Posted inArts & Culture

Damon Short & Jim Baker

Jim Baker can be heard pretty much every week in town–if not at the Sunday-evening jam session at the Velvet Lounge, then with Chicago bands including his own trio, groups led by saxophonists David Boykin and Guillermo Gregorio, and Ken Vandermark’s Steam and Territory Band. Even so Baker attracts less attention than he merits. He’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jazz Rhythms

One of the pleasures of the annual Dance Chicago festival is the opportunity to see less familiar groups on bills with older, more established performers. And one of the most impressive new companies on “Jazz Rhythms”–one of four programs closing Dance Chicago 2001 this weekend–is Culture Shock Chicago. Headed by Viola Elkins, it features amateur […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Clearing Hedges

Clearing Hedges, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company. The lifelong goal of Babe Didrikson Zaharias was simple: she aimed to be the greatest athlete ever. She played professional basketball and baseball, won Olympic gold medals in track and field in 1932, then turned to golf. Along the way she found love with professional wrestler George Zaharias and companionship […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Female Fragments and Forms

While still in his 20s, influential Czech modernist Karel Teige (1900-1951) turned from painting to book design, theoretical writing, and the editing of avant-garde journals. Influenced by cubism, expressionism, constructivism, and surrealism, he was a Marxist who believed everyone could be an artist–who wanted to end the idea of “art with a capital A.” But […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I thought maybe an outsider could give me some insight into my heartache. I dated this guy–call him Ron–for seven months. We were deeply in love but broke up. Almost a year later we tried to be friends. We hung out a couple of times, but he kissed me and there was a lot of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Reporter’s Future/Out to Get the Guild?/News Bites

The Reporter’s Future The first issue of the Chicago Reporter carried a statement of purpose. Founding editors John McDermott and Lillian Calhoun explained in 1972 that the Reporter’s goal would be “racial justice,” its technique “investigative,” and its focus “the terrain where black and white intersect.” They intersect in the life of the woman about […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Touch, Phoenix Theatre, at Victory Gardens Theater. The story–shy, sweet Kyle meets Zoe, the love of his life, then loses her to random tragedy–is genuinely heartbreaking. Playwright Toni Press-Coffman is sensitive, empathetic, sometimes lyrically insightful. And this kind of drama is meant to be arduous, at least emotionally. But a host of structural difficulties makes […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

DOUBLE ZERO RECORDS SHOWCASE 11/30, METRO The Double Zero label was founded to release Smoking Popes rarities and lost treasures, and three years later still specializes in milking the band’s legacy (a Smoking Popes tribute album is due in 2002). Headlining this bill is the label’s probable ace in the hole, Duvall, featuring label owner […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kirov Orchestra

The Kirov Orchestra has traditionally performed as a pit orchestra for the Kirov Opera and the Kirov Ballet at Saint Petersburg’s imposing Mariinsky Theatre, a cultural center in that most cosmopolitan of Russian cities since it opened in 1860. But over the past decade the orchestra has been establishing an identity of its own, delving […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Films by Yoko Ono, program five

So awful it’s worth recommending as a case study in bad filmmaking, the 73-minute Imagine (1971), codirected by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, is at once narcissistically self-indulgent and fatuously obnoxious. Here they carry to an extreme the mistake of the very worst student filmmakers–assuming that their subject (their love for each other) will interest […]

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 declining use and the cost of upkeep–he started doing everything he could to rally public interest in preserving this material, doing something comparable to what writer Nicholson Baker has recently done for newspapers. Screening […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Last Call

Age: 40 Occupation: Contractor Apartment: 4 rooms, enclosed porch, $775 a month Location: Bucktown Not pictured: A dented mailbox containing a crumpled letter from his former landlord informing him that after 12 years their rental agreement has been terminated, because the building has been sold. Anything else from the old place? “I stole the kitchen […]

Posted inArts & Culture

DJ Krush

Ever since seeing the 1982 rap documentary Wild Style as a Tokyo teen, DJ Krush has been in love with hip-hop. But he was also an early exponent of acid jazz, and on Ki-Oku (Apollo), a late-90s collaboration with great Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, he even dabbles in some past-prime-Miles-style fusion. In some ways his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Zoo Story and Transmission

The Zoo Story and Transmission, Fade to Black Theatre Troupe, at Stage Left Theatre. In the last two years I’ve seen five productions of Edward Albee’s absurdist classic, and frankly it’s hard to imagine anyone bringing anything new to the Zoo. Still, every few months another company like the recently formed Fade to Black Theatre […]