Posted inFilm

Echoes of Old Hollywood

Destiny Rating *** A must see Directed by Youssef Chahine Written by Chahine and Khaled Youssef With Nour el-Cherif, Laila Eloui, Mahmoud Hemeida, Safia el-Emary, Mohamed Mounir, Khaled el-Nabaoui, Abdallah Mahmoud, and Ahmed Fouad-Selim. The Adopted Son Rating *** A must see Directed by Aktan Abdikalikov Written by Abdikalikov, Avtandil Adikulov, and Marat Sarulu With […]

Posted inMusic

Andy Bey

ANDY BEY When velvet-voiced baritone Andy Bey released last year’s ravishing Shades of Bey (Evidence), he overcame the second-biggest obstacle on his road back to grace after two decades of obscurity: he proved that Ballads, Blues & Bey, the 1996 album announcing his return, hadn’t been a fluke. Even those of us who fondly remember […]

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Cesar Rosas

CESAR ROSAS Soul Disguise (Rykodisc), the solo debut from Los Lobos cofounder Cesar Rosas, reveals who’s been fighting hardest to keep the roots showing on the veteran East LA group’s increasingly multifaceted records. In fact, if David Hidalgo had only chipped in some vocals here and there, I could easily file this album among middle-period […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brilliant Traces

Brilliant Traces, Piven Theatre Workshop. Despite its unusual premise–a distraught young woman in a wedding dress stumbles into a lone oil rigger’s remote cabin during a blinding Alaskan snowstorm–Cindy Lou Johnson’s Brilliant Traces has the undeniable atmosphere of a therapist’s office. To distract us from reading ahead in this narrative, the technical team must convince […]

Posted inMusic

African Spleen

The Music in My Head by Mark Hudson (Jonathan Cape) The Music in My Head: Indispensable Classics and Unknown Gems From the Golden Age of African Pop (Stern’s Africa) By Kevin John Last week I had a dream in which I was on a bus in Senegal. I didn’t know anyone on the bus and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rutherford & Son

Rutherford & Son, Annex Theater Company, at the Boxer Rebellion Theater. From a purely historical standpoint, Githa Sowerby’s 1912 melodrama is of some interest as an example of the populist fare beloved by working-class audiences in turn-of-the-century Britain. And the play’s cynicism about domestic life–a common attitude among the more progressive playwrights of the time–has […]

Posted inFilm

Forces of Evil

Forces of Nature Rating * Has redeeming facet Directed by Bronwen Hughes Written by Marc Lawrence With Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Maura Tierney, Steve Zahn, and Blythe Danner. By Gina Fattore Forces of Nature, starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, was the highest-grossing movie in the country the weekend it opened. Thousands of moviegoers–I’m guessing […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

More black people are buying homes, but they’re all buying in the same places, reports the Woodstock Institute in a recent press release. If anything, home-owner segregation is getting worse. “By 1995-1996, 45 percent of African-American home buyers were moving into neighborhoods in which at least 75 percent of buyers were African-American, compared with only […]

Posted inMusic

Robbie Hunsinger Quartet

ROBBIE HUNSINGER QUARTET Call it the miseducation of Robbie Hunsinger: a classically trained double-reed player, proficient on the oboe and several of its cousins, takes a left turn from Music of the Baroque and sinks waist deep in Chicago’s fertile avant-garde–performing with Ken Vandermark, Georg GrŠwe, and legendary visitors like Evan Parker and Joseph Jarman. […]

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Gourds

GOURDS When I first learned that Austin’s Gourds were covering the Snoop Doggy Dogg hit “Gin and Juice,” I felt a little sick that this truly twisted roots band would resort to Weird Al-style novelty tricks. In fact, on last year’s EP Gogitchyershinebox (Watermelon), they made a great song out of it, a skittering, mandolin-driven, […]

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Collected Stories

COLLECTED STORIES, Organic Theater Company. I never believed the old theater saw that 90 percent of direction is casting–until I watched Ina Marlowe’s staging of Donald Margulies’s beautifully written two-person play. Every gesture, every pause, every breath from Roslyn Alexander as a veteran writer and Jessica Young as her young student adds to the drama […]

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Susie Ibarra & Assif Tsahar

SUSIE IBARRA & ASSIF TSAHAR Susie Ibarra has become the free-jazz drummer of choice in New York these days, and it’s not hard to hear why. Only 28, she has developed a powerful free attack–meterless, tonally rich, melodic, and muscular–and she has a deep natural swing. Much has been made of her knowledge of Indonesian […]