Posted inArts & Culture

Kenny Davern-Eddie Higgins Quartet

KENNY DAVERN-EDDIE HIGGINS QUARTET When bebop arrived a half century ago, it made swing and its predecessors–New Orleans jazz and its offshoots in Chicago and New York–sound suddenly old. And despite the occasional faddish revival, those forms stopped really evolving; they’ve become historical artifacts, and in a cable-modem world few musicians still trouble themselves to […]

Posted inMusic

Thinking Fellers

Pavement Terror Twilight (Matador) Mekons I Have Been to Heaven and Back: Hen’s Teeth and Other Lost Fragments of Unpopular Culture Vol. 1 By Josh Goldfein The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. –Archilochus In his 1953 essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” liberal humanist Isaiah Berlin described two kinds […]

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Peggy Sue Got Married

PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. In 1986–well before Pleasantville contrasted Eisenhower era “innocence” with the hip present–Arlene Sarner and Jerry Leichtling wryly depicted a 42-year-old mother of two time traveling from her 20th high school reunion back to her senior prom. Inevitably, Peggy Sue’s feminist sensibilities clash with sexual role-playing circa 1960, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

The girl’s about seven years old. She’s holding hands with her brother, who’s a couple years younger. They’re following their father out of the video section of the Sulzer library. “Please, please,” the girl calls out as they walk along a wall of books. The father continues toward the exit. He has a couple of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Miriam Fried

MIRIAM FRIED Violinist Miriam Fried, born in Romania in 1946 and raised in Israel, has been working the international concert circuit steadily since her New York debut in 1969, but she doesn’t enjoy anything like the marquee status of a much younger soloist like Sarah Chang. Her timing’s at least partly to blame: though she […]

Posted inMusic

Cuban Snowball

Cuban Snowball When guitarist and producer Ry Cooder headed to Havana in 1996 to record the collaborative efforts of African and Cuban musicians, he had no idea he was about to launch a cottage industry. It began with an abrupt change in plans: upon arriving, Cooder learned that the Africans couldn’t make it, so he […]

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Bobby Rush

BOBBY RUSH Lately rap and shock-rock acts have been monopolizing the attention of America’s public moralists so expertly that you wouldn’t expect a blues artist to draw their fire, but this year Kentucky officials cut singer and harpist Bobby Rush from the lineup of the state’s Hot August Blues Festival. They were apparently afraid his […]

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Self Helf, or the Tower of Psychobabble

SELF HELP, OR THE TOWER OF PSYCHOBABBLE, Bailiwick Repertory. LA playwright Clark Carlton’s rather overwritten dating comedy–the latest installment in Bailiwick’s gay-themed “Pride ’99” series–indulges in a lot of analytical excesses for a play that purports to ridicule our dependence on shrinkspeak and talk therapy. A sensible 35-year-old gay screenwriter cursed with half-baked relationships cures […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m a gay black male with a foot fetish. I’ve tried to indulge my fetish with hustlers, but either they were not interested or I wasn’t attracted to their feet. However, I have a straight male friend with perfect feet. He knows I’m gay and that I have a foot fetish. Should I ask him […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Creeping Menace

Sarah Sze: Many a Slip at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through August 1 By Mark Swartz If Sarah Sze’s shopping list had fallen into your hands a few months ago, you might have thought twice about returning it to her–for her own good. Razor blades, pushpins, sewing shears, pills, and other potentially hazardous materials […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SPEED-THE-PLOW, Thirsty Theater, at the Pilsen Theatre. Actors trying to conquer David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow–or just get through it adequately–have got to be exceedingly precise. Yet Mamet offers hardly a stage direction in this morality play about power and purity in the Hollywood film industry, and he packs his dialogue with sentence fragments and unfinished thoughts. […]