Posted inFilm

Charming Curse

I don’t want to oversell Woody Allen’s 31st feature, which I happen to like. The script is full of holes, most of the one-liners are weak and mechanical, and the plot—a nightclub magician gets two of his hypnotized subjects to steal jewels for him—is so deliberately stupid and contrived that one can probably enjoy it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eleventh Day Dream Day

Eleventh Dream Day You bet Eleventh Dream Day get recommended every time they play–after all, it isn’t very often that they do, and what’s more, they’re seemingly incapable of putting on an uninspired show. Their 19-year story is the story of the Chicago underground rock scene in microcosm: they’ve survived major-label abandonment, fluctuations in fashion, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars

John Carpenter at his most enjoyable generally means ‘Scope, working-class sass, kick-ass antiestablishment heroes, typecast villains who individually suggest quiet serial killers and collectively resemble hordes of whooping savages, a minimalist music score by Carpenter himself, and an overall affection for the way action movies looked and sounded 50 years ago. This movie–an action romp […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rhinoceros Theater Festival

This ambitious showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest. Now it’s produced by the Curious Theatre Branch; in addition to the Curious folks, participating artists include Theater Oobleck, Antonio Sacre, Jennifer Biddle LaFleur, Michael Meyers, Frank Melcori, Nomenil, Barrie Cole, TeenStreet, Blair Thomas, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture


HERBERT Upon releasing his latest album, Bodily Functions (K7/Soundslike), British dance-music producer Matthew Herbert posted the Personal Contract for the Composition of Music–a ten-point manifesto not unlike Dogma 95’s Vow of Chastity that he adheres to in his own work–at his Web site, Among its most interesting promises: no sampling other people’s music, no […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mem Shannon

Mem Shannon Singer-guitarist and former New Orleans cabdriver Mem Shannon established himself as a master storyteller with his out-of-nowhere 1995 debut, A Cab Driver’s Blues. Its gritty vignettes (“The Miserable Bastard,” “$17.00 Brunette”) were unsparing but not scornful, leavened with compassion for the down-and-outers, drunks, and bitter, foul-mouthed streetwalkers who populated them; it might not […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m 20, gay, and I just moved to the big city. I’m good-looking, I guess, because really hot guys are always hitting on me. I don’t actually like anal sex much, but I’m trying to learn. And that’s the problem: Most guys I sleep with don’t want to use condoms. How do I handle this? […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Too Close For Comfort

Prelude: The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Walkabout Theater Company at the Chopin Theatre By Kerry Reid In a journal entry near the end of her brief life, Katherine Mansfield wrote, “Take the case of K.M. She has led, ever since she can remember, a very typically false life. Yet, through it all, there […]

Posted inNews & Politics

I Hated Medill

I noticed the link to your article [Hot Type, August 17] in Media Bistro and just wanted to tell you that it’s great to learn that there are other Medill students and alumni who hate the place so much they boil over and send angry E-mail. I got a master’s in print there in August […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SOULIVE It’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend a Soulive concert without knowing which of the bands documented on the young organ trio’s two albums will show up. Both discs feature the same personnel, but a funny thing happened in the year between Soulive’s dirty, steamy 2000 debut, Turn It Out (Velour), and its follow-up, Doin’ Something […]