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Posted inMusic

His Majestie’s Clerkes

HIS MAJESTIE’S CLERKES In 1993 Frank Ferko wrote a set of motets for His Majestie’s Clerkes that were based on the works of the 12th-century German abbess Hildegard von Bingen. They displayed not only erudition but a keen understanding of how elastic music should be in conveying the meaning of a text, as they adroitly […]

Posted inMusic

Sierra Maestra

SIERRA MAESTRA Thanks to the twin roots projects guitarist Ry Cooder threw his weight behind in 1997–the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All Stars’ Grammy-nominated A toda Cuba le gusta–and the meteoric rise of trumpeter Jesus Alema–y’s Cubanismo!, the current level of interest in Cuban music rivals the 50s mambo craze. But […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I am a 19-year-old male. Three months ago I began going out with my best friend of three years. Just before we started dating, she told me she has genital herpes. I love her, so I am staying with her. My chances of catching herpes from her seem slim, and we use as […]

Posted inMusic

Crown Royals

CROWN ROYALS Old-school funk, soul, and R & B have returned from the 99-cent bin with a vengeance in the last couple years–try to find a soul-music fan who hasn’t heard of the Dusty Groove imprint or jazz funksters the Pharaohs, back from the tomb after more than 20 years. So it’s easy to forget […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stray Dogs

Stray Dogs, Profiles Theatre. Julie Jensen’s plays are not neatly packaged little fables. The worlds occupied by her characters crawl with the messy, contradictory, often grotesquely banal quirks of real life. So when two allegedly competent adults overlook several opportunities to disarm the drunken bully threatening them with a .22 rifle in Stray Dogs, the […]

Posted inMusic


SILOS If you weren’t paying attention, you might have taken the extended absence of a new Silos album to mean that the band’s 14-year career was creaking to a close. But in the fall, the “band”–which as always means Walter Salas-Humara and whoever he feels like playing with–quietly released Heater, its first studio album in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The View From Inside

First I would like to thank Steve Bogira for his article “Senseless Sentences” [January 8]. It showed a horrible but true reality. Also to Margaret Thom, Dave Homiak, and Joanne Archibald for seeing that so much is wasted when people are put in prison nowadays [Letters, January 29]. I am writing from firsthand experience. During […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Who the Hell Is Juliette?

Who the Hell Is Juliette? Gleefully mixing fact and fiction, this 1998 mockumentary fabricates the story of Yuliet, a 16-year-old Havana hooker who may or may not be the Yuliet Ortega playing the role. Mexican director Carlos Marcovich met Ortega on a trip to Cuba and cast her in a music video as the younger […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Talking About Godard

TALKING ABOUT GODARD, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. Though references to classics like Contempt and Breathless abound, you’d be hard-pressed to say that Beau O’Reilly’s script is solely a discourse on French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Not that the play’s title is deceptive: Godard enthusiast Mary Barnes is perpetually bent on bringing […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BALLYDOWSE 2/19, big Horse Here’s one more reason to keep opening the mail: The Land, the Bread, and the People (Grrr), a great and totally unheralded record by Ballydowse, a band whose nine members belong to the Jesus People USA commune in Uptown. They wear their anticorporate, antifascist politics on their sleeves, though their message […]

Posted inMusic

Astrud Gilberto

ASTRUD GILBERTO She could never really carry a tune–rather, she’d sort of bobble the melody, precariously balancing it between the notes that ran flat and ones that strayed a little sharp–and her voice packed all the punch of a hungry kitten’s mew. But that didn’t stop Astrud Gilberto from becoming a pop icon in 1964, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kill Whitey

KILL WHITEY, Black Comedy Underground, at Donny’s Skybox Studio. Chicago has long needed a group like the Black Comedy Underground. Not just because the improv comedy scene, still dominated by white males, could use shaking up but because there’s so much potential comic material in African-American life, and only African-Americans can mine this territory without […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Survival Stories

The Vagina Monologues at Goodman Theatre Studio How I Learned to Drive Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie By Carol Burbank Last weekend director Susan V. Booth reminded audiences once again that feminist theater can both pack an emotional punch and be fabulously entertaining. Art and politics were the […]