Posted inMusic

Hardcore Software

Converge Jane Doe (Equal Vision) In New York, music has had a hard time lately competing with the burning smell down here below Canal Street. (Note to terrorists/antiterrorists: Investigate smells more fully, as they will fuck your head right up.) Hip-hop’s confidence sounds howlingly wrong, too many singer-songwriters are playing a tiny violin I can’t […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

HARVEY SID FISHER 11/23, HIDEOUT Remember the “cocktail nation” craze of the mid-90s, when martinis, lounge singers, and cheesy Vegas comedians were all the rage? I thought it was pretty noxious coming from twentysomethings, but the shtick does have its charms coming from the real thing–from a parallel universe–like Harvey Sid Fisher. The 50s-vintage battle-of-the-sexes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Will He Bop, Will He Drop?

Will He Bop, Will He Drop?, National Pastime Theater. This company had a hit with Robert Alexander’s stage portrait of Huey P. Newton, Servant of the People!!, in 1996. And getting the world premiere of his newest play is an undeniable coup. But despite sprightly direction by Laurence Bryan, a high-energy cast, and the inspired […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Life in the Theatre

A Life In The Theatre, Sense of Urgency Productions, at the Viaduct Theater. David Mamet has said that he spends the bulk of his playwriting time devising plots, and the laser-focused action in most of his plays bears testament to this assertion. But his 1977 A Life in the Theatre is something of an anomaly. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Out of the Vault

Several months ago, when Chicagoan Jim Finn discovered that the Chicago Public Library was closing its 16-millimeter film collection–not surprising given the cost of upkeep and declining use–he started doing everything he could to rally public interest in preserving this material, attempting something comparable to what writer Nicholson Baker has done for preserving newspapers. As […]

Posted inArts & Culture

H2O

H20, Neo-Futurists. Midway through writer-director Greg Allen’s clownish love story, the three performers step out of the action and address the audience, describing their first dates with their now long-term partners. As they speak, they capture tiny segments of their lovers’ faces, projected onto handkerchiefs they hold before them. Although each character reveals only a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Eat your heart out, Henry David Thoreau. According to the Illinois Natural History Survey “Reports” (Autumn), on June 29 and 30, more than 160 scientists participated in a “biodiversity blitz” at the Robert Allerton Park, which is west of Champaign-Urbana. Among other things, they were seeking “to break the temperate zone blitz record for species […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti told London’s Daily Telegraph in November about Operation Acoustic Kitty, a 1960s project in which the agency surgically implanted batteries and wires into a cat and an antenna into its tail so that it could transmit eavesdropped conversations. The project was five years in development when the first […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Petty Crime

September 7, 4:15 PM, 4400 block of North Magnolia. Burglary. Police responding to call spotted suspect riding bicycle and carrying suitcase 2 blocks north of crime scene. Asked where he got items, suspect replied, “I don’t know. That’s your job to find out.” September 11, 6:30 PM, 1400 block of South Federal. Attempted burglary. Home […]