Posted inArts & Culture

Nicolas Collins

In an interview from the mid-90s, Chicago-based sound artist Nicolas Collins summed up his MO like so: “In a nutshell, everything I do has to do with sticking something into a machine and watching it come out different at the other end.” In the late 80s Collins designed the gadget he’s best known for–a trombone […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Whole Lotta Shakira Goin’ On

Whole Lotta Shakira Goin’ On, Salsation!, at Chicago Actors Studio. This company’s new “comedy with a Latin flavor” is smaller in scope than its recent Touched by an Anglo. Also conspicuous are references to Puerto Rican, Latin American, and Mexican culture, as wry scenes of homegrown irony take the place of Anglo’s Hollywood-inspired spoofs. Consider […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Last month Dr. Marcel Waldinger, head of the psychiatry and neurosexology department at Leyenburg Hospital in the Hague, Netherlands, told reporters he had diagnosed a “postorgasmic illness syndrome” after examining five patients who suffered flulike symptoms (sweating, extreme fatigue, eye irritation) for several days after intercourse. Waldinger thinks the victims suffered an allergic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kathy Kosins

On Mood Swings (Chiaroscuro), her new second album, Detroit-area vocalist Kathy Kosins tries to do it all. She had a hand in composing the majority of the material on the disc, including my favorite tracks–several sparky jazz tunes on which her husky, honeyed voice stands out nicely against the rhythm-and-horns backdrops. She also pursues the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Movieside 11

The latest in an ongoing series of screenings that intersperse live music with independent video (and film transferred to video). At least half of these 23 provocative works offer genuinely incisive critiques of current culture: J.J. Sedelmaier’s animation Heteroy (1999) features three singing Christians who advocate conversion therapy for gay men (“Thank you for keeping […]

Posted inMusic

Local Release Roundup

BALDWIN BROTHERS Cooking With Lasers (TVT) In the last few years laid-back electronica, be it trip-hop, acid jazz, or watered-down techno, has supplanted Muzak in the sort of eateries where brightly colored cocktails constitute a first course–and the Baldwin Brothers’ full-length debut will surely be on many a restaurateur’s grocery list. The shuffling breakbeats, retro […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bill Bruford’s Earthworks

When he gets around to writing his autobiography, drummer Bill Bruford would do well to divide it into two volumes: one to cover his early career, when he provided the smooth surge that powered iconic art-rock bands Yes and King Crimson, and one to detail his ongoing transformation into a British version of jazz drummer […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tattoo Girl

Tattoo Girl, Cobalt Ensemble Theatre. Donald Barthelme’s writings epitomize the slick, surreal cool of high postmodernist fiction. In his numerous hit-and-run short stories, which seem to have been dashed off during ten-minute taxi rides around Manhattan, he directs a pinpoint of light at fleeting moments of absurd human failings–moments made all the more poignant by […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Dear readers: As promised, this week’s column is packed with letters from straight guys who don’t want to suck dick. Enjoy. I’m a hetero guy who wears thong underwear. I don’t volunteer this information, but in those weird group situations when people ask, I tell the truth. So what is this “real men don’t wear […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Action Theatre II: “Pinned” and “Diamondback Crypt”

Action Theatre II: “Pinned” and “Diamondback Crypt,” R&D Choreography’s Fight Shop Stage Combat Studio, at Lifeline Theatre. Straightforward stunt fighting mostly requires physical agility while stage combat involves not only athleticism but acting. Richard Gilbert and David Gregory, founders of the Fight Shop school of “illusory violence,” made the surprising discovery last year that there […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Williams

London-based classical guitarist John Williams–not to be confused with the movie composer–established his credentials more than 40 years ago with a series of debut recitals in Europe’s music capitals. In his early teens he was already a prodigious talent, mentored by Andres Segovia; he quickly overcame his early limitations–a narrow repertoire and a rather straitlaced […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In the Shadow of Giants

Yvonne Thomas: New York Paintings From the 1950s at Thomas McCormick, through June 29 Robert Richenburg: Evolution of the Dark Paintings at Thomas McCormick, through June 29 Paintings like Barnett Newman’s huge, deceptively simple 1968 Anna’s Light (now part of a retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, continuing through July 7) can feel preternaturally […]