When kidnapping threw our small town into a tailspin, I felt an odd guilt because I knew my own life was suspect.
JASON GRAAE Born in Chicago and raised in its burbs, Jason Graae (pronounced “grah”) has built his reputation on the coasts–he was in Falsettos on Broadway and played Houdini in the LA production of Ragtime–and on disc, where his supple tenor has brought to life various classic Broadway scores, including the Gershwins’ Strike Up the […]
Madison, WI BARS Madison’s classic mud wrestling bar, the PARADISE LOUNGE (119 W. Main, 608-256-2263), is infiltrated sporadically by clots of trendy students and roots rock weirdos, but once the wrestlers and bikers stomp in the jukebox gets filibustered with Dead Kennedys and Black Sabbath songs. Expect extremely cheap and noxious drinks, fistfights over pool, […]
Rock, Pop, etc. concerts TOM ANDERSEN Fri 6/1 and Sat 6/2, 8 PM, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights. 847-577-2121. ANTJE Free performance. Thu 6/7, 7:30 PM, Starbucks Coffee, 4553 N. Lincoln. 773-878-5609. NICHOLAS BARRON Free performance. Thu 6/7, 7:30 PM, Starbucks Coffee, 932 N. Rush. 312-951-5436. BIG WU, YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING […]
Last fall the Chicago Opera Theater scored a critical and box-office success with a stylish staging of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, so it’s wrapping up this season with a revival of another Baroque opera, Handel’s pastoral Acis and Galatea. The current production uses a sterling 10-piece period-instrument orchestra, anchored by violist da gamba Mary Springfels and her […]
GREG MILLS IS BILLY FALCONBERGER, Second City E.T.C. It’s not surprising that Greg Mills’s one-man show has three subtitles, all of them tired imitations of Second City’s threadbare tradition of pun-filled names: “Quarter Pounder With Jesus or Leggo My Ego or Sacre Bleu Balls.” The one thing you leave Mills’s show knowing for sure is […]
McHenry, Illinois A former resort destination on the Fox River, McHenry used to be referred to as the “superboonies” on Chicago TV (often reporting snowmobile accidents or tornadoes). These days it’s a hodgepodge of farms, industrial parks, and subdivisions. You’ll know you’ve arrived when the Chicago radio stations start to fizzle out and you see […]
NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY Although Royal Trux guitarist Neil Hagerty has insisted that none of the songs on his recent solo debut, Neil Michael Hagerty (Drag City), are autobiographical, more than a few lines seem self-referential. “When it comes down to going nowhere / I cover more miles than any other man,” he sings in a […]
BIG JAY McNEELY Many jazz purists have never forgiven Big Jay McNeely for what he did to the tenor saxophone. Born in Los Angeles in 1927, McNeely came of age on Central Avenue–the incubator that nurtured Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, and many other jazz giants–and in the mid-40s pursued conservatory-style training and played in a […]
A B and B in Benton, Illinois, makes the most of its heritage.
La Salle-Peru, Illinois La Salle and Peru are so close together and so closely linked that they’re usually called the twin cities. “Twin Peaks” is more like it. This part of the Illinois valley doesn’t look like the town on the TV show, but it shares a similar feeling of mysterious foreboding, of malevolent spirits […]
Lead Stories Last month in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 27-year-old Brandon Clifford pleaded guilty to trying to lure an underage girl for a sexual encounter via the Internet. According to the prosecutor, Clifford’s perversion of choice was “Asian ball busting,” having someone kick him in the testicles. Clifford had been fired from his job as an […]
The oldest modern bicycle Michigan’s Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Museum has in its collection is an Elliot Hickory safety bike from 1892. It features equal-sized spoked hickory wheels, pneumatic tires, a chain drive, and an elliptical chain ring, something Japanese manufacturers reintroduced on bicycles in the late 1970s. The bike once belonged to local resident […]
Genetically modified crops work for struggling farmers like Jim Hasser, but soon there may be little profit in raising “Frankenfood.”
Southwest Wisconsin Southwest Wisconsin took advantage of the rails-to-trails conversion craze of the 70s. As a result, the lush countryside is crosshatched with bike paths well suited for touring. Amenity-rich Sparta forms the hub of three good routes: the Elroy-Sparta Trail, the La Crosse River Trail, and the Great River Trail. Maps are available from […]