Posted inMusic

Pinetop Perkins

PINETOP PERKINS Even at the grand old age of 84, Pinetop Perkins sometimes sounds as if he’s discovering the glory of the blues for the first time. The pianist, who began his career in the jukes and barrelhouses of the Mississippi Delta in the late 20s and appeared for a time alongside Sonny Boy Williamson […]

Posted inMusic

Charlie Hunter & Pound for Pound

CHARLIE HUNTER & POUND FOR POUND Few musicians in the 90s have managed to personalize 70s funk as adeptly as guitarist Charlie Hunter–he digs a deep groove but lines it with silk. To do so he puts on a bit of a freak show, simultaneously playing bass lines and guitar solos on an eight-string guitar […]

Posted inMusic

Tom Varner-Ryan Shultz Quintet

TOM VARNER-RYAN SHULTZ QUINTET When Tom Varner last came to town, in 1996, he had agreed to spend almost a week working with four local strangers to present his own stark and sometimes challenging compositions. That alone would have qualified him as somewhat intrepid–but he’d already earned that description by deciding to play jazz on […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: Like you, my work entails providing folks with information about sexuality that is accurate and nonjudgmental. At times I have to wonder if you take that responsibility seriously. In a recent column, your advise [sic] to a young man is, “The next time you go for a visit, take him out, get him […]

Posted inMusic

Ravi Shankar

RAVI SHANKAR For many Americans, Ravi Shankar is Indian music, and it’s easy to picture him woodshedding somewhere in his native land as a young prodigy. But the tireless promoter of North Indian classical performance is in fact a lifelong globe-trotter–at age nine he left India with brother Uday Shankar’s dance troupe, which based itself […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Happy as Clams

dawson.qxd Reader, While Peter Margasak’s article in the 3/13 Reader [Post No Bills] was very well written, as his pieces always are, I feel compelled to comment on a couple of things. In my dealings with Zoo Records A and R man (now Minty Fresh guy) Jim Powers, I’ve always found him to be honest, […]

Posted inMusic

Assif Tsahar Trio

ASSIF TSAHAR TRIO I’ve often touted the strength and breadth of Chicago’s free-jazz and improvised-music scene, but it’s still dwarfed by what goes on in New York City. We have no one on par, for example, with brawny tenor players like Charles Gayle and David S. Ware, both of whom are well into middle age […]

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Spot Check

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY 4/10, HOUSE OF BLUES If you can get past the racist shtick of the name–though why should you?–you’re rewarded with stale fashion-model swing pop that makes the truckload of new ska bands sound downright innovative. These spats-sporting beach boys from Ventura, last heard on the Swingers sound track, claim to be […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ride With Attitude

mees.qxd Say what you want about the formal deficiencies of Will Staples’s drawing Slim Mixture [Our Town, April 3]; it makes a definite statement about contemporary art standards. Like the artist’s crude and forthright bid for attention, the cartoon figures that are clearly delineated and easily categorized draw low grades. But the blurred figure receives […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Aunt Dan and Lemon

Aunt Dan And Lemon, Terrapin Theatre, at TinFish Theatre. The contemplative reminiscence is Wallace Shawn’s genre, soliloquy and conversation are his tools, and the labyrinthine journey to discovery is his purpose. In Aunt Dan and Lemon the sickly Lenora, nicknamed Lemon, recalls a childhood summer spent absorbing the wisdom of her Aunt Dan, a wisdom […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul: 101 True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Healings, by Arielle Ford (Plume, $13.95). Synopsis: Deepak Chopra’s publicist presents inspirational stories of life-changing encounters with volcanoes and pyramids, as well as her own feelings of love for a dolphin. Representative quote: “Suddenly I was a bird.” Noteworthy flaw: Foreword by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Permission to Wander

Luna’s Gaze MASS Ensemble at the Chopin Theatre, through April 12 By Justin Hayford Courage is often misidentified in the performing arts. Critics make a habit of praising big, loud pieces for their daring, which is a bit like gauging the boldness of a Hollywood film by the number of exploding objects. Sure, the faster-louder […]

Posted inMusic

Bedhead

BEDHEAD With its third album, Transaction de Novo (Trance Syndicate), this somber Dallas quintet hasn’t exactly become extroverted, but by the time Bedhead cranks it up, near the end, on “Psychosomatica,” it’s clear that the band has a more masterful grip than ever on dynamics. Bedhead’s previous releases feature frail but pretty melodies fluttering out […]