Time Is Money For nearly 30 years one of the world’s most impressive timepiece collections was housed by a tiny museum in the basement of an entertainment complex on the outskirts of Rockford. The Time Museum, established in 1971 by local millionaire Seth Atwood, included a 3,000-year-old sundial used by the imperial family during the […]
Joe Gould’s Secret This charming and evocative period piece about Greenwich Village in the 40s is also a subtle cautionary tale for writers against the danger of losing all your work in talk. The delicate and wryly witty screenplay by Howard A. Rodman, perhaps best known for his work with Steven Soderbergh, tells the true […]
GOLD SPARKLE BAND The Gold Sparkle Band’s name says flash, but its high-spirited music delivers substance. The quartet’s compositions are steeped in a half century of jazz history: the sprawling “Fellowship,” on their latest CD, Nu-Soul Zodiac (Squealer), is dedicated to Other Dimensions in Music; on the 1997 Downsizing (Nu), the melodies of “Lamentations (for […]
A mom and dad are sitting with their toddler next to a couple of college-age women on a Brown Line train somewhere between Belmont and Damen. The family is examining one of the posters advertising the new Sacagawea dollar. George Washington is pictured holding the coin out for them to see. Dad: Who is that? […]
The Dead Sea Scrolls according to Kenneth Mull, Norman Golb, the Field Museum, and a chorus of experts.
HEARTBREAK HOUSE, Headstrong Theatre. George Bernard Shaw’s 1920 comedy-drama, written in the wake of World War I and eerily prophetic of the greater conflict to come, is a complex portrait of dalliance and disillusion among an eccentric, slightly bohemian family and the outsiders drawn into their world. This talky, emotionally ambiguous work–inspired by a country […]
THE VALERIE OF NOW and SWACKO IN AMERICA, at the Performance Loft. In some ways these two solo performances are the kind that every theater festival should feature: raw, bold, and flawed. But it’s anyone’s guess what two white performers playing to an all-white house (at least on the night I attended) have to do […]
GIANT SAND In 1989, well before samplers made it cheap and easy to capture on tape that unpredictable and slippery thing called the thought process, Giant Sand guitarist and songwriter Howe Gelb and drummer John Convertino made a remarkable record called Long Stem Rant (Homestead). Gelb had already released four albums of tough, sunbaked roots […]
DESTROYER Thief (Catsup Plate/Triple Crown/Cave Canem) By Douglas Wolk Poets rarely write good pop songs. Poetry relies on subtlety and complexity; lyrics rely on cleverness, repetition, immediacy, and conciseness–it’s hard to make sense of a lot of subordinate clauses that may fly by your ear only once–and tend to forgive stupidity and obviousness. So when […]
By Michael Miner Gag Order The Illinois Supreme Court infuriated a lot of important people last October by announcing new rules to govern how prosecutors and reporters deal with the police and each other. The court was fixing something none of these groups considered broken. Prosecutors are so unhappy with revised rules 3.6 and 3.8 […]
The Bible is full of nutritional advice. God told Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam ignored Him, and we’re still suffering the consequences. Then He told the Hebrews not to eat pork or shellfish. Methuselah heeded that and lived to the age of 969, a better result than the Pritikin plan […]
My ex-boyfriend was the first man to give me a real orgasm, and he did it with his tongue. He was extremely unselfish and would stay down there for as long as it took me to get off. We broke up three years ago, and in that time I have had four lovers, all of […]
DIE LIKE A DOG QUARTET FEATURING ROY CAMPBELL Thirty years ago Cleveland-born free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler’s body was found floating in New York’s East River, and since then everyone from David Murray (who named an album Flowers for Albert) to the local repertory ensemble Witches & Devils (see separate Critic’s Choice) has lined up to […]
Notes on the STarbucksings of art cinema.
Questions you never thought to ask. Topic of the Arthur H. Compton lectures at the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute on Saturday, April 29 (rainbow.uchicago.edu/efi/compton_lectures.txt.html): “Glassy Systems: What Is Common to Glasses, Traveling Salesmen, Neural Networks and Proteins?” The bad news is happening slower. “Kale Williams, former executive director of the Leadership Council for […]