Posted inMusic

Put ‘Em Together and What Have You Got?

The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever Various Artists (no label) Listening to The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever, a recent compilation of 17 “mashups,” is like visiting a bizarre parallel universe, one with a wilder and more dynamic rock scene than our own. Also known as “bootlegs,” “bastard pop,” and “missies,” mashups have […]

Posted inNews & Politics

More on “Heat Wave”

To the editor: I appreciate Harold Henderson’s thoughtful review of my book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago [“City on the Hot Seat,” July 26]. But I can’t help but ask about the three questionable premises that organize his article. First, why does Henderson believe that the job of the social historian […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fillet of Solo

Live Bait Theater’s showcase of one-person performances features old and new work by a slew of fringe artists, among them Stephanie Shaw, Lotti Pharriss, David Kodeski, Mark Gagne, Judith Harding, Karin McKie, and Kristin Garrison. The festival climaxes with a salute to the late James Grigsby, whose solo show Terminal Madness was Live Bait’s first […]

Posted inFilm

The Trouble With Harry

Clint Eastwood’s latest slugfest, Blood Work, is ultimately just another Dirty Harry opus. And by now Harry has become boring, not because Eastwood keeps trying to redefine the character the public tends to remember him for, but because he doesn’t try to redefine the punk villains who keep Harry busy and dirty. In Blood Work—not […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hey! Let’s Put On an Opera

A week before the Ravinia Festival premiere of Rachmaninoff’s opera Francesca da Rimini, director Michael Halberstam wasn’t exactly sure what he had. “We’ve only got two and a half hours of rehearsal time,” the moonlighting artistic director of Glencoe’s Writers’ Theatre said. “You’ve heard of meatball surgery? We won’t know until Friday afternoon when we […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts PAUL ALLODI Free concert. Wed 8/14, 6:30 PM, Buehler YMCA, 11400 W Northwest Hwy., Palatine. 847-359-2400. AMERICAN MUSIC DRIVEWAY TOUR Jay Mathes and other artists perform in local driveways and parking lots through mid-October. Fri 8/9 (featuring Gary Stanton & Shawn Kellner), 7 PM, Jay Mathes’s driveway, 419 Meadow, Lombard. 630-495-0993. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anti-Business, as Usual

The Bug New Theater Collective at Chicago Dramatists The recent revelations about corporate malfeasance–and the New Theater Collective’s revival of Richard Strand’s 1989 satire of American business–got me thinking again about my days in corporate America. Over the years I’ve worked for several bloated businesses and for some smaller, more wiry start-ups desperate to become […]

Posted inArts & Culture


On his grandiose and schizophrenic U.S. debut, Fantasma (Matador, 1998), Japanese pomo pop star Cornelius drove wildly different genres together in the sampling equivalent of a demolition derby. Bits of bossa nova, cartoon music and sound effects, drum ‘n’ bass, garage rock, and sunny pop collided in a delirious mix–but especially in the context of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stages 2002: A Festival of New Musicals

Theatre Building Chicago hosts a weekend-long showcase of seven new musicals, offered here in varying stages of readiness. The lineup compiled by artistic director John Sparks includes concert-style performances (with the actors at music stands), staged readings (with the actors moving about while using scripts and scores), and fully memorized and staged studio presentations. The […]