Posted inNews & Politics

Flop Watch

bass.qxd Dear Reader, Fear of failure is not unusual. Indeed, many successful people openly attribute their success to fear of failure. But preoccupation with failure is a rare trait, and obsession with it rarer still. That said, frequent Reader contributor Neil Steinberg can only be described as obsessed with failure. He’s gone so far as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 7/4 – Thursday 7/10 JULY By Cara Jepsen 4 FRIDAY A giant hot dog, a gym shoe, and Shamu the whale are among the 30 balloons to be launched at this weekend’s Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival. The balloons will range in size from smaller–think of the craft that was supposed to bring […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Any Bonds Today?

ANY BONDS TODAY? at the Arts Center in Oak Park. A good friend of mine, a songwriter, once told me the recipe for a hit show: Make it old. How else to explain the success of stodgy productions like Nunsense, with their creaky jokes and “original” songs that sound as if they were hits in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Alspector’s Agenda

Headline Dear Editors: Ever since you added Lisa Alspector to your critical roster I had the creeping suspicion that she was more concerned with politics than movies. Her confused capsule review of Love! Valour! Compassion! reaches a new low, even for her. How can a newspaper that has had some of the finest and most […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Flesh is Weak

stoyonof.qxd Dear Editor, I feel compelled to respond to Michael Miner’s article, “Something’s Cooking at In These Times,” June 20, as I believe Mr. Miner, Mr. Obis, and Mr. Weinstein (former publisher of In These Times), could use a dose of reality. Mr. Miner’s concern that Paul Obis might be too “squirrelly” to take over […]

Posted inMusic

Hackberry Ramblers

HACKBERRY RAMBLERS When a band dates back to 1933, it can’t help but go through some phases. Shortly after Cajuns Luderin Darbone, a fiddler, and Edwin Duhon, an accordionist, first pulled together the Hackberry Ramblers, they began spicing the traditional Cajun sound with the blues and newfangled influences like hillbilly music and western swing. In […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Print: the joy of Sox

The long-suffering Cubs fan is a cliche; in fact, there’s a certain perverse glory in being one. But what glory does Richard Lindberg garner for his lifelong love affair with the White Sox? “I was the only Sox fan in Norwood Park,” Lindberg says. “My grandfather, whom I never met, was a Sox fan. I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Human Rhythm Project

CHICAGO HUMAN RHYTHM PROJECT Can there be too much of a good thing? If so, look out: the seventh annual Chicago Human Rhythm Project features 12 performances over two weeks by some 17 individuals and groups. They range from old hands like Chicagoan Ernest “Brownie” Brown, who’s been tapping for over 70 years, to rising […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Surreal World

THE SURREAL WORLD, Factory Theater. When reincarnation’s dizzying wheel has spun its last, what will you have learned? Jill Rothamer and Jeff Wallenfeldt riff on that very question in this play about a narcissistic God who sentences seven souls to repeated interlocked lives. With their new bodies, the characters have a chance to let go […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Man’s Country

Man’s Country A first-timer once told me he couldn’t believe where he was. Every time he went in and out of a room he thought he should have to pay more money. He thought it was a whorehouse. With hundreds of guys passing through on a weekend, outsiders might think Man’s Country was just a […]

Posted inMusic

McCoy Tyner

McCOY TYNER When it comes to showcasing his influential aesthetic–in which pointillistic rhythms encounter a grand, sweeping romanticism–McCoy Tyner clearly prefers that classic three-piece ensemble, the piano trio. But the outfit has begun to wear, and besides, the pianist’s closet houses plenty of others. He leads a vibrant and vigorous big band in New York, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Autopsy of a Person Unknown

Autopsy of a Person Unknown Autopsy, in ancient Greek, means “to look at your self,” to examine you life. To the Greeks, especially Socrates, and unexamined life was not worth living. In America, we don’t bother with an autopsy until someone has died. We pride ourselves on living unexamined lives, as thought to live without […]

Posted inMusic

Monsters of Rock

Misfits American Psycho (Geffen) The Misfits’ comeback record, American Psycho, isn’t much to speak of musically. The reanimated Jersey horror punks pay dutiful tribute to their monster mythology with titles like “Abominable Dr. Phibes,” “This Island Earth,” and “Day of the Dead,” and their furious power chording–now underwritten by David Geffen–is bigger, brighter, and heavier […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In March a Stavropol Airlines passenger jet literally fell apart in the air because of rust, killing 50 and becoming the latest Russian airline tragedy. In May the Russian press reported that 76 top Russian aviation officials flying to the U.S. declined to take the national airline Aeroflot because of safety concerns, choosing […]