Posted inMusic

Tito Puenta & India

TITO PUENTE & INDIA Despite some notoriously lackluster recent concerts, I wouldn’t write off percussionist and Latin-jazz crusader Tito Puente just yet. “El Rey” has shown himself too scintillating too often, over the course of more than 100 recordings, for us to give up hope so easily. Besides, on disc the same spark that ignited […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Lie of the Mind

Kerstin Broockmann and Maggie Speer’s clean, naturalistic staging lives up to the many challenges of Sam Shepard’s dark, dense epic of American denial and rage. In one of his finest, most thorough works, the playwright known for his almost surreal depiction of American dysfunction takes us into the painfully intimate heart of the relationship between […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Momuments Out of Molehills

The Debutante Ball Victory Gardens Theater, through August 10 Toteroonie…the Show for the Inner Child in You Second City E.T.C., through August 26 By Justin Hayford Aunt Joan stands slouched in her kitchen rhapsodizing over her cooking utensils. “Oh! I gotta tell you about this cake pan!” she drawls, flicking away an armada of crumbs […]

Posted inMusic

Average White Band

By Cara Jepsen It’s gotten easier to forget in recent years that radio programming isn’t about music but about delivering a demographic to advertisers, and that what’s been carefully packaged as a revolution for listeners–the modern rock radio format–is the simple result of the corporate world’s long-overdue recognition of the consumer bloc we all now […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Bailiwick Repertory. Heavy-handed and bewildering, Scott Cooper’s gender-altered adaptation for Bailiwick’s Pride series takes Shakespeare’s “how quickly bright things come to confusion” all too literally. The plot doesn’t thicken–it congeals. Here the fairies are gay males, and the “rude mechanicals” heterosexual females (except for Bottom, a stereotypical pushy male who wants […]

Posted inMusic


MUFFS Sure, they keep making the same record over and over again–brimming with short, guitar-driven, hook-laden songs and presided over by Kim Shattuck’s cougar-caught-in-a-trap snarl–but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Like the first two, the Muffs’ latest release, Happy Birthday to Me (Reprise), blows out one too-punk-for-pop, too-pop-for-punk gem after another. Singer-songwriter Shattuck […]

Posted inMusic


Fuck This quartet plays a low-key, shambling variety of pop music that’s less about carnality than about screwing with expectations. Whether it manifests itself as strange packaging (last year’s terrific Baby Loves a Funny Bunny looked like an oversize matchbook) or goofy stage props (bassist Ted Ellison festoons the stage with stuffed animals and windup […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SOFTCOPS, Green Highway Theater, at Stage Left Theatre. If you’ve read Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, his landmark investigation into the birth of the modern Western penal system, then Caryl Churchill’s Softcops, based on Foucault’s book, won’t offer you much. Lacking the political sophistication and theatrical flair of her best work, Churchill’s play glosses Foucault’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Explaining why he voted against a bill to ban discrimination against gays in June, California assemblyman and rancher Peter Frusetta told his colleagues, “I’ve seen thousands and thousands of [heifers and] three, and maybe at the top, four, that had the hormonal imbalance…that makes them shy away from bulls and take up with […]

Posted inFilm

A Different Kind of Swinger

There’s no getting around it: George of the Jungle is an amiable, highly ingratiating piece of lowbrow entertainment, and the audience of mainly young children and parents I saw it with on Saturday night clearly had a ball. So did I, for that matter. If consumer advice on where to take your kids is what’s […]

Posted inMusic

Trojan Horses

Spice Girls Spice (Virgin) Prodigy The Fat of the Land (Maverick/Warner Brothers) By Jim DeRogatis On the books, England just took a giant step to the left. In May the conservative Tories suffered their worst defeat since 1832, as former rocker Tony Blair became prime minister, the Labour Party took power by the largest margin […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: This letter is in response to your criticism of the female condom in your reply to “Frisbee of Love.” As the manufacturer and distributor of the Reality female condom, we would like to point out the many benefits of the female condom that you must have overlooked, given your comments. The female condom […]