Posted inMusic

Indo-Pak Jazz Coalition

INDO-PAK JAZZ COALITION Jazz and Indian music have a sketchy history together–a bit surprising, when you consider how much they have in common. Like jazz, the classical traditions of the subcontinent make emphatic use of improvisation–albeit within the regimented restrictions of raga, which commands the use of certain rhythms, scales, and ornamentations in a given […]

Posted inArts & Culture

This Side of Strange

THIS SIDE OF STRANGE: FOUR SHORT PLAYS AND ONE UGLY ONE, Annex Theatre Company, at Live Bait Theater. This evening of five short plays includes its share of literary cliches. In Michael Mark Chemers’s Innocuous Remark, casual lovers make literally generic conversation (“Teasing Banter,” “Ambiguous Reply”), and his Screamer, a spoof of The Dick Van […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Our Town

OUR TOWN, Steppenwolf Theatre’s Arts Exchange Program. Thornton Wilder’s inexhaustible 1938 play tests the universal in the particular. The playwright shows us 12 years in the life of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire–where two neighbor kids fall in love, marry, and lose each other–as felt by the living and judged by the dead. A darker play […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dear Liar

DEAR LIAR It’s criminal that Chicago audiences should have to see Julie Harris, one of America’s finest actresses, in a piece of shallow claptrap like The Gin Game, now playing at the Royal George. Happily, she’s spending her night off next week in a work better suited to her abilities: Dear Liar, Jerome Kilty’s readers-theater […]

Posted inMusic

Anthony Davis

ANTHONY DAVIS Anthony Davis sometimes gets a bum rap for being “too academic.” For straight-ahead jazz fans, that’s code for anyone who dares to think before he swings; for devotees of free music it often indicates that someone has ties to the stuffy classical realm. But since studying music at Yale, where the pianist and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

New Rules?

markow.qxd Fred Camper in his review of the “Electronic Immersions” show (October 10) shows that he is both a jealous and frustrated human being. Jealous because the electronic art world has passed him by and frustrated because he does not have the ability to understand it. His comments about Dan Sandin, Joan Truckenbrod, Joe Reitzer, […]

Posted inMusic

Mike Watt

MIKE WATT On the surface, Mike Watt couldn’t do anything more at odds with his past than release a “punk-rock opera,” but that’s how he’s billing his second solo album, Contemplating the Engine Room (Columbia). As the bass player for the legendary Minutemen, Watt vowed to always “jam econo,” whereas the phrase “rock opera” brings […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: The AIDS crisis is over? In case you missed the papers last week, here are some clippings you might find interesting: the new drugs are already failing half the people taking them. Nothing has changed, idiot. Someone ought to put a bullet in your head. –HIV Positive Gay Man Hey, HPGM: Thanks for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Unknown pleasures

Attributed to: Anomalous at the Better Weimaraner Gallery, through November 1 Margaret Welsh: Pure Moods at Chicago Project Room, through November 2 By Fred Camper Artists, from students to stars like Cindy Sherman, have of late focused on themselves, their own biographies and bodies. At worst, such art is little different from a personal Web […]

Posted inFilm

Telling Lies in America

Telling Lies in America Small, quiet virtues are rare enough in American movies these days, but to find them in a bittersweet autobiographical script by none other than Joe Eszterhas–about growing up as a green Hungarian immigrant in early 60s Cleveland–is a genuine shock. Yet I have to admit that earlier Eszterhas-scripted movies such as […]

Posted inMusic

Stardom’s Outer Limits

The Who Lifehouse & Quadrophenia Demos (Primadonna) By Jim Dorling Since the 60s rock musicians have fought to distance themselves from the banality of the larger entertainment industry–pop music is entertainment, but rock is a way of life. The total absorption of hippies, punks, headbangers, and Deadheads in their respective subcultures suggests that rock has […]