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O’Sullivan’s Travails

By Michael Miner O’Sullivan’s Travails As a pub, O’Rourke’s survives on Halsted Street. As a state of mind, it remains now and forever in the old spot at the corner of Orleans and North Avenue, on the fringe of a ghetto that’s also gone. “That was a unique moment in time and space,” says filmmaker […]

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Storytellers 2000

STORYTELLERS 2000, TinFish Theatre. The scare tactics come fast and thin in this unintentionally frightful anthology of horror tales. This year’s edition, “House of Poe,” is hosted by the poet himself, played as an unctuous, leering quizmaster by Jon Frazier. Under the almost nonexistent direction of Gillian Gibson, who adapted the works with Jan Johnson, […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Stories Central Illinois farmer Dan Aeschleman recently converted his land to a more lucrative use: attracting foxes and collecting their urine, which he sells to landowners ($11.95 for 16 ounces) who spray it on their property to scare off other animals. According to a September report in the Pantagraph of nearby Bloomington, Aeschleman says […]

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Ian Bostridge

IAN BOSTRIDGE In 1990 young British tenor Ian Bostridge earned a doctorate in history from Oxford, but within five years he’d abandoned academia and embarked on a full-time performing career. He made the switch in his late 20s–a relatively advanced age for a classical soloist–but he’s already established himself as one of the most promising […]

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Matt Suggs

For much of the 90s Matt Suggs played raggedy, sleepy pop as half of the California duo Butterglory. The music they made stands as quintessential indie rock, even if it doesn’t stand up as much else a few years later–masking Suggs’s melodic gifts were shy, slack singing, lo-fi production, and negligible emotional investment. Butterglory broke […]

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Greg Osby

GREG OSBY It’s tempting to read the restrained playing and preponderance of ballads on Greg Osby’s superb recent album The Invisible Hand (Blue Note) as a sign of newfound maturity. But the saxophonist grew up years ago, on the jumpy 1996 album Art Forum, where after years of bold but inconsistent experimentation he found a […]

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The Strange Words of Bill Brown

In the voice-over to his most recent film, Confederation Park (1999, 32 min.), Texas filmmaker Bill Brown makes reference to “the secret languages of exile,” and while this reflective, even somber film presents a pastiche of places across Canada where Brown has lived, its real subject is the limits of knowledge. Its long takes are […]

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Let’s Hear It For the B Team

Dear Albert Williams: In response to the Reader’s Guide to Arts and Entertainment Friday, September 22, 2000 article on Claudia Jennings I have the following comments: If you didn’t like what she did with her life why write about her at all? Roger Ebert has written about her without all the sermonizing middle-class morality and […]

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United Noise Toys

Performing together as United Noise Toys, Dutch electronics whiz Gert-Jan Prins and Minnesota-born avant-garde flutist Anne La Berge create a punishing wall of sound that renders the differences between their methods of creating sound almost completely moot. The Netherlands-based duo’s sole recording, Live in Utrecht ’98 (X-OR), is unapologetically harsh. Prins unleashes ear-piercing squalls of […]

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The Cave Dwellers

THE CAVE DWELLERS, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre. William Saroyan’s 1957 comedy-drama stirs recollections of The Lower Depths–indeed, one of its most striking characters is a large dancing bear named Gorky. But there are no villains among Saroyan’s squatters, living in an abandoned theater on New York’s Lower East Side. Even the crew sent to raze the building […]

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Potty Talk

Hope you can stand another letter on the toilet-seat raiser [“Pipe Dreams,” September 15]. Obviously this guy has never done market research of a woman with a child, parcels, or an infirmity (even a temporary medical problem, like having crutches after knee surgery, makes for difficult and slow going). Trying to fit and manage these […]

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Julieta Venegas

JULIETA VENEGAS What I’ve found most consistently compelling about pop-rock produced in Latin America is the way many bands, including Mexico’s Cafe Tacuba, Colombia’s Aterciopelados, and Argentina’s Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, have fused regional traditions and international style. But not all Latin American rockers are interested in representing their native culture–take, for instance, the roster of […]