Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Jazz Ensemble

Chicago’s nationally recognized jazz repertory orchestra has often tipped its hat to director William Russo’s two biggest heroes, Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton; this weekend’s celebration of the music of Woody Herman is less expected but wholly laudable. Unlike the other two, Herman did little of the important writing for his jazz orchestras of the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cubs MVPs: The Tribune Team

Cubs MVPs: The Tribune Team A controversial deal’s being pushed in Missouri to build the Saint Louis Cardinals a new ballpark with more than $200 million in public money. The Post-Dispatch isn’t just covering the debate; it’s a player. That’s why every story offers the boilerplate: “Pulitzer Inc., which owns the Post-Dispatch, and Pulitzer’s chairman, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Hello, I’ve looked for documentation and evidence to refute or validate the statement my sociology professor made to illustrate that the world isn’t really what it seems. He claims that “one out of every eight humans has had sex with an animal.” Please respond if you’re going to investigate “the old one in eight” as […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

SONGS: OHIA 4/12, SCHUBAS Jason Molina, who’s left Ohio for Chicago since naming his band, is its only consistent member. His modus operandi of collaborating with a different set of musicians for each record (and sometimes each show) gives each release its own distinct flavor: what the project might lack in stability it gains in […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Pianist Fiona Boznos and percussionist James Boznos started Klang, which means “sound” or “ringing” in German, in 1995 with another pianist and percussionist, intending to tackle a wide range of contemporary music. Supplemented by wind, brass, and electronic instrumentalists, they quickly built a repertoire of 60-some works by 38 composers, including Conlon Nancarrow, Helmut Lachenmann, […]

Posted inFilm

Naturally Shortsighted

Human Nature * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Michel Gondry Written by Charlie Kaufman With Patricia Arquette, Tim Robbins, Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Robert Forster, Mary Kay Place, Rosie Perez, and Miguel Sandoval. The energizing comic wackiness of Being John Malkovich made me wonder what to expect next from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Pullman’s 1998 debut, Turnstyles & Junkpiles, was a set of chipper acoustic string pieces recorded live, sans overdubs–breezy instrumentals awash in fingerpicking, pastoral landscapes, and pass-the-guitar folksiness. But the band’s core quartet includes Ken (formerly Bundy K.) Brown and Doug McCombs, both restless intergenre explorers, so it’d be foolish to expect Pullman to paint from […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 4/12 – Thursday 4/18 APRIL 12 FRIDAY In today’s zero-tolerance political climate, one gets the feeling the prodigal son would be shot dead if he tried to come home. Organizers of the conference Doing Justice to Mercy: Contemporary Problems and Prospects in Criminal Justice, held today and tomorrow at the University of Chicago’s divinity […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Tempest

The Tempest, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In this efficient, relatively unadorned production of one of Shakespeare’s messiest plays, director Barbara Gaines showcases what her company does best: comedy, music, and spectacle. The clown routines in which shipwrecked buffoons Trinculo (Scott Parkinson) and Stephano (Greg Vinkler) wrangle with good-hearted ogre Caliban (Scott Jaeck) are as crisp, hilarious, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Show and Tell

Elizabeth Barret was an Appalachian kid in 1967 when one of the locals killed a documentary filmmaker who’d ventured onto his property carrying a camera. He got off with only a year in prison; Barret grew up to be a documentarian herself and was haunted by the incident. In her 62-minute film, Stranger With a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bum’s Rush

To the editors, Regarding Mark Weinberg, “Working for Change,” March 1: When I moved to the Loop about nine years ago, I routinely gave to “the homeless.” It only took a few months before any charitable impulse I had vanished in the face of ingratitude, harassment, coercion, and the realization that these were, by and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pulse 2002: A Spotlight on Digital Media

Presented by Chicago Filmmakers and Columbia College, this weekend festival focuses on digital technology, principally video. Screenings are at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark; and Columbia College Ludington Bldg., 1104 S. Wabash, room 302. Tickets are $7, $3 for members of Chicago Filmmakers, and free for Columbia College students. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hedwig Dances

Multimedia approaches to dance theater inform the two new works on Hedwig Dances’ spring program. Artistic associate Peter Sciscioli’s Last April is literally layered: the dancers emerge in hats and overcoats, then shed their clothes over the course of the piece. Dance, music, and recorded and recited texts are set against a backdrop of film […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dale Watson

Honky-tonk devotee Dale Watson is hardly the first guy to write songs for therapeutic reasons, but on last year’s Every Song I Write Is for You (Audium) he worked out some very personal demons in a very public way. In September 2000 his fiancee, Terri Herbert, was killed in a car accident en route to […]