Posted inArts & Culture

David Daniels

DAVID DANIELS In the 17th and 18th centuries an exceptional boy soprano could hope for the kind of stardom pop divas enjoy today–if he ensured his voice would never break. Castrati originally sang alto and soprano parts in church services closed to women, but at the peak of their fashionability a new genre, opera seria, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

You Dirty Rat

Dear editor: I read with interest (and, I admit, some amusement) Howard L.’s article, “Confessions of a Lab Rat,” in the June 25 issue. However, as a former scientist who used to conduct studies very similar to that in which Mr. L. participated, I feel compelled to make clear to him and to the public […]

Posted inArts & Culture

American Analog Set

AMERICAN ANALOG SET On their third and best album, The Golden Band (Emperor Jones), this Fort Worth quintet’s fragile pop songs–constructed of gently strummed guitars, brittle but uncluttered bass lines, brushed drums, hushed organ chords, pretty piano arpeggios, and the occasional cool vibraphone riff–float comfortably between the obvious reference points. Even the 60s nods that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daughters From the Stars: Nis Bundor

If anyone can bring anthropologized history out of the dust of display cases and into the present, it’s Spiderwoman Theater, one of the best-known avant-garde women’s performance troupes in the United States. Company members Muriel and Gloria Miguel were impressive in Lifeline Theatre’s 1998 adaptation of Louise Erdrich’s novel Love Medicine, but the three-member troupe’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Excercise in Abject Narcissism

After wading through Richard Meltzer’s convoluted bullshit titled “Vinyl Reckoning” [July 2], I remembered why I quit reading so-called rock criticism a short time after the disgusting genre reared its ugly little head. Similar to Meltzer’s crapola, it was more of an exercise in abject narcissism than it was a review of any record. Even […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cerqua Rivera Art Experience

There’s something theatrical, something oversize and sensuous about Wilfredo Rivera’s choreography no matter what the subject. In Black Country he uses a ballet bar to represent intractable diseases like cancer and AIDS, but the movement is sultry and luscious: dancers hang from the bars like ripe fruit ready to fall. Set to Joe Cerqua’s bluesy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dog Tales

DOG TALES, at Live Bait Theater. Jim Carrane is a funny guy, yet his one-man show made me sad. The program describes all the pieces in this year’s “Fillet of Solo” series as “portraits of characters in transition,” but this man is plain stuck, uncomfortable in his adolescent existence yet unable to make the leap […]

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Lone Star/Laundry and Bourbon

LONE STAR/LAUNDRY AND BOURBON, CollaborAction Theatre Company, at Stage Left Theatre. The women of Laundry and Bourbon lament their present domesticity and reminisce about their lost virginity as they swill whiskey and “Co’cola” beneath the clothesline; meanwhile the men in Lone Star relive their legendary war experiences and road trips while imbibing Texas’s finest in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“Chicago lags far behind many other major cities in the reduction of violent crime,” states the Chicago Crime Commission’s “Action Alert” (Spring). “New York, for example, has reduced the number of murders since 1990 by 73%–Chicago by only 18%. Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and other cities have also seen a remarkable drop in homicides, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dragontales

DRAGONTALES, Factory Theater Company. A great deal of discipline went into this imaginative 65-minute mime, mask, and movement piece. Written and directed by Molly Brennan–one of the Factory’s most dedicated adapters and performers–this whimsical play intertwines three dragon-related tales and features 40 prickly and primitive masks by Brennan and Ryan Oliver. The principal prop, however, […]

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Luscious Jackson/Cibo Matto

LUSCIOUS JACKSON/CIBO MATTO With their new albums both these New York combos have wedged their hip-hop-derived bricolage squarely into the pop hole, sanding off with sugar most of the rough edges that made their previous work so beguiling. Luscious Jackson have been heading this way since the beginning, hiding modest hooks under jacked-up street beats, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

How did the myth about the moon being made out of cheese start? –Yoshi1009, via AOL This is the problem with being a smart-ass. You unload some priceless bon mot and 400 years later, out of context, you sound like an idiot. Here’s an early green cheese citation from John Heywood’s Proverbes (1546): “The moon […]

Posted inMusic

Soul of the City

Elvis Presley Suspicious Minds: The 1969 Memphis Anthology (RCA) Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis (Rhino) In April, RCA’s stream of Elvis Presley reissues brought forth Suspicious Minds, a two-CD set chronicling the King’s revered comeback sessions in Memphis. It came hot on the heels of Rhino’s expanded reissue of Dusty in Memphis, the 1969 album […]

Posted inMusic

Winning the Waiting Game

Mary Janes Record No. 1 (Delmore) By Linda Ray Record No. 1, the long-delayed debut album by the Mary Janes, begins with an ending: “Shooting Star,” the seven-minute opening opus, is a love song to main Mary Jane Janas Hoyt’s former band, the Vulgar Boatmen. Hoyt starts slowly, delicately, with her own tentative guitar and […]

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Calendar

Friday 7/23 – Thursday 7/29 JULY By Cara Jepsen 23 FRIDAY The ability to “express a wide range of emotions, charisma, and passion without speaking” is one thing producers will be looking for at today’s free open audition for the Blue Man Group. Winners will fill spots in Boston, Chicago, and a new show that […]