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Posted inNews & Politics


Gay Riseborough has been a portraitist for most of her career, faithfully rendering the real world. She still does that to pay the bills, working in her Evanston studio. But about seven years ago she also began painting scenes that exist only in her head–symbolic, autobiographical images rendered in a dark, old masters’ palette. Take, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Simon Shaheen & Qantara

Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; sometimes the sugar can taste like medicine. When Palestinian violin and oud master Simon Shaheen attempts to make Arabic classical music more accessible–for instance, by arranging the Police’s awful “Tea in the Sahara” for oud, nay, frame drums, upright bass, darbuka, and guitar on last […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mingus Big Band

Some years ago, as I sat on a professional committee, the subject of the Mingus Big Band came up. A colleague asked, “You mean they play only Mingus’s music?” When told yes, she put her foot in her mouth: “He wrote enough music to fill a whole album?” An innovative bassist and volatile bandleader, Charles […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Damn Yankees

Damn Yankees, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Director David H. Bell clearly trusts the power of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross’s 1952 Broadway classic, an invigorating graft of the Faust legend onto the national pastime. Middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd sells his soul to regain his youth and help his beloved Washington Senators win a pennant […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts LYNN BREEDLOVE & NOMY LAMM Performance and reading from Breedlove’s novel Godspeed; free admission. Sun 5/5, 3 PM, Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W. North. 773-342-0910. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS, NEKO CASE & HER BOYFRIENDS See Spot Check. Fri 4/26, 7:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. 312-443-1130 or 312-902-1500. CRAZY […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Khan, born Can Oral (for real), has by his own admission lived a “hedonistic, fucked-up, self-centered lifestyle” that’s taken him from Germany to New York to Mexico and produced a discography that’s almost as well traveled as he is. In the last 20 years, he’s made recordings that range from lo-fi noise to more highbrow […]

Posted inMusic

Songs About the Southland

Drive-by Truckers Southern Rock Opera Freebirds: The Lynyrd Skynyrd Story by Marley Brant (Billboard Books) It’s been said many times that white southerners are one of the last cultural groups it’s socially acceptable to make fun of. In response there has evolved a virtual cottage industry of answer-back, of which Jim Goad’s Redneck Manifesto is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: a marriage of media

Some rebellions start with a sword. Anjelika Krishna’s started with a sewing machine. “My parents always wanted me to become a doctor because we’re from this whole range of doctors and engineers,” says Krishna, a 22-year-old fashion design student at the School of the Art Institute. “I had to revolt a lot to pursue this.” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Theories on the Horizon

Joni Marie Theodorsen at Contemporary Art Workshop, through May 14 Joni Marie Theodorsen’s 16 new works at Contemporary Art Workshop have a strong conceptual dimension: reflecting on the history of Western landscape painting, she presents abstracted landscapes divided into two or three fields–ground, sky, and in some cases horizon lines. In one large untitled pencil […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Earlier this month 57-year-old Ronald Mallett, a physics professor at the University of Connecticut, said that after years of study he hopes to begin experiments this year that will lead to genuine time travel. Mallett derived his theory from Einstein’s theory of relativity but says that moving even small objects might require more […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Twain in Person

Mark Twain in Person, American Theater Company. After performing this labor of love for 35 years, Richard Henzel is somewhat closer to Mark Twain’s supposed age at the time of this lecture–71–making the novelist’s addlepated humor and genial dodder seem even more authentic. But then everything rings true in this delightful depiction, directed by James […]