Posted inArts & Culture

Beau Jest

Beau Jest, Attic Playhouse. My gentile in-laws used to try to make me feel comfortable about being Jewish by inserting Yiddish words into the conversation–words like “bagel.” That’s approximately the level of understanding of Jewish culture in James Sherman’s romantic comedy about a young woman, Sarah, and the actor she hires to impersonate the perfect […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Kickball, Anyone?

By Michael Miner Kickball, Anyone? The feuding between the Sun-Times and Tribune is over. After a nasty stretch where neither would print the other’s name, they’re friendlier than ever. Let me give you an idea. About a month ago the Sun-Times developed a juicy story about a piece of vacant city-owned land along the Chicago […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Retrograss

RETROGRASS Mandolinist David Grisman is best known for the fusion of bluegrass, jazz, and Grateful Dead-style jamming he’s christened “dawg music.” But in Retrograss, his trio with folk icons John Hartford and Mike Seeger, he applies old-fashioned bluegrass instrumentation to rock and R & B numbers–an idea that came to him when, years ago, he […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In September, driving-school owner Bharat Patel became the 31st person convicted in a Chicago bribes-for-licenses scandal. According to testimony, Patel did not bother to teach, instead spending all his time with road test examiners. Some of Patel’s students were such bad drivers that certain examiners, who took $300,000 in bribes over two years, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Howard Scott & the World Band

HOWARD SCOTT & THE WORLD BAND The World Band is one of the busiest backing groups on Chicago’s blues scene, playing behind long strings of singers and soloists at south- and west-side revues and regularly accompanying vocalists like Lil’ Johnny Johnson, Laretha Weathersby, and Lee Morris. This kind of versatility doesn’t necessarily translate into excitement, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Child and the Soldier

This road movie by Iranian director Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi charts the blossoming friendship between a conscript soldier (Mehdi Lofti) and the 14-year-old delinquent he’s ordered to take back to Tehran (sour-faced Rouhollah Hosseini) while painting an affectionate portrait of ordinary Iranians in the hinterland. The teen, detained at an army outpost after escaping a juvenile […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Condoms for Convicts

One major oversight in the article on the perils of receiving adequate HIV care at Cook County Jail [October 6] is the availability of condoms. Justin Hayford and photographer Lloyd DeGrane adequately capture the dinginess of prison, but if experts claim that up to 600 a day are infected [There are 600 infected inmates in […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

FLOGGING MOLLY 10/20, THE VIC It’s heartening that almost a decade after the Pogues disintegrated, youngsters are still worshiping them. This California seven-piece band’s latest, Swagger (Side One Dummy), rips through 13 up-tempo rockers and pint-swinging ballads with hardcore energy. Front man (and actual Irishman) Dave King writes the lyrics, and he’s definitely got a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Amy Rigby

AMY RIGBY Singer-songwriter Amy Rigby was no stranger to twang before she moved from New York to Nashville last year. But the geography does make a difference on her first missive from Music City, the recently released The Sugar Tree (Koch). Rigby’s excellent previous albums, Diary of a Mod Housewife and Middlescence, were produced by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Local Zeroes

To the editors: I just got back from the Chicago International Film Festival’s screening of “Supersonic Shorts 1: Chicago Meets the World” at the Music Box Theater. As a civic duty, I usually attend at least one festival event. It is now also with a sense of duty that I must report that Chicago’s meeting […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Datebook

OCTOBER 20 FRIDAY Opportunities to see the world-class American Arts and Crafts collection at Lake Bluff’s privately owned Crab Tree Farm are rare. This weekend’s Arts and Crafts Event, which benefits the Unity Temple Restoration and Pleasant Home foundations, includes a visit to Crab Tree, where furniture and objects (by Gustav Stickley and others) are […]