Posted inArts & Culture

Dimmu Borgir

DIMMU BORGIR If it’s searing, soaring, inventive metal you’re after, you can try to sort through the countless American contenders–or you can skip the patriotic pretense and go straight to the land of the ice and snow. The Norwegian band Dimmu Borgir (named after a lava formation in Iceland whose name translates, roughly, as “dark, […]

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Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden, Red Wolf Theatre Company, at Phoenix Ascending Theatre. In a newly democratic country, Gerardo Escobar has just been appointed chairman of the committee investigating the previous regime’s atrocities. His duties begin sooner than anticipated, however, when his wife insists that Roberto, the stranger he’s innocently invited to their home, is the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

VINCE NEIL 4/28, JOE’S Critics’ darlings may age more gracefully or burn out more heroically, but there’s something to be said for the audacity of endurance beyond decency–even when his own band didn’t want him anymore, Vince Neil kept going. This solo tour, which promises “all the hits,” is most likely an attempt to pump […]

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A Playwright’s Best Friends

The Drawer Boy Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Kelly Kleiman Authority is a mysterious thing. The meaning of the word changes with its context but always implies the power to command attention and belief. It’s a rare quality that’s no less rare in actors. Morgan Freeman has it: as soon as he appears on-screen we know […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I have a habit of containing my sneezes by quickly holding my nose and shutting my mouth. It makes sneezing in class, in church, during intimate conversations, and so on much less traumatic. I’ve got my sneezes down to such a low profile that they’re barely noticeable. But at work the other day, Miss Atomic […]

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The Emperor’s Groovy New Clothes

The Emperor’s Groovy New Clothes, Lifeline Theatre. In the original Hans Christian Andersen story, an emperor renowned for his vanity and fashion sense is tricked into modeling an ensemble made of (imaginary) cloth “visible only to those with intelligence and good taste.” Naturally no one will admit he or she can’t see it, so the […]

Posted inMusic

Surprise Ingredient

Surprise Ingredient On their 1998 debut, No Additives, No Preservatives, All Natural’s David Kelly and Tony Fields–aka Capital D and Tone B. Nimble–made clear their stance on hip-hop’s prevailing bad attitude: “You ain’t gotta holler out ‘Keep it real,’” rapped Kelly on “Niggas B Lyin’.” “You can be dope but kick what you feel / […]

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Calendar

Friday 4/27 – thursday 5/3 APRIL By Cara Jepsen 27 FRIDAY Iconoclastic filmmaker and onetime Chicagoan Jon Jost has been living in Italy and making digital videos of late. Two recent shorts, Watersong #1 and Dharma Do as Dharma Does (which he describes as “a selection of shorts that make a short with a philosophical […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“While [Steinmetz High School English teacher Robin] Quinn has gone somewhat soft on homework, she sees no advantage in reverting to her former ways,” writes Elizabeth Duffrin in Catalyst (March). “Colleagues who remain strict about homework don’t get better compliance; they just get higher failure rates, she says. The Board of Education has mandated 120 […]

Posted inMusic

Cover Charge

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes Blow in the Wind (Fat Wreck Chords) Chestnut Station In Your Living Room (Drag City) Relegated to weddings, bar mitzvahs, and frat bars, rock ‘n’ roll repertory bands have never earned the respect enjoyed by their counterparts in jazz or blues or even country. At best, they’ve been regarded […]

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Group Efforts: porno for tyros

Attention all perverts: have you been aching for the chance to lick dirty boots, whip a slave, receive an enthusiastic rim job, make out with a father figure, wield a knife in bed, urinate on a stranger, choke a partner, or get gang-banged from behind? Porn Shot, a group of 12 Art Institute students-turned-pornographers, is […]

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Chicago Improv Festival

The fourth edition of this annual celebration of the art of improvisational comedy brings together performers from around the U.S. and abroad. Current and former Chicagoans–including members and alumni of the Second City, ComedySportz, the Upright Citizens Brigade, Schadenfreude, Annoyance Productions, and ImprovOlympic–are joined by artists from Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and other […]