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Posted inArts & Culture

Facing Angela

FACING ANGELA, Roundelay Theatre Company, at Raven Theatre. Cosmetic surgery that might once have seemed outlandish is now nearly mundane: consider the recent television news story on women who have their feet cut down in order to squeeze them, Cinderella-like, into tiny stiletto heels. As a result of such acceptance, it can be a challenge […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

TRIBES OF NEUROT, STEVEN VON TILL, BLOOD AND TIME 1/2, BOTTOM LOUNGE The Bay Area experimental metal collective Neurosis has given rise to several subsidiary musical entities and branched out into the visual arts, film, and performance as well. The most recent release from the band proper was last year’s collaboration with former Swans front […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Reinhold Friedl & Lou Mallozzi

As musical director of the Berlin-based new-music ensemble Zeitkratzer, Reinhold Friedl has led the group in performances of a staggeringly broad range of material, including pieces by John Cage and Luciano Berio, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Japanese noise maestro Merzbow, electronica provocateur Terre Thaemlitz, and death-metal pioneers Deicide. (They’re best known for their electroacoustic arrangement […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Teo Gonzalez

Teo Gonzalez’s 16 meditative abstract paintings at Roy Boyd, which contain thousands of repeated outlined shapes with dark centers, have suggestive power, but they’re also about abjuring the usual kinds of meaning in art. The centers, applied precisely with a brush, are sometimes small dots and sometimes fill almost all of a shape’s borders. The […]

Posted inMusic

We Want Fun

Andrew W.K. The Wolf (Island) Satanicide Heather (Enabler) The Darkness Permission to Land (Atlantic) They’d already repurposed the mullet and the foam-mesh trucker hat, so it was clearly just a matter of time before hipsters sank their talons into heavy metal. The music’s camp value is well established: This Is Spinal Tap first mined hard […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Barry Harris Trio

In the 1950s, no homegrown jazz scene could top Detroit’s, which sent New York the likes of Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, and Yusef Lateef–as well as the particularly inspired and influential pianists Tommy Flanagan, Roland Hanna, and Barry Harris. Of the three, Harris is the one whose playing remained closest to its original […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Small Voices

Teaching degree in hand, an idealistic young woman from Manila (Alessandra De Rossi) arrives at a desolate Philippine village to teach at the local school, where the teachers are less interested in education than in selling popsicles to the students at recess. The children come from poor farming families that have dismissed school as a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Republican, Right or Wrong; Tale of Two Georges; Block That Cliche; News Bites

Republican, Right or Wrong When George Ryan was indicted last month, Rick Pearson wrote a long Tribune story about Ryan’s life in politics. Pearson recalled that in 1998, as Ryan, then Illinois’ secretary of state, ran for governor, Operation Safe Road, a federal investigation of the secretary of state’s office, already was under way. But […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

This is arguably the best time to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Celebrations! festival of flowers, lights, and music. The annual event may be replacing the ritual trip downtown to view department store holiday windows: pre-Christmas crowds were big enough to take some of the fun out of it in December. Now that the holiday’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Sorry, this is not the end of the line–there is no line. The following facts come from the Mid-America Institute on Poverty’s October 2003 report “Not Even a Place in Line: Public Housing & Housing Choice Voucher Capacity and Waiting Lists in Illinois.” Total number of CHA public-housing units: 31,536. Number of households on CHA’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tactile Abstractions

Lialia Kuchma: Tapestries at the Chicago Cultural Center, through January 25 Because geometrical figures in solid colors often imply a quest for order and balance, I found Lialia Kuchma’s #122–one of 12 fabric pieces at the Chicago Cultural Center–surprising. Nine squares in a three-by-three grid each contain a few appealing geometrical shapes in different, usually […]