Posted inMusic

Union

UNION Count the eponymously titled album by this group, which arrived this summer on the British label Naim Audio, among the year’s great surprises: it documents an impeccable trio that few people even knew existed. Not that any jazz head in Chicago would at this point question the impact pianist Laurence Hobgood’s leviathan chords and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Xsight! Performance Group

For many years Euripides’ The Bacchae has tantalized Xsight! artistic director Brian Jeffery. It must seem a natural for the man who helped create the 1989 sexual thriller/murder mystery What Are We Going to Do About Mary? and Xsight!’s 1990 religious satire, The Pope’s Toe, to explore the collision of religious faith, sexual passion, and […]

Posted inMusic

London Symphony Orchestra

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Sibelius’s praises are sung far more often than his pieces are played. To be sure, some of his stirring but lightweight tableaux–such as the patriotic Finlandia, the mordantly sentimental Valse triste, and two or three of the tone poems based on the Finnish national epic, Kalevala–do make the rounds, and his eccentrically […]

Posted inFilm

Cold Water

Not long before embarking on his comedy Irma Vep, Olivier Assayas directed this powerful 1994 feature about doomed teenage love as part of the excellent French TV series All the Boys and Girls in Their Time, in which various filmmakers (including Andre Techine, Chantal Akerman, and Claire Denis) dramatized stories set during their teenage years, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Looking at You, Kid

LOOKING AT YOU, KID, Windfall Productions, at Voltaire. Mary Wilds’s one-woman one-act resembles the recent movie Addicted to Love in that a scorned wife becomes so obsessed with the idea of catching her cheating husband in the act she stakes out his chippy’s apartment, observing everything that happens from a flat across the street. And […]

Posted inMusic

Larry Coryell Trio

LARRY CORYELL TRIO On the long and winding career path of guitarist Larry Coryell, there’s still no straightaway in sight. His previous three albums tackled Brazil and smooth jazz; on the recent Spaces Revisited (Shanachie) he reunited with old friend and archetypal jazz-rock drummer Billy Cobham for a return to the big bang of his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Mill on the Floss

THE MILL ON THE FLOSS, Vitalist Theatre, at the Blue Rider Theatre. It’s an exciting match, Elizabeth Carlin Metz’s kinetic staging and Helen Edmundson’s vibrant 1994 adaptation of George Eliot’s potent 1860 novel. Darin Wilson’s supple score and Dawn Arnold’s expressionistic choreography add even more urgency. Much more persuasive than Impulse Theatre’s half-baked local premiere, […]

Posted inMusic

Mohammad Reza Lotfi

MOHAMMAD REZA LOTFI The dearth of Middle Eastern music in America is certainly due in part to our own government’s stigmatization of all things Islamic, but in recent decades Islamic culture has turned on itself as well. In Khomeini’s Iran, for instance, public performance and distribution of music was almost immediately banned as “anti-Islamic,” and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Is it possible to have eyes of two different colors? I scoffed when I heard this at work recently, but others said it happens all the time, and one guy even claimed to know a woman who was “bi” (colored, that is). Are these people imagining things, or is it just that I’m a wuss […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Evil of Banality

Coffee With David Hauptschein and Joseph Fosco at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre, through December 16 Jurua at Randolph Street Gallery, through December 6 By Justin Hayford Each year on the first day of class I tell my students, “Enthusiasm is not a sin.” My admonition falls primarily on deaf ears. Ten weeks later they’ve proved themselves […]

Posted inMusic

Frank Lowe

FRANK LOWE Free jazz in the 90s has been marked by a rekindled interest in flamethrowing saxophonists–investigate the expanding discographies of David S. Ware, Charles Gayle, and Ivo Perelman if you doubt it. From the sound of his scorching debut, Black Beings (ESP), or his early duet with drummer Rashied Ali, Duo Exchange (Survival)–both from […]

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Days of the Week

Friday 12/5 – Thursday 12/11 DECEMBER by Mike Sula 5 FRIDAY Multiple births are Mother Nature’s way of insuring that enough puppies, rabbits, and rats survive to carry on the species. Humans and other primates are ostensibly better equipped to care for their young, who usually come out one at a time. So what does […]