Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny Griffin

JOHNNY GRIFFIN His boundless energy after five decades in jazz may amaze you, but if you’ve listened to him on disc, tenor saxist Johnny Griffin won’t surprise you. Over his lengthy career (he turns 71 on Saturday) his recordings have captured every nuance of his distinctive style: the breakneck legerdemain, the hairpin turns of his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mad Shak Dance Company

Molly Shanahan’s dances are never, ever easy–they tug the mind in one direction, only to abandon that tangent and take up another. Yet somehow they usually coalesce into a mysterious whole. Shanahan’s new solo, Sweet Ruthless, seems to be made up of snapshots or diary entries, memories of a love affair that’s over. Marked by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Wandering Pulitzer

By Michael Miner The Wandering Pulitzer Blair Kamin won a Pulitzer Prize last week, though every jury that read his stories wanted someone else to judge them. What Kamin does for the Tribune doesn’t fit neatly into a category. He’s the architecture critic, but his major opus in 1998, a series of articles on Chicago’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories The University of Plymouth in England announced in March that beginning in September it would offer a bachelor’s degree in surfing. The degree, formally known as surf science and technology, will offer research opportunities in surfboard, wet-suit, and accessory design. In March more than a thousand police officers in India completed a ten-day […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Maurice John Vaughn

MAURICE JOHN VAUGHN Alligator caused quite a stir on the Chicago blues scene back in 1988 when it put out Maurice John Vaughn’s Generic Blues Album, a self-produced disc the guitarist had issued two years before on his own Reecy label. The Alligator release won widespread acclaim, and Vaughn followed it with an appearance later […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a 46-year-old straight male who decided to check out the escort scene after ending a long-term relationship. I went up to Vancouver, B.C., on vacation and met a 23-year-old escort and fell madly in, well, something. She is my picture of a perfect woman, very romantic and a good conversationalist. I was totally […]

Posted inMusic

Alejandron Escovedo

The track listing for Alejandro Escovedo’s new studio album, Bourbonitis Blues (Bloodshot), his first in three years, makes it doubly clear that the Austin singer-songwriter isn’t exactly in a prolific phase. Of the nine cuts, only four are originals, and one of those, “Guilty,” appeared in a different version on With These Hands (Rykodisc) in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jerico the Fool and Darshan With Custer

Jerico the Fool and Darshan With Custer, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. It’s always a joy to watch Curious Theatre member Beau O’Reilly in action, and his appearance in Bryn Magnus’s elliptical monologue Jerico the Fool is no exception. Seated in a darkened corner of the Lunar Cabaret stage, O’Reilly delivers Magnus’s extended […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ronnie Baker Brooks

RONNIE BAKER BROOKS Ronnie Baker Brooks played his first gig in 1975, at the age of nine–when his father, guitarist Lonnie Brooks, invited him to sit in at a south-side club called Pepper’s Hideout. By 1986 he’d graduated to a full-time gig with dad’s band, and his 1998 solo debut, Golddigger (Watchdog), revealed a guitar […]