Posted inNews & Politics

Don’t Blame Castro

Dear Peter Margasak: I decided to wait until seeing the movie Buena Vista Social Club before responding to your article in the June 25 Reader because I wanted to see if the movie actually suggested that the reason the musicians were “forgotten” was because Fidel Castro tried to eradicate them in preference to the nueva […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Caetano Veloso

CAETANO VELOSO “Pra ninguem” (“For No One”), the final song on Caetano Veloso’s superb 1998 album, Livro (“Book”), is little more than a series of shout-outs to great Brazilian singers and the songs they sang–“Djavan singing ‘Drao’ / Chico singing ‘Exaltacao a mangueira’”–until the final couplet of each verse, when he warbles, “Better than this […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Don’t Blame Communism

Peter Margasak’s Post No Bills article about Buena Vista Social Club [June 25] is sort of the kind of sweet, endearing story you would expect when writing about exotic octogenarians–it is also so full of distortions and misinformation that it could have come from a press release issued by the Cuban American Foundation. To claim […]

Posted inMusic

8 Bold Souls

8 BOLD SOULS Saxist and composer Edward Wilkerson’s longstanding octet 8 Bold Souls remains not just viable but exciting. Wilkerson’s open-ended compositions and detailed arrangements have always compressed jazz history, leapfrogging from its African roots to Duke Ellington’s small bands of the 30s all the way to postfreedom improvisation, but over the years he’s explored […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Andrew Weatherall

Andrew Weatherall DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall’s early contributions to England’s rave scene were extremely influential, but that doesn’t mean you should waste your time listening to them. Weatherall’s production ideas helped initiate Primal Scream’s short-lived dalliance with dance culture in the early 90s and inspired the exploding Manchester scene; he remixed their hit “Loaded” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

CHICAGO YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Among the junior-league orchestras in the Chicago area, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra lately has been running a close second to the Civic, which is backed by the resources of its parent organization, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Some of the credit for the success of the independent CYSO, which has been […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Proud of Dan

Kudos to Dan Savage for his June 25 “Pride and Prejudice” think piece. It’s often a slippery slope from an ascriptive group characteristic being a basis for stigma to being a basis for hubris. This goes for a wide range of characteristics besides sexual orientation, including race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, and many more. In […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“I have found that a successful legal career requires not only hard work, but also a supportive environment within a firm, flexibility and keeping your sense of humor,” Chicago attorney Debbie Schavey Ruff tells Di Mari Ricker in Student Lawyer (April). Ruff certainly needed her sense of humor in her first job out of law […]

Posted inArts & Culture


LOOPER If Looper’s Stuart David weren’t the bassist for Glasgow indie faves Belle and Sebastian, his new Up a Tree (Sub Pop) would probably be dismissed as little more than a nice oddity, but here he is on a U.S. tour that brings him to town for not one but two gigs. Certainly there’s something […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cairo Station

Reportedly (and understandably) Youssef Chahine’s most popular film among Egyptians, this gritty and relatively early (1958) black-and-white masterpiece also features his most impressive acting turn, as a crippled news vendor working at the title railroad station. The adroit interweaving of various miniplots around the station is matched by a heady mix of moods and genres: […]