Posted inMusic

Jonathan Richman

Back in the 80s, when Jonathan Richman used to play the old Holsteins in Lincoln Park, some friends of mine spotted him on the street and pulled over to say hello. He was walking to a comic book shop that was some distance away, and when they offered him a ride he hopped right in—then […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Notebook of Trigorin

The Notebook of Trigorin, Open Eye Productions, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Tennessee Williams’s “free adaptation” of The Seagull–which he called “the first and greatest modern play”–is arguably his last great drama, yet it almost never saw the light of day. The Vancouver Playhouse commissioned the work to open its 1981 season, but by the time […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Police Scanner

Sunday, February 3, 12:20 PM Dispatcher: 1456? 1456: Doin’ the hospital tour on this accident–gotta go up to Swedish, then to Masonic, then to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital. Gonna take the better part of the day on this one. Dispatcher: Swedish, Masonic, and what’s the other hospital? 1456: Saint E’s. Unidentified Caller: You hit the trifecta, […]

Posted inFilm


Started in 2000 near the Afghan border in Iran, shot in rough and haphazard conditions, and completed the following spring, this is one of Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s strangest films. An Afghan woman (Nelofer Pazira), exiled to Canada, returns to look for her sister, who still suffers under the Taliban and has threatened to kill herself during […]

Posted inNews & Politics

23 Years on the Street

Photographer Richard Younker grew up in the kitchen of his father’s downtown Chicago restaurant, watching and listening to the Irish, German, African-American, and Hispanic workers who made the place tick. As an adult, he used a camera to capture the people he saw, taking it into the city’s ethnic neighborhoods and toughest streets. For Younker, […]

Posted inMusic

Amy Rigby

Though she’s never drawn the adoring crowds that flock to Tori Amos or Sarah McLachlan, singer-songwriter Amy Rigby has no peer on the current pop scene. Her wit, honesty, emotional intelligence, and superior gift for melody have enabled her to capture a moment in the lives of men and women as precisely as Carole King […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Family Affairs

Maria Arndt Steppenwolf Theatre Company It’s undeniable that there are “lost” works best left wandering in the literary wilderness–particularly plays. A script that might have seemed vibrant in its own era can feel like a living wax museum when presented to contemporary audiences. But with this intelligent and moving production, director Tina Landau makes an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Man on the Right

I was disturbed by what I perceived as a very pronounced right-wing bias in Harold Henderson’s review of Robert McChesney’s book Rich Media, Poor Democracy (“Useless Information,” February 15). He makes a point of mentioning McChesney’s leftist credentials, as if this were in any way relevant to McChesney’s analysis of corporate control over the media. […]

Posted inMusic

Yuri Yunakov

Incorporating influences from around the globe is especially fashionable in American music right now, but there’s nothing new—or particularly American—about the impulse to knock down ethnic and geographic barriers in the name of a good tune. As a member of Ivo Papasov’s great Bulgarian band and, since moving to New York in 1994, as a […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Dear readers: I’m taking a couple of weeks off to tour some of America’s travel destinations. While I’m away, please enjoy this thoroughly disgusting “greatest-hits” column from the archives… If one were to make cheese from human breast milk, what commercially available cheese would be its closest relation in taste and texture? –SF The overwhelming […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Landmark Decisions

To the editor: Regarding David R. Murray’s February 1 cover story on the house at 836 N. Paulina in which he describes my “betrayal” of him, Mr. Murray never identified himself to me as a journalist in our numerous conversations, nor that he was working on an article for publication. From our first discussions I […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pack Attack

Dear Hot Type: Did Carol Slezak, at the very least, consciously distort her Lambeau Field racism story? You be the judge: Reread the last 2-3 paragraphs of her original narrative. (The complainants rush out of Green Bay in a panic, literally in fear of some sort of mob action, and then make it home “safely”–Slezak’s […]

Posted inMusic

Ed Wilkerson & Michael Zerang

By now Ed Wilkerson has taken his place in the long line of great Chicago tenor players, including some he listened to closely on the way up: Von Freeman, Fred Anderson, Ari Brown. Like Freeman or Eddie Harris, he favors a gruff, back-of-the-throat growl–welcome relief from the shellacked-reed shrillness too many tenor players picked up […]