Posted inArts & Culture

Something From Nothing

[Sic] Roadworks Productions at Live Bait Theater By Nick Green Five years ago, at the tender age of three, Roadworks put on the Chicago premiere of Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia. Just securing the rights was something of a coup, and the production was sold out for much of its four-month run at the Theatre Building. In […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Spiteful Swipes and Goofball Pity

Dear Reader: I am writing in response to Jack Clark’s hilariously petty article concerning the Steinmetz High School cheating scandal (“All the Wrong Answers,” May 19). The article was so rich in spiteful swipes at Steinmetz (the cheaters) and so rich in goofball pity for Whitney Young (the cheated upon) that it wound up affecting […]

Posted inMusic

Too Much of a God Thing

XTC Apple Venus Volume 1 Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) (TVT) For almost two decades XTC has been English pop’s most celebrated hothouse flower. Instead of moving to London or New York or LA, as so many British pop stars have before them, the members still live in their dismal hometown of Swindon, a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Smog

SMOG The music of Smog, a “band” composed basically of singer-songwriter Bill Callahan, has always been introspective and dark; the flickerings of contentment and vulnerability on last year’s superb Knock Knock (Drag City) were something of a breakthrough. On Smog’s new Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City), though, that vulnerability is gone; it seems Callahan’s happiness, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chucho Valdes

CHUCHO VALDES Few things are more exhilarating than the furious rhythmic conversation at the heart of the Chucho Valdes Quartet. A key progenitor of modern Latin jazz, Valdes founded the great Irakere back in the late 1960s, and in recent years this spellbinding Cuban pianist has reached dazzling new heights. His quartet–with bassist Francisco Rubio […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Testing the Waters

Letter to the editor: Frederick Lowe’s story “Clean Living” (June 9) was appalling. I am consistently amazed at the general public’s willingness to give up their personal rights and their dignity as human beings simply to get what they want. In this case tenants take drug tests so they can live in a particular area […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

CASTLE BROADWAY 6/16, 6ODUM For their first Chicago show in more than a year, and to celebrate the release of their second (eponymous) full-length on their own Soutrane label, this Milwaukee-based collective brings their lovely, slow-growing variants on space drone and genuinely warm jazz to the concrete room at 6Odum (which ought to have more […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pike’s Pique

Dear Reader, This letter is in response to Charles Pike’s ridiculous complaint regarding his review [May 19]. Does it surprise Mr. Pike that his work will be reviewed, perhaps even unfavorably? I want to thank Albert Williams for waking Charles Pike up to reality. I especially want to take issue with Mr. Pike’s inferences that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wilbus Amadeus Croakley and My Uncle’s Favorite Dish is Cashew Chicken…No Nuts

WILBUS AMADEUS CROAKLEY, Giants in the Sky Productions, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio, and MY UNCLE’S FAVORITE DISH IS CASHEW CHICKEN…NO NUTS, Stir-Friday Night!, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. I do believe Jason Flowers is insane. I mean that in the best possible sense. A student at Second City’s Training Center (as I […]

Posted inNews & Politics

West Side Stories

The morning of my wedding, Catherine came over to help me get ready. She started putting my makeup on. I said, “Don’t put it so heavy.” She said, “Do you think that I would make you look terrible for your wedding day?” The flowers came. My mother was a little woman, and she looked at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bread Day

Every Tuesday a small group of old men and women push a train car containing what will have to be a week’s worth of bread into their small community, a nearly abandoned workers’ settlement north of Saint Petersburg. In the marvelously relentless opening of this 53-minute 1998 documentary, they push the car along a seemingly […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Wrigleyville Pirates

The May 19, 2000, S.L. Wisenberg Our Town article, “A Lot to Be Thankful For,” rekindled my irritating memories of the parking-space sellers in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Before settling into Roscoe Village, I used to rent around Wrigley Field. To me there was nothing more deplorable than to watch owners/renters of expensive real estate hawk […]