Posted inNews & Politics

Democracy’s Shining Lamp

Alderman Edward Burke introduced a laudatory death resolution for a former Illinois state treasurer who was convicted of bank fraud for a multimillion dollar check-kiting scheme. No one noticed. It passed. Burke’s paean to Jerry Cosentino was reminiscent of his speeches on behalf of Richard Nixon, whose troubles are too well-known to need repeating, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What is the meaning of PEZ? –NgCarolyn, via AOL Glad you put it that way, Carolyn. Your unimaginative type of person might have asked, “What do the letters PEZ stand for?” The answer to which is, they’re an abbreviation of the German Pfefferminz, peppermint. Yawn. But the meaning of PEZ–whoa! Give me a minute and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar:days of the week

Friday 4/25 – Thursday 5/1 APRIL By Cara Jepsen 25 FRIDAY Mary Ann Naas’s 24-minute documentary Censored and Silenced dissects the Vatican’s stand against allowing female priests into the club. You can see the Matteson-based filmmaker’s work tonight when it will be screened with other regional winners of the 24th annual Student Academy Awards. There’s […]

Posted inMusic

Oliva Tremor Control

OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL Even with trends in pop music mutating, becoming obsolete, and being reborn at head-spinning speeds, a killer melody can still transcend. The stylistic flourishes that decorate classic hooks may vary radically, but the tune has always been the thing. In the last few years the Elephant 6 collective–a group of friends who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dutchman

Dutchman, Trap Door Theatre. This landmark 1964 one-act by LeRoi Jones (now Imamu Amiri Baraka) is a racially charged Adam-and-Eve allegory in which an earnest, conservative young black man named Clay is tempted, taunted, and finally murdered by a hip young white woman as the two of them ride a subway snaking through the underbelly […]

Posted inMusic

Single Minded

Enoch Light Persuasive Percussion (Varese Vintage) By Jim Dorling As lounge music, favored by “mature” listeners of the 1950s, finds a new audience in the post-baby-boom set, a flood of imitations, compilations, and reissues has rushed in to meet the revived demand. Central to the trend is a renewed fascination with the idea of the […]

Posted inMusic

Kurt Elling

KURT ELLING Encores can trip up even the best musicians: following your own act promises few rewards and lots of pitfalls. But Kurt Elling, the dynamic young singer who holds an important key to the future of vocal jazz, has nothing to worry about. In every aspect, his latest Blue Note album The Messenger–for which […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wrapped in Mystery

Ron Grenko at Beret International, through May 17 Joe Litzenberger at Tough, through May 17 By Fred Camper In recent years conceptual and minimal art have converged, as artists have used minimalist approaches to hint at content. Both forms, however, require a heightened level of viewer participation; art that seems intentionally incomplete enlists the viewer […]