Posted inArts & Culture

The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t, Child’s Play Touring Theatre, at Goodman Theatre. In this hour-long show, professional actors perform three stories written by schoolchildren: Dinky the Dancing Reindeer, the cute tale of a reindeer torn between her love for pulling Santa’s sleigh and her desire to dance; How Santa Got Well, the less original story […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Angels of Light

It’s good when artists age gracefully, but it’s even better when they do it strikingly. Take Michael Gira: His old band Swans took a daring turn in the mid-80s from brutal crunch into brooding gothic songcraft, and the transition, captured in 1987 on Children of God, was a little bumpy. Gira was notoriously dissatisfied with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“Those ethnic and religious groups that relied the least on government progressed the fastest and farthest,” argues Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute in the “Heartlander” (November). “Jews, Mormons, Chinese, and Japanese have been successful in the U.S. even though they have faced fierce discrimination. Irish-, Italian-, and African-Americans, on the other hand, have been […]

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Strangulated Beatoffs

The Strangulated Beatoffs aren’t known for their work ethic: in 16 years they’ve played live only a handful of times, and even those were barely performances. For the last one, in their native Saint Louis about three years ago, they reportedly lugged a sofa onstage, sat down, and watched TV. Plus they’re frustratingly vague and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jason Moran Trio

On last year’s superb Facing Left, pianist Jason Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen, and drummer Nasheet Waits acted as three but moved as one. Whether stretching tunes like taffy with accelerations and decelerations that turned on a dime or dissolving the line between foreground and background with their hyperactive interplay, they achieved an elusive degree of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

There’s been a lot of talk about how the hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center expected to receive 72 virgins (or 70 or 50, depending on whom you listen to) in paradise. Is this really true? (That they expected this, I mean, not that they’ll receive it.) It seems a rather unsophisticated and juvenile […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bloodyminded

Mark Solotroff formed Bloodyminded, a local “true crime power electronics” trio, in 1995, after his former group, Intrinsic Action, played an anticlimactic final show at a New York S-M event. “It was just a big, silly cartoon with fat, ugly safe-sex geeks,” he told an interviewer later. “We immediately talked about how to really take […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 12/14 – Thursday 12/20 DECEMBER 14 FRIDAY The moon will block 23 percent of the sun at the peak of today’s partial solar eclipse. The event shouldn’t be viewed with the naked eye, so the Adler Planetarium will sell safe-viewing glasses (for $2 each) and make telescopes available to the public. You could also […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brazen Hymns

A genuine rarity–a 40-minute experimental film in 35-millimeter and Dolby sound–this intriguing and arresting opus by D.B. Griffith shifts between “straight” documentary and drama as five allegorical, autodidactic outsiders (a clown, a butcher, a weeping priest, a doomsayer, and a man with a beak who speaks to birds in their own language, subtitled in English) […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fulcrum Point

Stephen Burns, who conducts the local new-music chamber group Fulcrum Point (and its parent ensemble, the American Concerto Orchestra), has a fondness for thematically organized programs that embrace a wide range of musical genres, but sometimes his decisions almost defy explanation—last winter’s “Rock ’til You Drop,” for instance, juxtaposed pieces by Frank Zappa and Milton […]