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Posted inMusic

Let’s Get Small/Postscripts

Let’s Get Small Frank and John Navin, the brothers who lead the Aluminum Group, will be touring behind their forthcoming Happyness by plane–so they wanted to travel light. Your average band lugs an assortment of instruments, amplifiers, cords, and pedals across the country in a lumbering Econoline, but the Navins have no bulkier baggage to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“In a little over 15 years, the Chicago school system has gone from ‘districts,’ to ‘service centers,’ to ‘regions,’ to ‘Area Instructional Offices,’” notes an emphatically unimpressed writer in Substance (September). “The new plan seems to have the six high school areas running from the east to west. The geographical boundaries of the new elementary […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Could you give me the straight dope on “toxic” mold? I’m a home inspector and the science on this latest home hysteria seems a bit off. Nobody seems to know when/why/how the stuff turns up or turns “toxic.” I’d never heard of this stuff five years ago but now it seems like it’s everywhere. –Kyle […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hollis Resnik

In his notes for Hollis Resnik’s debut CD, Make Someone Happy (M.A.M. Records), Broadway composer Michael John LaChiusa compares the Chicago-based singer to Ethel Merman and Mary Martin. But if Resnik recalls anyone, it’s the brilliant young Barbra Streisand. With gutsy dramatic instincts and a voice that can be big and brassy or soft and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jon Rauhouse

Jon Rauhouse has been Bloodshot Records’ first-call pedal steel player since 1995, when his old band the Grievous Angels first recorded for the label. His bright tone and liquid licks have appeared on countless records by the Waco Brothers, Kelly Hogan, Neko Case, and Sally Timms, but he didn’t step into the spotlight until this […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 10/11 – Thursday 10/17 OCTOBER 11 FRIDAY In the 1880s, Jews fleeing pogroms in central and eastern Europe often landed in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district–and some eventually made their way to Chicago’s Maxwell Street neighborhood. The two Jewish settlements are the focus of a UIC symposium called Flashbacks: Chicago and Vienna–Two Cities in Dialogue, which […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago

Now in its 40th year, the troupe has branched out from the classic jazz-dance creations of its founder, who’s turning 80 next summer, to embrace the choreography of company members and national figures alike. Two new additions come from local choreographers. Randy Duncan’s Sister Girl, a dance for five women, is set to an original […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Broutil & Frothingham Productions, at the Theatre Building Chicago. Alexandra Billings, who made a stunning Chicago stage debut in Charles Busch’s travesty a dozen years ago, now makes her directorial debut in the same show. Paying homage to Charles Ludlam’s theater of the ridiculous, the B-movie plot details the exploits of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hugo Wolf Song Recital

In 1903 Austrian composer Hugo Wolf died in an asylum at the age of 42, a victim of depression and venereal disease. Despite his early death, Wolf left a rich legacy of over 200 songs, now regarded as a pinnacle of the lied, a genre that fuses music and poetry into dense, nuanced art song. […]

Posted inArts & Culture


From Stephanie Brooks, whose strange song lyrics have been borrowed from nonmusical sources, to Jan Estep, who makes outline drawings of Antarctica, the 12 artists in this show mostly take a playful approach to art making in the age of appropriation. For his whimsical Build Your Own Chicago, Matt Bergstrom made cards printed with the […]