Posted inArts & Culture

DJ Cheb I Sabbah

DJ Cheb i Sabbah’s new album, Krishna Lila (Six Degrees), may well be the first collection of bhajans, or Hindi devotional tunes, constructed in Pro Tools. It was recorded over a two-year period on several continents, with accomplished Indian classical musicians like bansuri (bamboo flute) player Deepak Ram and violinist K. Shivakumar, as well as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lizzie, we hardly knew ye

The murder is the least surprising thing in the story,” says Circle Theatre coartistic director Kevin Bellie of Murder Americana: The People vs. Lizzie Borden, which premieres this week. Director Ty Perry kept in touch with New York playwright Harry McEwan after appearing in McEwan’s comedy Satan’s School for Girls at Circle five years ago; […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Same Old Song and Dance

Equal Footing/Equal Earing at HotHouse, through June 28 “Downtown” in Chicago means business or government or big entertainment–the middle of the road as well as of the city. In New York, though, “downtown” means at the edge, on the fringe, in the avant-garde. With its third annual “Equal Footing/Equal Earing” festival at the HotHouse in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

One-Man Shows

Love & Sin: A Solo Experience at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, through July 7 Several years back–when Brigid Murphy and Cheryl Trykv were battling cancer and monologuists Lisa Buscani, Paula Killen, Mark Roth, and Marcia Wilkie had left town–the demise of Chicago’s once thriving solo performance scene seemed imminent. Lawrence Steger’s death in February 1999 mimicked […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Call of the Wild

Lynn Geesaman at Catherine Edelman, through July 6 Joseph Piccillo at Perimeter, through July 7 River North is positively abloom: there are flower paintings at three galleries, and flowers are prominent at two more. As any Redon lover knows, flower paintings can be gloriously intense, but those at Belloc Lowndes and Sonia Zaks don’t seem […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard has been defying trends for decades. In 1967 the Rhode Island guitarist formed Roomful of Blues, a brawny, horn-heavy band that provided an antidote to the incense-addled Summer of Love blues-rock scene: instead of jamming indulgently on themes swiped from Chicago jukes, like many of the era’s more famous groups, Robillard and company […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Minority Report

Completed the same month Joseph McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate, Philip K. Dick’s paranoid sci-fi story “The Minority Report” posits a future in which prophets wired to a supercomputer enable the cops to bust people for crimes they haven’t yet committed. Whether this dystopian vision will disturb a nation that wants potential terrorists […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Family Tree

FAMILY TREE Since its inception in the late 90s, the Chicago hip-hop collective called the Family Tree has been dominated by All Natural, the duo of MC Capital D and DJ Tone B. Nimble. They’ve released a pair of acclaimed albums; last year’s excellent Second Nature, on the rock-oriented Thrill Jockey label, helped them reach […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts BEACH BOYS, AMERICA Fri 6/28, 7 PM, Tweeter Center, I-80 and Harlem, Tinley Park. 708-614-1616 or 312-559-1212. EDDIE BLAZONCZYK’S VERSATONES perform polka music at Chicago Summerdance. Sat 6/29, 7:30 PM (preceded by dance lessons at 6 PM), Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, Michigan between Harrison and Balbo. 312-742-4007. BLUE OYSTER […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Goo!/Behind the Mustach

Goo! C’Est la Vie Drama Group, at WNEP Theater, and Behind the Mustach, Spoog Records and Oink Productions, at WNEP Theater. Billed as “a theatrical sitcom,” Goo! has a Three’s Company-esque premise: three recent college grads planning a kegger are caught in the midst of party prep by their landlord (Paul Jensen, whose awkward mannerisms […]

Posted inMusic

Wilco’s Beating Heart

Wilco’s Beating Heart In the late 90s Glenn Kotche was one of the busiest drummers in Chicago–a town with a lot of busy drummers. He could be heard, live and on record, keeping the beat behind everyone from Jon Langford to Edith Frost to Jim O’Rourke. But in nearly every situation, he felt like a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nina Nastasia

On her recently released second album, The Blackened Air (Touch and Go), New York singer-songwriter Nina Nastasia grapples with the kind of fundamental uncertainty that sinks in when adulthood genuinely takes hold. Several songs are about trying to take stock of the present while shaking off increasingly elusive hopes for the future: “We work so […]