Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: My girlfriend is a survivor of repeated sexual abuse. As a result she suffered from severe depression, masochism, an eating disorder, and frigidity. After many years of therapy, she is a brand-new person–strong, self-confident, happy, and finally able to truly commit to emotional intimacy. There’s just one problem: she still won’t have sex. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Grid

Barbara Koenen: Buddha at the Hot Dog Stand at Ten in One, through December 20 By Fred Camper What did the Buddha say at the hot dog stand? “Make me one with everything.” –quoted in Barbara Koenen’s exhibition checklist Some observers, myself included, routinely complain about the one-liner form of current art–jokes you get in […]

Posted inMusic

Jimmy Smith & Phil Upchurch

JIMMY SMITH & PHIL UPCHURCH In his very first recordings, in the mid-50s, Jimmy Smith managed to both turn the Hammond B-3 organ into a bona fide jazz instrument and define its sound for the next 15 years. To this day, he continues to emphasize the B-3’s capacity for creating excitement, taking advantage of its […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SCAPIN, American Theater Company. Imagine Moliere crossed with the Marx Brothers and you’ll get the general idea of this adaptation of Moliere’s That Scoundrel Scapin. Neovaudevillian Bill Irwin and Mark O’Donnell have tarted up this 17th-century farce–in which moonstruck lovers marry against their parents’ will, long-lost children miraculously reappear, and the wily servant Scapin makes […]

Posted inMusic

Jon Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts

JON LANGFORD & THE PINE VALLEY COSMONAUTS Jon Langford plays around town so often–with the Waco Brothers, Skull Orchard, and even the bicontinental Mekons–that it’s easy to get lax about checking out yet another one of the Welsh-born Chicago resident’s bands. But to truly understand what makes those other outfits tick, it helps to see […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Empty Space

Space Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Adam Langer Watching Tina Landau’s philosophical meditation on psychology and astronomy is like staring up at a starry sky: gazing at the moon and planets and constellations tends to make the earth–including Landau’s play–seem pretty damned insignificant. Unable to support the weight of its philosophical aspirations, Space is beautiful but […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ACUMEN NATION 12/12, METRO Normally my view is that the remix phenomenon has gotten way out of hand, but in the case of Acumen Nation, I have to admit that sometimes an additional cook or two can improve the broth. I should know: these local industrial rockers have sent me every possible permutation of their […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Playing Dirty

barnett.qxd Dear Editor: I am writing about the IVI-IPO article that was in your November 7, 1997, issue [“Fighting Over Scraps”] and about Lois Dobry’s letter that was in the November 28 issue. It shocked me to see my old friend Lois denying that anti-Semitism is used in campaigns in her chapter of IVI-IPO, the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

..And Secret Keepers

By Elana Seifert Last week a group of West Town shopkeepers dodged a bullet when the city shelved a plan to bulldoze their businesses to make way for a parking lot. Yet the merchants hardly feel relieved. They’re claiming some people still want them out. Their worries began in late October, when a letter from […]

Posted inFilm

A Star Is Born

Even in this incomplete restoration George Cukor’s 1954 musical remake of the 1937 Hollywood drama is devastating. Judy Garland plays a young singer discovered by aging, alcoholic star Norman Maine (James Mason), who helps her to fame as “Vicki Lester” even as his career slips. Garland gives a deeply affecting performance–halting, volatile, unsure of herself […]

Posted inMusic

Anonymous 4

ANONYMOUS 4 Attending an Anonymous 4 concert is like entering a cloister where disagreeable thoughts are banished and the spirit is cleansed by soothing, unearthly voices. Perhaps that accounts for the a cappella quartet’s rising popularity in these incivil times; perhaps it also explains why the group is warmly embraced by New Agers. But Anonymous […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Judicious Evaluations

oberman.qxd Your November 28 issue contained letters concerning your November 7 story on IVI-IPO [“Fighting Over Scraps”]. We are writing to correct certain misapprehensions about judicial evaluations in general, and those of the council in particular. The Chicago Council of Lawyers conducts judicial evaluations by reviewing a questionnaire provided by the candidate. An investigator contacts […]

Posted inMusic

Art Ensemble of Chicago

ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Christened in 1967, the flagship of the AACM this year sailed into its fourth decade, albeit with fewer scheduled departures: no longer the primary occupation of its members, the AEC reassembles but several times each year, and by my reckoning, it has played its hometown only twice this decade. When reedists […]