Posted inMusic

John Abercrombie Trio

John Abercrombie Trio When guitarist John Abercrombie inaugurated this trio in 1992–comprising light-fingered drummer Adam Nussbaum and Dan Wall, one of the handful of organists defining a new approach to the Hammond B-3–you could have blown most people over with a Leslie speaker. (That’s the spinning loudspeaker that gives the organ its three-dimensional vibrato.) The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Freak

Freak John Leguizamo’s new solo show is a work in progress–which, Leguizamo told his fans at the show I saw last weekend, means “you’re very privileged to see me suck.” Certainly this ever-changing “semi-demi-quasi-pseudo-autobiography” has its spotty patches–but it has wonderful ones too, and even when he falters Leguizamo is a high-voltage performer with a […]

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Profound Confusion

Nuclear Family Factory Theater By Justin Hayford Since Factory Theater first staked out its lonely storefront turf in Rogers Park four and a half years ago (opening with an adaptation of Reefer Madness), it’s been easy to see the company as the Johnny Come Lately to the drunken fratboy theater circuit inaugurated by Annoyance and […]

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Ronnie Earl

RONNIE EARL Guitarist Ronnie Earl, one of today’s most versatile and sophisticated blues stylists, started out in the 70s in the Boston area, where he sat in with visiting Chicago luminaries like Otis Rush and Big Walter Horton. He eventually signed on with Roomful of Blues, a New England-based band that specialized in the kind […]

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Lisa Germano

Lisa Germano There’s something undeniably suffocating about Lisa Germano’s old records, the way her sweet, fragile voice struggles to free itself of thick, murky textures and subject matter so brooding and dark it makes John Cassavetes look like Walt Disney. Her most recent record, Excerpts From a Love Circus (4AD), lets a little more light […]

Posted inFilm

Fool for Love

Private Parts Rating — Worthless Directed by Betty Thomas Written by Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko With Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Mary McCormack, Fred Norris, Jackie Martling, Gary Dell’Abate, Richard Portnow, and Kelly Bishop. By Jim DeRogatis Sometime during the orgy of promotion for the empty propaganda film that is Private Parts, Howard Stern taped […]

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Horror Show

Ivan Albright at the Art Institute of Chicago, through May 11 By Mark Swartz Ivan Albright was a horrible painter. Using a garish, juvenile palette, he rendered flesh, furniture, and clothing in such a way as to make them all look like satin stained with grease. And although the detail in his paintings impresses me, […]

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Bridge Over Troubled Water

The Graduate Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Mike Nichols Written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham With Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katherine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, and Brian Avery. By Jonathan Rosenbaum If I feel myself as the producer of my life, then I am unhappy. So I would rather be […]

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Poor Little Rich Boy

Gram Parsons & the Fallen Angels Live 1973 (original unedited broadcast) (Rhino) Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo (expanded edition) (Columbia/Legacy) By J.R. Jones In a 1972 interview with an A&M Records publicist, Gram Parsons was asked what he’d been doing with himself since leaving the Flying Burrito Brothers two years before. The godfather of country […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: Usually your info is right on the mark, but your reply to June–who’s in love with her cousin Bill–contained errors. First, and most importantly, first cousins are allowed to marry in 25 of our 50 states, and the marriages are honored as legal in all of them. Doctors have also begun to revise […]

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Afrosynthesis: Reactions in Light and Dark

AFROSYNTHESIS: REACTIONS IN LIGHT AND DARK, Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre, at Victory Gardens Studio Theater. The triumph of civilization over savagery is the theme that unites these three one-acts. Sometimes we applaud its victory. In Nambi Kelley’s Hoochie Mama a young man alienated from ghetto stereotypes receives solace from the ghosts of […]

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On The Edge: The Films of Greta Snider

On the Edge: The Films of Greta Snider Seen one at a time, Greta Snider’s films might look offhand and oddly incomplete. She eschews technical refinements, seems uninterested in rhythmically precise editing, and often leaves the meanings of her collagelike combinations of material up to the viewer. But the way she partly removes or qualifies […]