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Ellen Christi

ELLEN CHRISTI Ellen Christi is a vocalist, but think twice before you call her a singer. That label connotes song, which connotes lyrics and lyricism–and Christi pledges allegiance to none of the above. She uses melody, of course, but in her arsenal it carries the same weight as a variety of other, less orthodox musical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Same Planet Different World

SAME PLANET DIFFERENT WORLD Well, not so very different. The name implies kids aiming for the outre; in fact they’re a year-old collective of six talented young people whose freshness, intelligence, and sense of discovery energize their work. Last January the three performers in Jason Ohlberg’s Trinity gave a mesmerizing sense of connection to a […]

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Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe

MICHAEL RAY & THE COSMIC KREWE If you didn’t already know high-voltage trumpeter Michael Ray lived and worked in New Orleans, you’d probably guess it: with the musical stew he calls the Cosmic Krewe, Ray acts as combination chef and voodoo priest, mixing up jazz and pop, soul and hip-hop, second-line R & B and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route By Tyler Cole My older brother called the other day and said he’d bought a house in Idaho, so I decided to drive out and take a look. I wanted to take Interstate 80, but a friend recommended Interstate 90 instead. He said that by taking Interstate 90, I could drive through […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Everybody: Once again it’s column time, and once again I didn’t take my Viagra. But I’ve decided to take it now as I sit down to write this week’s column, because the suspense is killing me. What effect will this little blue pill have on me? I simply must know! OK. I just put […]

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E.C. Scott

E.C. SCOTT California-based blues singer E.C. Scott knows as well as anyone how to milk every note for all the passion it’s got. But at the emotional crossroads where many of her peers veer down the showy histrionic route, shrieking and wailing, Scott leans back on toughness of timbre and tonal intensity. On her third […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

While the Bulls were playing the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, they were also competing against the Utah Jazz in a race to the championship series. The Jazz had already established themselves as the top threat to the Bulls, beating the Bulls in both games of their home-and-home series. When the two teams […]

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Sweet Self-Indulgence

Sonic Youth at the Riviera, May 16 By Monica Kendrick Every one of the professional fans at South by Southwest was looking for those proverbial mindblowing unknowns playing in the bathroom of some barbecue joint. I kept my ears open too, knowing I’d look like an idiot if I told the truth: the band that […]

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Spot Check

BRAID 5/29, METRO With three albums and several hundred gigs under its belt, this downstate quartet just keeps on sweatin’, logging man-hours as though grace were won by sheer effort. Its third album, Frame and Canvas (Polyvinyl), is a tight slab of stop-and-start boy rock that for me evokes the lurching feeling of having two […]

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The Glass Ceiling

The Gut Girls Mary-Arrchie Theatre By Carol Burbank The idea that Americans can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps is so strong that we have some trouble imagining class identity, much less acknowledging the oppressive stereotypes that obscure working-class culture. As a result good contemporary plays about working-class people are rare. Sure, we have […]

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Two by Weill

TWO BY WEILL Written in 1929 to capitalize on their previous year’s hit, The Threepenny Opera, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s musical Happy End flopped in its premiere, and its jumbled script has dissuaded many a theater from attempting to revive it in the years since. Fortunately there’s an alternative. The Happy End Songspiel (sung […]

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Stanley Turrentine

STANLEY TURRENTINE Now nearly 65, and having spent two-thirds of his life in the public ear, the tough-talkin’ tenor man Stanley Turrentine just keeps steaming along. Grounded in the hard bop of the 1950s, Turrentine quickly learned to apply the harmonic sophistication of that idiom to the simple, catchy yearnings of Motown and its various […]