Posted inArts & Culture

In Store: Arrow’s modern approach

People sometimes stop into Kim Soss’s store, Arrow, and think they’ve wandered into someone’s living room. “I’ve had people walk into the store and go, ‘Do you live here?’” she says. She doesn’t, but she might as well. The carefully placed modernist furniture in the small storefront showroom was all handpicked by the proprietor herself, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pain in the Neck

On December 15, 2000, you ran a short but beautiful story entitled “Silent Knight.” The story featured my surgery and the satire about the nightmare of Dorothy Tillman, Mayor Daley, and Caroline Shoenberger, hypothetically in the operating room trading places with my doctors to perform surgery on me. I refer to them as the “evil […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Duets for My Valentine

Though the romantic duet might seem a confining form, there are probably as many different possibilities as there are couples in love and stages of love. Anna Simone Levin’s new Magnetic–one of 18 duets on impresario Bob Barrett’s fourth annual program celebrating Valentine’s Day–depicts the sudden, irresistible attraction between two strangers shocked by their own […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BOTTLETONES 2/9, SCHUBAS With their new album, Adult Time (Relay/Hepcat), the local Bottletones seem more intent than ever on working that rockabilly-revivalist tag off their big toe. Of the nine tracks, only “Everybody’s Lookin’” has that Stray Cat stench to it, and on the whole the album is more focused than 1999’s The Sheriff of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Flying Dutchman

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN Wagnerian singers are a special breed: with powerful voices that can soar into the upper reaches of an opera house, they can bring life to their superhuman characters, heroes and heroines who strive for romantic ecstasy and nobly weather its tumults. Ever since the Lyric Opera recruited a cast of Wagnerians for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Courthouse Cop-out

Talking city politics, Michael Miner once complained of a “shift during Daley’s administration to more private dealings, less open discussion, and diminished public involvement in decision making.” John Stroger has caught the bug. Daley’s airport and the more recent Millennium Park are projects that came full-blown onto the scene with nary a chance for public […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jody Williams

Jody Williams Chicago blues guitarist Jody Williams’s return to music after a hiatus of over 30 years has already created an international buzz: in November, after less than six months on the comeback trail, he played a triumphant set at the Blues Estafette festival in the Netherlands. Born in Alabama in 1935, Williams moved to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

EL-P, Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox

EL-P, MR. LIF, CANNIBAL OX “I make my own grain and go against it,” rapped El-P on Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus. It was no hollow boast either: on the 1997 album, one of the unqualified classics of underground hip-hop, El-P and fellow MC Bigg Jus packed a breathless barrage of tongue-twisting verbiage with off-kilter internal […]

Posted inNews & Politics

For Shame

Imagine my disgust when I opened my Reader to find a full-page tactless advertisement on page two suggesting I help “cover up the homeless problem [February 2].” Whoever thought of the ad and did not realize how offensive it might seem for an overpriced Michigan Avenue store to offer its upper-class patrons 20 percent off […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Reparations from the briny deep? Kevin Clarke writes in U.S. Catholic (February), “It is estimated that as many as 600 Spanish ships sank in the coastal waters of the Caribbean and America’s Southeast during Spain’s colonial era…. Last summer, a Virginia courthouse turned the world of offshore salvage upside down by declaring Spain the rightful […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Entertaining Mr. Fear

There’s nothing particularly new about this latest piece from Die Hanswurste, the folks who brought you the cutting-edge romp Klown: Prick Us and We’ll Burst in 1994. The tone is still dark. The comedy is edgy and cynical. And the show is still hilarious, especially if you don’t mind a mean-spirited joke or two: most […]

Posted inMusic

A Riff and a Prayer

Low Things We Lost in the Fire (Kranky) Pedro the Lion Winners Never Quit (Jade Tree) By Anders Smith-Lindall Last month at the American Music Awards–the one-fan-one-vote answer to the Grammys–the Christian hard-rock trio Creed beat out Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys to take home the Best Album prize and Limp Bizkit and the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Garnet Rogers, Connie Kaldor

GARNET ROGERS, CONNIE KALDOR Canadian singer-songwriter Garnet Rogers’s stentorian baritone is a double-edged sword: it sometimes overwhelms the fragile melancholy of his lyrics, but it’s also an ideal instrument to express the determination that drives many of his characters. On his current CD, Sparrow’s Wing (Snow Goose Songs), Rogers does some of his best work […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Egyptian Rat Screw

Egyptian Rat Screw, Uffish Theater Company, at the Chopin Theatre. Carl Jung, Karl Marx, and an iron maiden walk into a bar–that’s the rumpled punch line of Chicago playwright Jason M. Lindner’s overwritten, underdeveloped dark comedy. Elton (Brendan Farley) is a young interrogator ordered to torture information out of revolutionary musician Vic Bloom (Michael T. […]