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Posted inMusic

Tyrone Davis/ Otis Clay

TYRONE DAVIS/OTIS CLAY Veteran vocalist Tyrone Davis is one of Chicago’s most influential and best-loved R & B artists. He got his start in the 60s on the west side, waxing several sides for the Four Brothers label before 1968’s “Can I Change My Mind,” on Dakar, catapulted him into the national consciousness. He followed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Crisis of Leadership

Chicago Opera Theater By Sarah Bryan Miller Opera was once ruled by sopranos–and to a smaller extent primos uomos–with whims of iron and the ability to toss a company-paralyzing fit on the slightest pretext. Composers hastened to write them arias that would show off their voices to the greatest possible advantage, and all other considerations […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Several times each summer Doug Taron walks a precisely plotted route through Bluff Springs Fen and counts butterflies. He notes his starting and finishing time and records each sighting along the way. His tally sheet is divided into five columns so he can separate the insects seen under the shade of the old burr oaks […]

Posted inFilm

The Unobservant Voyeur

Fetishes Rating * Has redeeming facet Directed by Nick Broomfield By Bill Stamets When a director like Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance in his own film, it’s as a joke, a garnish. Even when Martin Scorsese plays a minor but symbolic character–aiming a spotlight (After Hours), a camera (The Age of Innocence), or a […]

Posted inMusic


GHOST A couple months ago I read an interview with a Japanese pundit who deemed himself a misfit and a nonconformist, in part because he wore a pink argyle sweater to work rather than a business suit. I wonder what the average citizen over there makes of Ghost, a longhaired Japanese combo whose multihued robes […]

Posted inMusic

Lukas Foss and Richard Stoltzman

LUKAS FOSS AND RICHARD STOLTZMAN For much of his career, composer, conductor, pianist, and educator Lukas Foss worked in the shadow of his contemporary Leonard Bernstein, taking assignments in Buffalo and Milwaukee and along the way compiling an impressive, if unclassifiable, body of work. Now 75, Foss is finally being recognized as a true American […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Harbor, Great Beast Theater, at Urbus Orbis. Veteran playwright Robert Patrick in Harbor, receiving its midwest premiere by the Great Beast Theater, delivers a wistful elegy to the New York stage. Likening it to the city’s harbor, he suggests it was once a place of great traffic and commerce but is now merely the “ancient […]

Posted inMusic

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys

BIG SANDY AND HIS FLY-RITE BOYS These days it’s pretty hard to tell one rockabilly revivalist from the other, much less get juiced about what they do. They’ve all got the vintage duds and vintage gear, and they all cover the obscure nuggets, but they’re all too reverent to bring anything distinctive to the party. […]

Posted inMusic

Ray Wylie Hubbard

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD Since resurfacing a few years ago after almost two decades of relative obscurity, Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard has tempered the brusque impulsiveness that inspired his “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” a tune Jerry Jeff Walker turned into something of an anthem for the outlaw-country movement. His new album, Dangerous Spirits (Philo), […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Don’t Use the L Word

comerfor.qxd Ben Joravsky summarily stereotyped gubernatorial contender John Schmidt as a stalwart liberal [Neighborhood News, August 1]. The eclectic Schmidt is an amicable moderate. A vintage liberal would denounce capital punishment, loathe abortion, and be incapable of generating ample money from the private sector. Furthermore, implacable liberalism embraces vegetarianism, animal welfare, and ecological exigencies while […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Long View

Gordon Matta-Clark at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, through August 15 Mary Brogger at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through September 28 James Drake at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, through August 15 By Fred Camper The work of Gordon Matta- Clark, Mary Brogger, and James Drake recalls the decade beginning about 1965, when attempts to efface the distinctions […]