Posted inNews & Politics

Bike Hazzards Bill Deflated

Bicyclists’ rights advocates felt optimistic in April when the Illinois senate passed the Bicycle Safety Restoration Act by a vote of 54 to 0. But last week the measure died in the Illinois house’s judiciary committee, which deadlocked on the bill and prevented it from moving forward. Illinois bicyclists haven’t had liability protection since 1998, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

U.S. Maple

U.S. MAPLE Though they are relatively young men, when I listen to their fourth and latest full-length, Acre Thrills (Drag City), U.S. Maple sound rather old. More specifically, they sound crusty, like the character in front of the convenience store: a drooler, a mutterer, and a pee-on-selfer who, when actually engaged in argument, spits out […]

Posted inMusic

All Natural, Molemen

I’m an advocate of recycling, but when it comes to hip-hop beats the blue-bag routine gets old fast–I’m particularly tired of hearing loops cribbed from the Jameses (namely James Brown and Rick James). Chicago’s new wave of hip-hop crews is exciting in part because its best exponents don’t retread the same worn samples but dig […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Comedy Festival

THURSDAY, MAY 31 7 Murderer’s Row showcase at Black Orchid, Piper’s Alley, 230 W. North, hosted by Tim Cavanaugh, with Kathleen Madigan, Bil Dwyer, Rene Hicks, Larry Reeb, Brett Leake, Carl LaBove and Andy Kindler. 7:30 Fresh Mugs “B” showcase at Coyle’s Tippling House hosted by Stephen Kruiser. Neil Hamburger Extravaganza at Lincoln Restaurant hosted […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brantfest!

Brantfest!, Zeppo Theater Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Since the 1993 debut of Lovely Letters, Chicago playwright George Brant has forged a tidy little reputation for comedy. He began with parodies of popular entertainments but in 1997 turned to biographies and adaptations of literary classics, most of them clocking in at a comfortable 90 minutes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Moon’s the Madonna

THE MOON’S THE MADONNA, Circle Theatre. First created and performed in 1989 by students at the Thomas Sumpter School in Scunthorpe, England, The Moon’s the Madonna is very much the sort of well-meaning but uneven play you’d expect from a committee of adolescents working under the tutelage of a drama teacher, in this case Richard […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Fat is where you find it. An article by Anjali Jain of the University of Chicago and others in the May issue of Pediatrics advises doctors that low-income black and white mothers in three focus groups they ran “did not define overweight or obese in their children according to how height and weight measurements were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brick and Six Degrees

Brick and Six Degrees, at ComedySportz. Right before taking my seat at Brick’s show I realized I’d lost my wallet. Yet the five-person ensemble was so funny I happily forgot this minor crisis for an hour. Directed by Kevin Rich, Brick revisits familiar comic territory but does so dynamically. Two women in a powder room […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I have heard for as long as I can remember (and even read in a book somewhere) that a major ingredient of Chanel No. 5 perfume is the sweaty excretions of the Abyssinian civet cat. I have even heard that they stretch these cats out on some type of medieval rack and whip them mercilessly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nicholas Payton

NICHOLAS PAYTON I suppose if anyone deserves to have his centennial celebrated for two years running, it’s Louis Armstrong, jazz’s first genius. (Though recent investigation proves Armstrong was actually born in 1901, the birthday he always claimed–Independence Day, 1900–has become a permanent part of his legend.) Amid the hoopla of the last year or so–even […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 5/25 – Thursday 5/31 MAY By Cara Jepsen 25 FRIDAY Since the early 90s, hundreds of young women have disappeared in Juarez, Mexico. Most of the 200 bodies that have been found showed signs of rape and torture. Lourdes Portillo’s new documentary, Señorita Extraviada, examines what may have happened to the women–many of whom […]