Posted inArts & Culture

Bruce Springsteen

The word on Bruce Springsteen’s new album, The Ghost of Tom Joad, is that it’s Nebraska II–i.e., another stark and unadorned acoustic song cycle. That’s at once an over- and understatement. Nebraska, of course, was an accident: a bunch of demos for a proposed new 1982 E Street Band album that was finally released almost […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story German romanticism professor Jukka Ammondt, 45, of Finland’s University of Jyvaskyla, ended a two-week singing tour in the U.S. in October by performing Elvis Presley songs in Latin at the Finnish embassy in Washington, D.C. According to a Washington Post report, Ammondt sang versions of “It’s Now or Never” (“Nunc hic aut numquam”) […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Just Say Boo!

Let me add a woman’s complaint to the general disgust with Erin Hogan’s silly article [“Jerked Around,” October 27]: In addition to causing a man with two children to lose his income and wasting a good deal of public time and money, Ms. Hogan trivializes the legitimate concerns of women who have suffered real attacks […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, Goodman Theatre. These days Dickens’s plea for fellow feeling seems more than just holiday guilt giving–it’s a wake-up call. Tom Creamer’s increasingly timely adaptation drives home a psychologically apt lesson: charity and compassion increase as we taste our mortality. Our great strength is to know our weakness, see it in others, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Into the Woods

Into the Woods, Touchstone Theatre. “Like a standup comic, the tale must sense . . . the fears and hunger of its audience,” writes British literary critic Marina Warner in From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s brilliant musical weaves together the stories of Cinderella, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anthony Braxton/George Lewis Duet

The duo of saxophonist Anthony Braxton and trombonist George Lewis contains at its heart an exciting purity. This concerns more than the minimalist instrumentation. It has to do with the unique voices of the two instrumentalists–even though, at this point in their careers, both have established their primary reputations as composer-theorists (to the point of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Affirmative Reaction

Ref: “The Mayors Race” 11/17/95 To the people of Gary, Indiana, I say, it’s about time! Congratulations Scott King. Black politicians are being zapped in their empty heads for their insulting assumption that they will have our vote because we are in their debt by virtue of skin color. If she/he brings only racism as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Many people have tried to convince me chocolate is toxic to dogs. I even heard a news report warning people to keep dogs out of the Halloween candy for that reason. However, my four dogs have stolen chocolate cakes, pies, and candy bars without ill effects. What gives? –Jason Eshleman, Berkeley, California You and the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fabric of Feminism

Lou Cabeen: Mapping Desire at Carl Hammer Gallery, through December 30 Lou Cabeen’s fascination with women’s clothes goes back to kindergarten or first grade. “I figured out a way to draw Cinderella’s dress,” she says. Though it looked like a simple child’s drawing, back then “I knew it was good because it looked the way […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Blaming the Smut Peddlers

Dear Reader: Thank God John McDermott [Letters, November 10], as an aside really, set us all straight as to the intolerable state of affairs that rampant pornography has elicited in our society, including growing rape, STDs, and harassment. I hadn’t realized that most of what ails us sexually can be fairly well pinpointed to my […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Getting strange for the holidays. According to a recent UIC press release, nutrition instructor Janet Regan Klich urges holiday shoppers to use the supermarket as a gym. Park at the far end of the lot, she suggests. Choose items from top and bottom shelves only. And “pick up two 46-ounce cans of juice and do […]

Posted inFilm

Casualties of the Mass Market

The Voice of the Moon ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Federico Fellini Written by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, and Ermanno Cavazzoni With Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani, Marisa Tomasi, and Angelo Orlando. Casino ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Martin Scorsese Written by Nicholas Pileggi and Scorsese With Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James […]