Posted inArts & Culture

Music People: composing a life

“Throughout my career I’ve always felt like a new kid on the block,” says composer and conductor Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, “because I so often move from place to place and from field to field.” His most recent relocation was in 1998, when he came to Chicago from New York to take charge of Ensemble Stop-Time and […]

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Dave Holland Quintet

DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET Bassists have trouble attracting the spotlight: even Dave Holland, the best jazz bassist of the last 30 years, rarely gets the credit he deserves. That’s him on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew; he’s also played in Circle with Chick Corea and Anthony Braxton, served as the vital center of Sam Rivers’s trio, and […]

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Cor Fuhler

COR FUHLER Even among his countrymen–raging iconoclasts like Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, and Willem Breuker–Dutch keyboardist Cor Fuhler is a maverick. Conflating styles and disemboweling traditions, he takes the art of improvisation well beyond the playing. When he can’t coax or torture exactly the right sound from a conventional instrument, he modifies it or builds […]

Posted inMusic

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? In 1993, Bay Area band manager and agent Kevin Arnold booked a hell of a show. He put together a bill with six of his favorite bands–all loud punkish combos with strong pop sensibilities, like the Fastbacks, Overwhelming Colorfast, and the Meices–at San Francisco’s Kennel Club and gave the event a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Last Words

To: Letters, Chicago Reader In reference to the April 21 column “What Killed Killer Joe?” by Lewis Lazare, I feel compelled to address the following: (1.) Mr. Lazare reported that reviews of Killer Joe were mixed to negative, seemingly ignoring the fact that we have appeared in the Tribune’s “Raves” section for the past ten […]

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Sergent Garcia

SERGENT GARCIA On paper the idea of a French band playing a blend of Cuban son, reggae, dancehall, funk, and hip-hop sounds about as stilted and overblown as you can get, but on his terrific debut album, Un poquito quema’o (Higher Octave World), former punk rocker Sergent Garcia and his eight-piece band mix it up […]

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Postmortem

Postmortem, WNEP Theater Foundation, at the Playground. Inspired by our fascination with obituaries and the raw appeal of real lives, the WNEP Theater Foundation has found fresh fodder for improvisation. Each night a tight ensemble of seven performers takes a newspaper obituary and performs an hour-long characterization loosely based on that small amount of information. […]

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TRG Music listings

Music listings are compiled by LAURA KOPEN and RENALDO MIGALDI (classical, fairs and festivals) from information available Tuesday. We advise calling ahead for confirmation. Please send listings information, in-cluding a phone number for use by the public, to Reader Music Listings, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or send a fax to 312-828-9926, or send E-mail […]

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The Girl Next Door

Stacy Valentine examines her motives for entering the adult-film industry that made her a star. Without archness, Christine Fugate’s documentary captures Valentine’s changing feelings about her lucrative, esteem-building job–within a few years of concluding that there was nothing particularly self-destructive about it, Valentine begins to see herself on a slippery slope. The movie challenges us […]

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Watch on the Rhine

Watch on the Rhine, Eclipse Theatre Company, at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ. At the time of its writing in 1941, Lillian Hellman’s anti-Nazi play must have seemed a call to arms. The United States didn’t pledge its full support to the Allied Powers until the year Watch on the Rhine premiered–and didn’t […]

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The Nibelungen

Fritz Lang’s first real blockbuster was this 1924 two-part silent epic–Siegfried and Kriemhild’s Revenge–based on the 13th-century German legend that also inspired Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. In part one, Siegfried (Paul Richter), the son of a Norse king, wins the hand of the beautiful maiden Kriemhild (Margarethe Schon) and uses a magic sword […]

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Winifred Haun & Dancers

Chicago choreographer Winifred Haun has always had a wry side. The solo Offer Void (which she made while still dancing with Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre some ten years ago) alternates contemporary classical music with Joe Cocker’s “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window”–and the dancing likewise vacillates between the astringent and the overblown and […]

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“The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II

Studs Terkel’s Pulitzer-winning “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II fought its own war: Terkel’s firsthand witnesses testified to the ugly side of a noble struggle–internment camps, homophobia and racism in the trenches, war profiteering, rejection of the disfigured wounded, and American propagandizing. Like any war, this one undermined the very principles […]

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Sanitation Engineer

Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People at the Chicago Historical Society, through May 21 By Fred Camper Like a lot of Americans, I had my first art experience with Norman Rockwell. He was also responsible for my first disappointment. At age five or six I found a copy of my father’s old Boy Scout […]