Posted inNews & Politics

Made to Be Broken

Chicago aldermen–who are paid extraordinary yearly salaries of $85,000 for part-time legislative work–obviously don’t have enough to do. Over the years aldermen have gone on famously useless crusades. Who could forget, for example, the wall Bernard Stone envisioned between Chicago and Evanston to prevent shopping traffic on Howard Street from spilling over into the 50th […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Robbie Fulks

ROBBIE FULKS Robbie Fulks’s misleadingly titled new album, The Very Best of Robbie Fulks (due in January on Bloodshot), is in fact a decade-spanning collection of oddities and rarities meant to tide fans over as Chicago’s best singer-songwriter-satirist–who parted ways with Geffen this year–works out new material and decides how to release it. But like […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Build Your Own Chicago

Chicagoans are justly proud of their many architectural and historical landmarks, but sometimes they get in the way of progress. In the old days we’d knock them down, no questions asked. Now pesky preservationists make demolition a difficult process, throwing up roadblocks at every turn. Fortunately, we’ve found a way around them, a way to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Michael Jordan announced his retirement at a press conference last January 13. “Being a parent is very challenging,” he said. “I welcome that challenge and I look forward to it.” JANUARY 20: Plays golf with Charles Barkley at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in La Quinta, California. JANUARY 29: Jets to Washington, D.C., where he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Insider

Based on Marie Brenner’s 1996 Vanity Fair article “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” this docudrama exposes Big Tobacco with low-key fervor. It resists obvious opportunities to sensationalize the dilemmas of a former head of R and D who had to decide what to do with what he knew and a 60 Minutes producer who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

LIGHT OPERA WORKS Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado has been wildly popular since the night it debuted in London in 1885. H.L. Mencken claimed that by the end of that year “it was being played in Europe and America by fully 150 companies. One night in October in this country alone, there were no less […]

Posted inMusic

Waving the Olive Branch

Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, November 22 and 26 and December 2 and 9 By Lee Sandlin Pierre Boulez was just in town to conduct his annual concert series at Orchestra Hall–traditionally the most nerve-racking event in Chicago’s classical-music season. I’ve been attending faithfully for years, and I still have no idea what’s going […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Macbeth

MACBETH, Mom and Dad Productions, at the Chopin Theatre. In this staging, the witches are not only the first characters onstage but the last to leave. Indeed, they’re never wholly out of sight, and not just because of the extensive double casting in this Mom and Dad production. They lurk on the perimeter of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

La Raza’s Art Project/First Aid for Aida

La Raza’s Art Project One of the decade’s notable artistic developments has been the crossover of Latin American culture into the English-speaking mainstream, and Elbio Rodriguez Barilari, editor of the Spanish-language weekly La Raza, wants that to include something more sophisticated than salsa dancing and Mexican soap operas. In April, Barilari unveiled Arena Cultural, a […]

Posted inMusic

Idful Gone For Good/The Diaspora

Idful Gone For Good In the fall of 1997, Idful Music–the venerable Wicker Park studio where co-owner Brad Wood recorded major albums by Liz Phair, Tortoise, and Veruca Salt–was forced out of its rented space in the strip mall at 1520 N. Damen. The mall had been purchased by developers, who would give it a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Officials in Suwon, South Korea, showing off 580 new plush public rest rooms to reporters in November, implied that the toilets would earn the country greater world respect. “In this era of globalization,” said one official, “it is important to become the leader in the world in the cleanest bathrooms.” The johns feature […]