Posted inArts & Culture

Gabert Farrar

Gabert Farrar describes his 11 untitled paintings at Monique Meloche as “removed from their actual subject matter” and “self-referential,” yet they convey an idealized essence of urban clutter. All set thick lines against solid-color backgrounds. In one piece two orange lines on a gray field depict a street receding into the distance, though a vertical […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

Unlike so many disappointing Chicago-area sports franchises in 2002, the University of Illinois men’s basketball team began the current season without high expectations. But the Fighting Illini then won their first eight games, infecting even the most cynical alumnus with visions not only of a third straight Big Ten title but also–dare I suggest it?–of […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Local filmmaker Scott Taradash tells the engrossing story of Chicago bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards, who was born in 1915 in the Mississippi Delta, jammed with Robert Johnson as a young man, came to Chicago in 1953, and still remembers the earliest days of the blues. “He never inflates his importance,” notes Alligator Records president Bruce […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

VULGAR BOATMEN 1/3, SCHUBAS Now based in Indianapolis, this long-running indie cult band (members of which went on to form the Silos, the Mary Janes, the Gentle Readers, and the Mysteries of Life) exists largely in theory. But several times a year its members get together to play their bittersweet crunchy twang for a crowd […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Hunt for Red Willie

The Hunt for Red Willie, Irish Repertory, at Victory Gardens Theater. This should have been a programming hit. Irish Repertory, recovering from recent financial troubles, scored the U.S. premiere of Ken Bourke’s Irish melodrama spoof, which has proved a popular holiday show at Dublin’s acclaimed Abbey Theatre. But all the things that have earned Irish […]

Posted inArts & Culture

J-Live, El Da Sensei

New York MC J-Live caught a good break in 1995, when the hip-hop magazine The Source singled him out for its Unsigned Hype column. A couple of independent singles the following year bolstered his rep and eventually won him a contract with Payday/London. But his debut album, The Best Part, which was supposed to drop […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Selling War

Now that we’re gearing up for some kind of war, the propaganda that fueled national sentiment during World War II has new resonance. World War II Posters: The Social Influences of Wartime Information, on view through January 26 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, offers a look at 32 posters on loan from the Oklahoma Museum […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Charles LaBelle

Charles LaBelle has always had an uncanny ability to see beauty in the urban morass. His show at Bodybuilder and Sportsman starts with five photographic images called “White Nights,” translucent prints mounted on light boxes that look like glowing black-and-white negatives. The three standouts capture the unseen essence of cheap motels. In Ambassador Hotel the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Heard That One Before

So Mike Preston thinks his book Stop Talking Now! is “the world’s first openly hostile self-help book” [Calendar, December 20]? In 1993 James Hillman and Michael Ventura published We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Therapy and the World’s Getting Worse. You think social work is part of the problem? Awww, I’ve heard it all before. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Of the $50 million in political contributions from business, labor, professional, and issue interests to state candidates in 1999- 2000, $11 million came from the 20 largest contributors, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s “Sunshine Database” ( The Illinois Education Association ($1.4 million) and the Illinois State Medical Society ($1 million) were the […]