Posted inArts & Culture

Five on the Black Hand Side

FIVE ON THE BLACK HAND SIDE, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. As a period piece, this 1969 comedy about African-American urban life in the 60s has its good side. Playwright Charlie L. Russell, addressing such topics as male chauvinism, black nationalism, racial pride, interracial relationships, and protest movements, offers a vaguely leftist ideology with a surprisingly […]

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Built to Spill

BUILT TO SPILL On Built to Spill’s major-label debut, Perfect From Now On (Warner Brothers), sole constant member Doug Martsch blows up all of his little indie-rock quirks into something that, if not quite larger than life, is almost as long. The band’s previous efforts (including two albums on Seattle’s C/Z and Up labels) framed […]

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Spot Check

BOBBY CONN 5/16, 6 odum; 5/20, POOP STUDIOs After glittering around the Chicago underground for almost a decade, serving as devil’s advocate and postcelebrity celebrity, at last Bobby Conn has convinced someone to put money where his mouth is. His full-length debut, Bobby Conn (Truckstop), features some sterling guests letting their ya-yas out–and didn’t you […]

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Slotnick Katz & Lehr

SLOTNICK KATZ & LEHR, Steppenwolf Studio Theatre. I keep calling this show Skolnik Katz & Lehr. Not because I’m dyslexic but because, having seen it, I think it bears the same nostalgic relation to Chicago’s golden age of improv in the early 90s that Skolnik’s quick-frozen, presplit bagels (in your freezer case now) have to […]

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On Exhibit:loaded words

It’s been said that he who destroys a good book kills reason itself. But artist Robert The has his own reasons for vandalizing old books and carving them into gun shapes. “I feel like I’m resuscitating a piece of debris,” says The, who gets the books from Dumpsters, thrift shops, and garage sales. “There’s a […]

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Tendai Shomyo Research Society

TENDAI SHOMYO RESEARCH SOCIETY Buddhists believe that the universe began not with a bang but with a whisper: the quietly intoned syllable “om,” said to be the first sound of creation. In Japan, “om” is where the heart is. It provides the foundation for meditation, prayer, and celebration, all of which come together in bugaku […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Smooth Operator

By Rose Spinelli Zamboni. Is it ice cream? An item in a sex-toys catalog? A noodle shape? “I don’t care if you drive a Maserati,” a woman says coolly to a Zamboni driver. “I’m not impressed by fancy cars.” A Zamboni is the machine that keeps the ice at a rink mirror-glass smooth. For anyone […]

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Tripped Out

Terrastock: The Ptolemaic Providence Perambulation Rogue Lounge, Providence, Rhode Island April 25-27 By Jim DeRogatis By the time they got to Terrastock, they were about 600 strong. I mention this up top because the small but dedicated crowd that gathered for three days of peace, love, and modern psychedelic rock in a 200-year-old red-brick mill […]

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Real Horror Show

All the Rage Goodman Theatre By Adam Langer Maybe it’s me, but it seems that lately whenever I leave a theater, get in my car, and flip on the radio, the world outside bears no relationship to the world I’ve just seen onstage. A hermetically sealed fantasyland populated by solid but pointless revivals of old […]