Posted inArts & Culture

Greg Mills Is Billy Falconberger

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ray Brookhouse’s McHenry, Illinois

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Neil Michael Hagerty

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big Jay McNeely

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 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

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 […]

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Biking Southwest Wisconsin

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Printers Row Book Fair

More than 170 booksellers will have displays on South Dearborn between Congress and Polk for the 17th annual Printers Row Book Fair, which features dozens of readings, performances, and panel discussions (and coincides with BookExpo America, the book industry’s annual trade show). Many of the booksellers will host their own author appearances as well. The […]