Posted inArts & Culture

Bad-Ass & the Devil

There’s no rest for the wicked. After turning the Space into a blast furnace last spring with his pitch-black comedies Serendipity and Need, Chicago playwright Arik Martin is bringing back Bad-Ass & the Devil for a weekend of benefit performances. There are echoes of Tarantino in the play’s glib dialogue (“Respect for the language is […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I have a big problem. The woman I love is 26 and I’m 28. We’ve been with each other for about four years, and in that time she’s gotten really fat. I tried to approach her about her weight in a gentle way (women and weight is a bad convo to have), and she cried […]

Posted inFilm

Listening Party

This month the Film Center is inaugurating a monthly “Music Movies” series, five programs that will play on Sundays and Thursdays. The focus in August is jazz films, and the programs include four classics I first saw years ago and four others I’ve just seen for the first time. The worst film in the bunch […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

As of late last week I was still resisting that moment when a Cubs fan finally surrenders wholeheartedly to the team’s good fortunes. Though the Cubs were in first place in late July, I just didn’t believe they were good enough to finish on top, not even in the mediocre National League Central. Manager of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sharp and Polished Shards

Nebraskoblivion I-80 Drama Company at the Neo-Futurarium Chris Conry may have only one play–the stunning, disorienting Nebraskoblivion–to peddle at this point. But in only 90 intermissionless minutes this 26-year-old solves one of the most pressing, ubiquitous problems in contemporary American playwriting. About four decades ago writers started giving up on the well-made play, with its […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Human Rhythm Project

Tap dance is a tenacious art form, with roots in the brothels and loading docks of 19th-century America and branches today in such big-ticket Broadway productions as Jelly’s Last Jam and Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. But the visibility of the venue or the performer is far less significant than the fact […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

COMMUNITY 8/3, THE NOTE This New Orleans outfit, formerly known as the Supaflies, recently realized that Radiohead is bigger than Less Than Jake and took a flying leap off the ska-punk bandwagon. Now they’re passing around a demo of pleasant artsy noodling–but the vocalists still sound like they’re trying to be heard over a kegger. […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Frieder Schlaich based his 2000 German film on the 1989 confrontation between Stuttgart police and Frederic Otomo, a Cameroonian immigrant who slugged a ticket taker who’d tried to throw him off a tram. Though he’s been in Germany for eight years, Otomo has never been permitted to work; carrying a bag of his native soil […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

When eternity is not enough. From the Washington Times (July 5): “A forthcoming study for the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, a group based in Chicago, found that celibacy and loneliness were the main reasons why a sample of 72 priests, most of them younger, had left the church since 1992. Many also felt a […]

Posted inMusic

Heavy Meddling

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Part One (Sundazed) West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Vol. 2 (Sundazed) West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band A Child’s Guide to Good and Evil (Sundazed) In the late 19th century, composers wrote highly detailed scores to preserve their particular vision of a piece of music. For them the […]

Posted inMusic

Beginning Transmission

Beginning Transmission It was July 12, 1998, and Trans 001, the first installment of the Transmissions experimental music festival, had gone pretty well so far. After almost three days of improvisation, noise, sound art, and post-rock in collegiate Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the organizers were readying the venue, a sports bar called Bub O’Malley’s, for […]