Posted inArts & Culture

Konk Pack

When the uninitiated think of free improv, most likely what comes to mind is what’s known in the parlance as “plink-plonk”–a prevalent aesthetic of quiet restraint that’s produced some good stuff but more often validates musicians with little to say and even less means to say it. There’s no danger of that happening here, though: […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rules of the Road

Thank you for your article about Thomas McBride’s tragic death, and the legal proceedings against his assailant [September 21]. Like Randy Neufeld I’m not sure this article is really about bicycles and traffic. I am hoping that the unspeakable tragedy we suffered on September 11 will prompt us as a nation to do more than […]

Posted inMusic

Two-Step to Nowhere

MJ Cole Sincere (Talkin’ Loud/Island) Artful Dodger It’s All About the Stragglers (London/Sire) When American record companies attempt to break British-born postrave subgenres in the States, they invariably take the same approach: Real artists. Real songs. Real albums. Who has time to test-drive the dozens of look- and soundalike DJ-mix CDs out there? Not even […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

It seemed a normal September day, the sort when summer passes almost immeasurably into fall over the course of a few hours in the early evening. High clouds covered the sky, casting a curtain over the renewed air traffic above, as the players marched out at Comiskey Park two Tuesdays ago to stretch and jog, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Leave Lutton Alone

Dear editor: At least three things amaze and depress me about the raft of vitriolic responses the Reader has received to Linda Lutton’s recent column about the federal tax cut [Letters, August 24]: (1) Their collective assumption that every person’s value to their nation is measured solely and completely by their salary–when in fact, that […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Waiting Is Their Business, and Business Is Good

A few mornings a week around ten o’clock, Angela and Frank Stritzel unlock the gate over their Western Avenue storefront, Stritzel’s Appliances. Angela’s window display, which changes twice yearly, currently features a meticulously ordered regiment of slightly faded toys: police cars, locomotives, flying machines, fake stuffed owls and fighting cocks, a demented chihuahua, a plush […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

EL VEZ 9/28, ABBEY PUB Tune of “Heartbreak Hotel”: “Pues when I was an Aztec / Before the empire fell / There was a man who walked the land / Quetzalcoatl / He was an Aztec baby / He might have been Jesus / He was an Aztec who could fly.” El Vez, the globe-trotting […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gov’t Mule

Onetime Nashville session guitarist Warren Haynes played with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers before joining the Allman Brothers Band itself upon its reunion in 1989. Once he was in, the faithful granted him favorable comparisons to founding member Duane Allman, but apparently it wasn’t enough to fill someone else’s shoes, no matter how big. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dempsey’s Strange Silence

In response to “Stacks Under Attack,” September 7, 2001. An Open Letter to Mayor Daley I am a longtime user of the Chicago Public Library system, including branch libraries, the Harold Washington central library, and especially the Sulzer Regional Library in my neighborhood. So I’ve been closely following in both Inside and now the Reader […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Baby Jane Dexter

Baby Jane Dexter named her new show Making Every Moment Count well in advance of September 11–and though the sentiment has certainly gained new currency in the wake of that morning’s terrible events, in all likelihood the title reflects her response to a more personal experience of survival and regeneration. A star on New York’s […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I share the pain and anger you feel in the wake of the heinous attacks of September 11. However, I’m writing to administer a gentle knock for your subsequent column. I’m not upset about your take on God. But while you may have sat down to write on September 12 in an emotionally shattered state, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Orton Socket

In the last few years cornetist Rob Mazurek has stretched impossibly far beyond the music with which he first made his name–and appropriately enough, for his latest and longest stretch, he’s taken a new name. For most of the 90s, Mazurek was one of Chicago’s most promising hard-bop blowers, recalling high flyers like Lee Morgan […]

Posted inNews & Politics

They Do So!

Ben Joravsky’s column regarding the Sulzer Regional Library [September 7] certainly informed readers of an important community concern. I was, however, surprised by the inclusion of the following quote regarding the truck driver’s comment that 200 boxes of books were being removed daily: “Listen, this guy doesn’t lie. He’s just the truck driver, a lunch-box […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Helias’s Open Loose

In the liner notes to his excellent new album New School (Enja) bassist Mark Helias explains that “open loose” is “how I sometimes refer to sections of pieces that involve open form improvisation.” A veteran of bands led by Anthony Davis, Anthony Braxton, Ray Anderson, and Dewey Redman and the leader of several medium-size groups […]