Posted inMusic

Verbena

VERBENA If you’re not listening closely, Souls for Sale (Merge)–the debut album from the Alabama foursome Verbena–sounds like more of the same 70s-inspired guitar rock that’s currently clogging the nation’s airwaves. But Verbena has worked out its own appealing take on the form, and it includes neither overwrought caterwauling nor unbearable effects wankery. Drummer Les […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I am a 21-year-old inexperienced female. I am presently in love and in a relationship–very serious–with a man from the Middle East. He’s asked me to marry him. I haven’t had much experience with men, but he has committed to me in heart, mind, and soul–in fact, so much that I tend to […]

Posted inMusic

Carl Wethersby

CARL WEATHERSBY Born in Mississippi and raised in East Chicago, guitarist Carl Weathersby has the chops and fire of a post-Hendrix fretman, but his roots extend back to an earlier, less frenetic era. As a young man he apprenticed himself to Albert King, whose fusion of fiery string-bending aggression and subtle tonal expressiveness made an […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Nashville Pussy 7/11, Lounge Ax The “Nashville” signifies only a bit of outdated hometown pride–this fledgling four-piece fronted by ex-Nine Pound Hammer guitarist Blaine Cartwright and his ax-wielding wife, Ruyder Suys, recently moved to Athens, Georgia, to be better appreciated. Their output so far is too scant to have reached my ears–though their new single […]

Posted inMusic

Quantity Over Quality

Guided by Voices Mag Earwhig! (Matador) By Jim DeRogatis Earwhig is British slang for that blabbermouth at the end of the bar who fancies himself the world’s greatest storyteller. There’s a metaphor here for Guided by Voices’ way-beyond-prolific leader, Robert Pollard. Sure, he labored admirably over his four-track down in that now-famous Dayton, Ohio, basement […]

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Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway

ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY & LIZ CALLAWAY Chicago’s anemic cabaret scene gets a welcome transfusion from its native Callaway sisters–truth be told, either one could provide a significant boost on her own. The daughters of public-TV journalist John Callaway, each established herself in New York’s overpopulated show scene before teaming up for this revue, Sibling Revelry […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Raw Power

Bill Traylor: High Singing Blue at Carl Hammer Gallery, through July 31 Pauline Simon at Intuit, through August 30 By Fred Camper When I first saw a lone drawing of Bill Traylor’s years ago, I knew he was supposed to be one of the greatest of outside artists. But the roughly drawn animal on cardboard, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

God Is My Editor

By Daniel Cattau In the early 1840s, long before there was a National Basketball Association or Dennis Rodman, Mormons were big news. The editor of the Chicago Democrat, curious about the strange group, wrote a letter to Mormon leader Joseph Smith, who was establishing a new Zion in a patch of swampland in western Illinois. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Caught in the Net

Captured at www.summum.org/mummification/modern.htm Modern Mummification Even though mummification is nothing new, it may not easily grab a foothold in the funeral industry. The idea at first seems out of place in today’s society. However, people may come to find that it fulfills a certain need, and Summum feels that the time is fitting for the […]

Posted inMusic

John Wallowitch & Bertram Ross

JOHN WALLOWITCH & BERTRAM ROSS John Wallowitch is a cabaret veteran–a longtime vocal coach, accompanist, club manager, and songwriter whose material has been recorded by the likes of Blossom Dearie and Dixie Carter. Bertram Ross is an actor and onetime Martha Graham dancer who came to cabaret relatively late. Together these two tuxedoed, elderly gents […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Ssshh! Over there! I’ve almost got it cornered! Prospectus for an August poetry workshop in north-suburban Winnetka: “This workshop will focus on close scrutiny as a means to pursue a poem in hiding and coax it onto the page.” “If we would begin to make a few changes, it would be so much easier to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Xsight! Performance Group

Xsight! Performance Group “We’ve got two sweaty nights at the Blue Rider,” Brian Jeffery told himself. “Let’s have fun.” So he and fellow Xsight! members Peter Carpenter and Marianne Kim, as well as video artist Stephan Mazurek, dancers Holly Quinn and Julia Rhoads, and actress Lauren Crawford, came together to create Kickin’ the Devil Around, […]