PAUL BURCH & THE WPA BALLCLUB Paul Burch is out to enrich traditional country music, not revive it. Specifically, he’s zoomed in on the brief period between Hank Williams and early rockabilly, injecting it with seemingly anomalous textures and colors–ranging from the cool vibraphone on “Willpower,” from last year’s Blue Notes (Merge), to the surprising […]
Rock, Pop, etc. concerts BEA ARTHUR with pianist Billy Goldenberg. Tue 5/22 through Fri 5/25, 8 PM, Sat 5/26, 5 and 9 PM, and Sun 5/27, 5 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage. 773-929-5959 or 312-902-1500. BIG WIG, ALLISTER, ALL ELSE FAILS, TIMMYS, 504 PLAN Sun 5/20, 5 PM, Knights of Columbus Hall, 15 N. […]
ARTIST DESCENDING A STAIRCASE, Broutil & Frothingham Productions, at the Theatre Building. I’ve seen Tom Stoppard’s play three times–once in its original production in London’s West End–and the only production that really moved me was the one at Body Politic a decade or so ago. This staging is a lot like the original: beautiful, cerebral, […]
MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD, 8 BOLD SOULS Medeski, Martin & Wood’s moody, genre-bending take on long-form improvisation–trance-inducing grooves that mix jazz lines with postpunk rhythms, a touch of psychedelia, and occasional hip-hop scratching, all immersed in a gently shimmering bath of keyboard textures–is as close to a definition of “acid jazz” as we’re likely to […]
MICHAEL BURKS Michael Burks can sound so much like Albert King–from his keening guitar tone and serpentine string bends to the harmonic shapes of his improvisations to his gruff baritone vocals–he sometimes seems to be channeling the late Memphis master from the great beyond. But his new album, Make It Rain (Alligator), shows encouraging signs […]
Autechre at Metro, May 11 By Warren Sentence Dear Liesl, It is one of those curious coincidences which create the impression that perhaps there is a master plan. On the night you came to Chicago in the sing-along version of The Sound of Music, Messrs. Sean Booth and Rob Brown (whom perhaps you know conjointly […]
Evanstonians accuse the school board of pulling a fast one in its campaign for a new building.
“We’re at the beginning of the 21st century in the middle of what many pundits refer to as the new economy,” says Howard Learner of the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Illinois Issues (April). “Yet we rely for about 60 percent of our electricity supply in Illinois on coal plants that were built mostly […]
“I didn’t want to be an actress,” says Bea Arthur, whose new cabaret act comes to the Park West Tuesday for a ten-day run. “I wanted to be a little starlet. June Allyson killed me–I thought she was the end. I wanted to be like her, very small and very blond. But there I was, […]
NIGHT OF JANUARY 16, MadMonk Productions, at the Chopin Theatre. Popular with die-hard objectivists, Ayn Rand’s 1935 agitprop courtroom drama employs audience members as jurors in the murder trial of Karen Andre, a secretary accused of killing her former boss and dumping his body out a window. The victim is Bjorn Faulkner, a capitalist-warrior based […]
Are flamingos pink because they eat shrimps? And if so, what other animals have their pigmentation altered by what they eat? If no, again my father gets one over on me, the lousy git… –Richard Chiles For once the old man leveled with you. Flamingos are in fact pink because they eat shrimps, which contain […]
Annoyance guru Mick Napier gets off the Internet and starts to hone his marketing skills.
OFFENDING SHADOWS, TriArts Inc., at the Viaduct Theater. Playwright-director Barbara Carlisle’s years as a theater professor may have taught her how to allude to a wide variety of plays, but they haven’t helped her create a compelling piece of theater. In this turgid, plodding “meta-theatrical” feminist retelling of Sophocles’ Oedipus and Antigone (which I saw […]
Friday 5/18 – Thursday 5/24 MAY By Cara Jepsen 18 FRIDAY Since creating the giant Earth Harp at the Field Museum in 1999, the Pilsen-based MASS Ensemble has been busy “playing” famous buildings around the country. Their latest undertaking is Mies van der Rohe’s 1956 Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology. They’ve spent […]
Job Christenson opens a theater and a show this weekend. Will “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” be the next “Jesus Christ Superstar”?