Posted inNews & Politics

Subsidies All Around

To the editor: Let me get this straight. The city is considering giving an $18 million subsidy to Wal-Mart so that they can bring in a bunch of crappy minimum-wage jobs, sell cheap junk made by third-world prison laborers, and build a sea of sprawling parking lots in the South Loop (Our Town, March 15)? […]

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Wayne Shorter Quartet

More than any other jazz musician since Sun Ra, saxophonist Wayne Shorter embodies mystery. He conjured spacious siren compositions for Weather Report in the 1970s, and for Miles Davis’s quintet before that. Even as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 60s, when he wrote lapidary hard-bop tunes like “Ping Pong” and […]

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Charles McPherson

The jazz public’s reevaluation of alto saxist Charles McPherson–for years written off as just another Charlie Parker clone, albeit the most skillful–makes for one of the more gratifying stories in the genre’s recent history. Born in 1939 (the year Parker first went to New York) in Joplin, Missouri (about 150 miles from Parker’s birthplace, Kansas […]

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A Beggar’s Right to Choose

Although Tori Marlan has already replied to Tom Doody’s letter (March 8) criticizing the cause of homeless advocate Mark Weinberg, I am compelled to write. Mr. Doody, as a city dweller I am also familiar with the various tactics of panhandlers and beggars. I have encountered countless numbers of beggars whose methods have ranged from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stairs to the Roof

Stairs to the Roof, Griffin Theatre Company. History repeats itself, they say–the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. But with Tennessee Williams, apparently, it’s the opposite: this early play begins like a comic version of The Glass Menagerie, satirizing both its artist protagonist and the factory work he’s desperate to escape. The script […]

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TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts BETTER THAN EZRA, COWBOY MOUTH All-ages show. Fri 3/22, 7:30, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. BIG WU, STRANGEFOLK 18 & over show. Fri 3/29, 8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212. BRICK LAYER CAKE Free in-store performance. Fri 3/22, 7:30 PM, Reckless Records, 1532 N. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

See You in the Breadline

I am a 54-year-old single white male living in Lakeview. I read with disgust the foulmouthed diatribe of Thax Douglas in his response to Mark Weinberg [“Working for Change,” March 1]. I was homeless six years ago for a period of two years. Because of the benevolence of people who cared, I found my way […]

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The Entertainer

The Entertainer, Illinois Theatre Center. Twenty years before the Sex Pistols, playwright John Osborne was screaming the punk anthem: No future! Bursting on the scene in 1956 with the furious Look Back in Anger, Osborne followed it up in 1957 with The Entertainer, once again focusing on a handful of people being smothered by England’s […]

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Nobukazu Takemure

Nobukazu Takemura’s recent Sign (Thrill Jockey) isn’t a major addition to the Japanese composer’s discography: two of the four pieces have been previously issued on vinyl (albeit in slightly different versions), and the remainder of the EP doesn’t drift far from the playful melodic minimalism of last year’s Hoshi No Koe. But the centerpiece of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Last month sheriff’s deputies in Kalispell, Montana, arrested 38-year-old militia leader David Earl Burgert after uncovering his group’s “Project 7.” Law enforcement officials allege that the plot involved assassinating several county officials (including the local dogcatcher) in hopes of sparking a national revolution. Burgert had amassed a huge arsenal of machine guns and […]

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Masterclass: New Films by Brakhage, Breer, Hutton, and Dorsky

Five new films by established masters of the avant-garde, three of which are so finely made that they require the viewer’s attentiveness to every frame. Robert Breer’s deceptively simple ATOZ (2000) files through the alphabet, following each letter with a brief burst of animation or photographic images. Ecstatically beautiful, these minimovies use rapid changes in […]

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Some Voices

Some Voices, Profiles Theatre. After the stir created by British playwright Joe Penhall’s award-winning Blue/Orange in its 2000 London premiere, it’s not surprising that Profiles Theatre would choose to produce another Penhall effort. But under the direction of Patrick Wilkes, this 1994 script exploring mental illness and domestic violence often feels strained and derivative. Ray […]