-homer, 100-RBI season from Robin Ventura; unthinkable campaigns by 37-year-olds Harold […]

Posted inFilm

Desolation Angels

Tim McCann’s first feature (1995), made at a cost of $27,000 and distributed by McCann himself, bears absolutely no relation to the Jack Kerouac novel of the same title. Come to think of it, this disturbing and persuasive critique of machismo, which refuses to restrict the blame to one or two individuals and ends up […]

Posted inMusic

Jessamine

JESSAMINE Bored by the smothering, inflexible structures of rock in the last few years, the indie fold has come to include a growing flock of loose-limbed experimenters and improvisers. While most have been ham-fisted or just plain inept, a few interesting contenders have emerged from the mess. On its brand-new second album, The Long Arm […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jewish gender bending

In the 1936 Yiddish comedy Yidl mitn fidl (“Yidl With His Fiddle”) actress Molly Picon played a girl who dresses in boy’s clothing so that she can find work as a musician. Many of the film’s laughs come from the contrast between the macho Froim, the object of Yidl’s affection, and the feminine, cross-dressed Yidl. […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Fastball 10/4, Empty Bottle The short, pleasant pop ditties this Austin-based trio delivers on Make Your Mama Proud (Hollywood) sail in with plenty of zip, melodic flair, and impudent tone, but miss the strike zone for lack of personality. Bardo Pond 10/5, Lounge Ax Four minutes into the recent Amanita (Matador), at a point where […]

Posted inFilm

How to Read the Revolution

Blush Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Li Shaohong Written by Ni Zhen and Li With Wang Ji, Wang Zhiwen, He Saifei, Zgang Liwei, Wang Rouli, Song Xiuling, Xing Yangchun, Zhou Jianying, and Cao Lei. By Jonathan Rosenbaum The use of multiple perspectives in Chinese painting was not for the purpose of making a hologram, nor […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Perils of Plastic

Perils of Plastic Oh, wonderful plastic. In reference to David Futrelle’s article about plastic [Reading, September 20], I must agree with many of his remarks about the practicality and usefulness of plastics. Great stuff for packaging, clothing, automobiles, shopping bags, and so on. Having worked in both the pulp and paper industry and the plastics […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Young and the Clueless

For a long time–into my teens actually–I was convinced that when you became a grown-up, you were invited to a special meeting where all life’s mysteries were explained. This was why adults always knew everything, and why I was perpetually perplexed. For example, cruise ships: I couldn’t understand how they could have swimming pools on […]

Posted inFilm

Buried in Light, Lost Book Found

These two rather strange works by Jem Cohen, shot on film and shown on video, focus on normally neglected aspects of cities. We see some monuments but more often the side of a curb, some graffiti on a wall, or a tilted view of a seemingly random street. Cohen dedicates Lost Book Found (1996) to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

vDefending WVON

Defending WVON To the editor: I’m at a loss to account for Mike Miner’s September 27 Hot Type account of Lowell Thompson’s run-in with WVON radio. On the way to defending an unaired commercial for an undiscussed book by an unknown (to me) “black ad man,” Miner trashes WVON, the media home of Chicago’s progressive […]