Posted inArts & Culture

Beyond Objectification

Patricia Buckley at Gary Marks, through September 5 Matthew Schultz: Purveyors of Human Parts Since 1463 at Oskar Friedl, through September 30 By Fred Camper Patricia Buckley and Matthew Schultz have been making visual art seriously for only the last several years, creating assemblages, including found objects, that are edgy and disturbing. On occasion their […]

Posted inMusic

Lucinda Williams/ Jim Lauderdale

LUCINDA WILLIAMS/JIM LAUDERDALE Lucinda Williams infamously spent years making her new album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Mercury), sound just right–so what happens when she has to perform those songs live, with no opportunity to fix the passages that displease her? Not to worry. She’s lived with these “new” songs for ages now–it’s been […]

Posted inFilm

Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers

Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers Shot before and shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre, Wu Wenguang’s 1990 video ushered in a new documentary style in China, focusing on urban issues and operating outside the cultural bureaucracy. The five young artists he profiles–a writer, a photographer, two painters, and a director of avant-garde theater–reject a […]

Posted inMusic

Mavericks/BR5-49

MAVERICKS/BR5-49 A few years ago this double bill would have testified to nonmainstream country’s hard-won success in Nashville, but not now: the Mavericks may still work out of Music City, but stylistically they’re a million miles away, while BR5-49, hemmed in by the neotraditionalism that got them noticed in the first place, are taking a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

My next-door neighbors just had a baby, announcing the birth with a pink lawn sign that says, “It’s a girl!” However, the space where you’re supposed to fill in the name of the baby was left blank. When my sister and her friend Jenn asked why it was blank, I suggested that maybe our neighbors […]

Posted inFilm

Next Stop Wonderland

Next Stop Wonderland The Darien Gap (1995)–also written by Lyn Vaus and director Brad Anderson–proved that talky slacker movies could be self-indulgent without being smarmy, and this low-key romantic comedy proves that destiny-powered love stories can be formulaic without being predictable. When her boyfriend leaves her with a Dear Jane videotape, Erin (Hope Davis), who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 8/28 – Thursday 9/3 AUGUST By Cara Jepsen 28 FRIDAY Last year five Cuban artists spent seven weeks in this country as part of a program “to overcome political and cultural barriers.” The results are highlighted in 1990s Art From Cuba, a new exhibit at the School of the Art Institute. Works include Tania […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I used to have a problem staying interested in plants. My first interest in the natural world was birds. Birds are not only beautiful but endlessly active. They soar so high you can barely see them. They make short, quick flights from perches on tree limbs to capture flying insects. They run after retreating waves […]

Posted inMusic

Concert of Remembrance

CONCERT OF REMEMBRANCE The Terezin Collection–a sampler of four short works composed by eminent Jewish musicians imprisoned in the “model” concentration camp at Theresienstadt, near Prague–isn’t a showcase of masterpieces. But the music interests us because it inspired the composers’ fellow inmates during horrific hardships; it moves us because these musicians had the strength and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Susan Hadley’s new piece for Hubbard Street, Blue Grass, is filled with good ideas and agreeable surprises. Set to music by Nashville fiddler Mark O’Connor and his guests (Pinchas Zukerman, among others), it doesn’t simply ride the musical waves of Cajun, western swing, and bluegrass; rather Hadley reverses our expectations, both […]