Posted inMusic


HAYDEN In one of his surreal sight gags, Buster Keaton opens his front door and steps right over the threshold onto a busy street. That’s the best image I can think of to describe the tension between public and private that dominates the moody ballads of Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden Desser. His debut, Everything I Long […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Say Potatoe

BARNBURNER: A hot game. This phrase has been adopted by sports announcers nationwide, especially ABC’s Keith Jackson, but it originated in Indiana, where early high school basketball contests were played in barns. BIRD, OSCAR, DAMON: The first basketball game outside Massachusetts was played in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1893, and since then the sport has become […]

Posted inArts & Culture


OBJECTION! The Courtroom drama? Open Eye Productions, at O Bar & Cafe. After an all-too-brief period of inspired innovation in the early 90s, improv has mostly settled back into the rut it was in before: self-indulgent performances, go-nowhere experiments, and shows more entertaining for the performers than for the audience. This fully improvised jury trial […]

Posted inMusic

Pere Ubu

PERE UBU It’s been 20 years since Cleveland’s Pere Ubu released its epochal first album, The Modern Dance (recently reissued by Geffen), and during that time the band has gone through nearly 20 members and almost as many stylistic shifts. If 1995’s Ray Gun Suitcase was a retreat from Pere Ubu’s pop dalliance and back […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Anyone going to a Baubo Performance Project show expecting a polished, completely digested whole will be sorely disappointed. The women in this collective are much too interested in exploring and innovating–in finding new ways to mix dance, theater, music, and performance–to limit themselves to mass-market ideas and modes. Instead their shows resemble sketchbooks, packed as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Illinois Shakespeare Festival The 20-year-old Illinois Shakespeare Festival is the state’s largest repertory showcase for the Bard’s work. Supported by Illinois State University, it’s traditionally served as a stepping-stone for student actors, but this is no mere academic outreach program; its colorful, well-acted open-air productions also feature pro and semipro performers from Chicago’s off-Loop scene […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: A group of friends and I were having a raunchy night out at the Powerhouse in San Francisco. We noticed several blow-up dolls hanging from the rafters over the dance floor. A girlfriend and I yanked two down, deflated them, and snuck them out under our jackets. My friend was careless and lost […]

Posted inArts & Culture

No-Frill Thrills

Angels in America The Journeymen at European Repertory Company By Albert Williams “Very Steven Spielberg,” gasps the prophetic gay AIDS patient in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America as the rumbling approach of a winged messenger causes the walls of his New York apartment to shake. In the 1993 Broadway premiere of Kushner’s “gay fantasia on […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

JEB LOY NICHOLS 6/19, SCHUBAS; 6/20, GUINNESS FLEADH This Texas boy has an aesthetic that can politely be called cosmopolitan–he once shared a house with Neneh Cherry, producer Adrian Sherwood, and Ari Up from the Slits. That worldly fusion is evident on his promising 1997 debut, Lovers Knot (Capitol), where he blends down-home balladry, light […]

Posted inMusic

Ray Barretto & New World Spirit

RAY BARRETTO & NEW WORLD SPIRIT I could go on at length about what distinguishes percussionist Ray Barretto’s bands from most “Latin jazz” bands, but why bother when Barretto has spelled it out so simply himself? “Latin jazz…is a term I despise,” the conguero said not long ago. “We play jazz, with me providing the […]