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Posted inMusic

Jazz Members Big Band with John Von Ohlen

JAZZ MEMBERS BIG BAND WITH JOHN VON OHLEN Despite his gigs and recording dates with small groups, John Von Ohlen has never shed the title “big-band drummer.” Nor should he: although a whiff of anachronism accompanies the phrase, it’s an enviable distinction. Many otherwise excellent percussionists simply can’t keep a 12- to 18-piece orchestra humming […]

Posted inFilm

Remaking History

Shulie Rating *** A must see Directed by Elisabeth Subrin With Kim Soss, Larry Steger, Rick Marshall, Eigo Komei, E.W. Ross, Marion Mryczka, Ed Rankus, Kerry Ufelmann, and Jennifer Reeder. By Jonathan Rosenbaum What is it about American culture that compels the film industry to do remakes? The compulsion has been growing over the past […]

Posted inMusic

Shemekia Copeland

SHEMEKIA COPELAND “You have to signify to qualify,” Shemekia Copeland’s father, the late bluesman Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, told her. And Turn the Heat Up, her 1998 debut disc on Alligator, would’ve made her daddy proud: from its first note Copeland exudes sass and self-assurance far beyond her 19 years. Her potent voice is simultaneously dusky […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Film: holding a mirror to the 60s

Elisabeth Subrin first saw Shulie five years ago when she was doing research for a movie at Kartemquin Films. The half-hour documentary, shot in 1967 by four male Northwestern University students–including Kartemquin’s Jerry Blumenthal–follows 22-year-old Shulamith Firestone, then a student at the School of the Art Institute wrestling with her nascent feminist identity. Two years […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ALIEN FASHION SHOW 11/20 & 21, LIQUID This aggressively generic California cocktail-rock outfit accents tired, shallow swank with tired, shallow alien imagery and makes a stab at cleverness with a Kiss cover–“Detroit Swing City”–that probably was a lot funnier in the pitch meeting. EVERYTHING 11/20, METRO In theory 70s revivalism is just as grotesque as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Motionless Monument

Dear Mr. Ballowe, There is a possibility that my memory is playing tricks on me, but I would nevertheless like to suggest that there might be a significant gap in your history of the Balbo column [October 30]. My own recollection is that the column was “exiled” to storage during World War II, precisely because […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

The Compleat Cockroach, by David George Gordon (Ten Speed Press, $11.95). Synopsis: A comprehensive, illustrated examination of “the most despised (and least understood) creature on earth.” Representative quote: “Upon lifting the oil cloth of the kitchen table, the edge of the table was found to be encrusted by a great mass of German roaches. These […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Flack’s Victory Dance

cunningh.qxd Dear editors: It happens every election year in Chicago: some political pundit comes forward and predicts the demise of one candidate or another because he or she was an opponent of Mayor Harold Washington during Council Wars. In his profile of LeRoy Martin’s Republican candidacy for Cook County sheriff (October 30), Ben Joravsky wondered […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sweet Nothing

Ariadne auf Naxos at Lyric Opera, through November 24 By Lee Sandlin The collaboration between Richard Strauss and poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal resulted in some of the finest works in the operatic repertoire. It also resulted in Ariadne auf Naxos, an odd trifle that’s being given a new production by the Lyric. In […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Physicists

THE PHYSICISTS, Sliced Bread Productions, at the Viaduct. It makes sense that this is the second recent production of Friedrich DŸrrenmatt’s 1962 cold-war parable: as long as bioengineering and germ warfare can be turned against us at the drop of a theory, this cautionary tale deserves a hearing. Two physicists representing the free world and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bored Man Snoring

kemper.qxd To the editor: Wrongfully convicted or not, your story on Rolando Cruz [November 13] fails to acquit him of perhaps the only crime of which he is guilty, being patently uninteresting. Jeffrey Felshman’s attempted paean reveals instead a simplistic, macho dope given to referring to himself in the third person, posing fathoms-deep, eternal questions […]

Posted inFilm

John Carpenter’s Vampire

Self-aware rather than simply clever, and as earnest as it is tongue-in-cheek, this playfully gruesome vampire western may be the only movie I’ve seen that has a good reason for including the director’s name in the title. Jack Crow (James Woods) is a dedicated vampire slayer whose team of experts includes Daniel Baldwin as the […]