Posted inArts & Culture

Cremaster 2

Don’t bother scratching your head over the meaning of this video tone poem by Matthew Barney, the fourth and latest installment of a five-part experimental cycle; most of its images are deliberately antiseptic and enigmatic, and as with Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad or the final reel of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, they’re not […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Modest Proposal

Sirs: I was glad to see a fair-handed report on the movement to restore cumulative voting [October 15]. May I take this opportunity to propose a more comprehensive plan for reforming our legislature? 1. Reformulation of the House of Representatives into a 200-member body, elected at large, statewide, by list. This means that each party […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

In 1979 the artists of Pilsen’s Pros Arts Studio decided to join their neighborhood’s largely Mexican community in celebrating Dia de los Muertos. They made copies of a drawing by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada with a schedule of events on the back and passed them out. Then they marched in an informal procession. Twenty […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lost & Found

Soccer was a pretty big deal in Chicago in 1981. When the Chicago Sting won the Soccer Bowl, the championship of the North American Soccer League, they returned to a hero’s welcome: thousands of people greeted the team at O’Hare and an estimated 150,000 watched them parade down LaSalle Street. It was the first championship […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Victor Skrebneski’s Demons

By Bill Stamets Victor Skrebneski’s surrounded by some of the 162 prints he’s just donated to the Museum of Contemporary Photography, which is currently exhibiting a 50-year retrospective of his work. There are photos of sweatered celebrities and tawny nudes and exotic locales. Yet the most dramatic image he remembers made him freak out on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

DanceAfrica Chicago ’99

Many American club dances have their source in centuries-old African rituals. Last year DanceAfrica showcased the relationship between African dance and hip-hop, represented by Rennie Harris PureMovement. This year, in the show’s ninth annual incarnation, it’s the connection between African dance and the lindy hop, as the “queen of swing”–79-year-old Norma Miller, one of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Princess Mononoke

This folkloric animated epic (1997)–set in the 14th century but with ecological trimmings and occasional anachronisms such as hand grenades–was Japan’s all-time box office champ before Titanic. Hayao Miyazaki, who’s often referred to as the Japanese Walt Disney, directed, and what seems most fascinating about his two-hour movie as an alternative to American animation is […]

Posted inMusic

Back to the Background

Stereolab Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (Elektra) By Jim Dorling Days passed without the appearance of Physical Graffiti. Then the first shipment arrived late one Thursday. The fans descended on Marty’s Records downstairs from CREEM like dragonflies, clustered around the cash register, furtively clutching the album to their heaving bosoms, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Doo Lister’s Blues

DOO LISTER’S BLUES, New Onyx Theatre Company and Blue Light Theatre Company, at the Performance Loft. Chicago native Terry Abrahamson spins a tale set during the race riots of the late 60s that stands out only for its excesses. “Doo” Lister, a west-side barber who wants to be a bluesman, finds inspiration when his brother, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In August the school district in Columbus, Georgia, assigned aides to alter textbook photos of Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware because some adults thought parts of Washington’s pocket watch, dangling against his thigh, could be mistaken for the founding father’s penis. The aides spent two weeks touching up 2,300 textbooks. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dadadah

DADADAH Composer and vocalist Kitty Brazelton has chosen a cute but misleading name for the impressive genre-crunching “rockestra” she formed in 1990: unlike the dadaist art of the teens and twenties, Dadadah is neither nihilistic nor incomprehensible. In fact, Brazelton’s synthesis of fine rock songwriting, personalized folk imagery, psychedelic guitar, soul-band horns, free-improv sensibilities, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Tapped Out

By Paul Turner In an area full of bars that seem to have purchased a consonant a la Wheel of Fortune and converted themselves into barns, herding Cub fans in and feeding them beer in souvenir plastic cups, Jimmy and Tai’s Wrigleyville Tap has always stood as a beacon of civility, a refuge from the […]