Posted inArts & Culture

A Little Night Music

With its lilting yet conversational melodies, intricate rhythms, and literate, impudent, inventive rhymes, this 1973 musical reveals composer Stephen Sondheim at the top of his game. And Gary Griffin’s current staging is by far the best of the half-dozen productions I’ve seen–including director Harold Prince’s original Broadway hit. Dispensing with lavish scenic elements, Griffin and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Damon Short Sextet

Drummer and composer Damon Short wrote the extended composition Zones for a 1979 graduate recital at Northern Illinois University and, he says, hasn’t performed it since; now, as a 50th-birthday gift to himself, he’s bringing it back, having made only a few changes in the score to reflect the instrumentation of his current band. Obviously […]

Posted inMusic

Caught Between God and the Boss

Jesus Sound Explosion Mark Curtis Anderson (University of Georgia Press) On the one hand, there’s Jesus; on the other, Led Zeppelin. Jesus Sound Explosion, Mark Curtis Anderson’s memoir of growing up Christian in the 70s, is about a life spent bouncing between the two like a pinball. The certainties of the Baptist four spiritual laws […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“Squatting–that is, people who are living in vacant units or hallways illegally–is a significant problem in Wells,” writes Susan Popkin of the Urban Institute in a report on the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ida B. Wells housing development. “During a period of two weeks in early spring 2003, our interviewers counted 388 squatters (294 adults and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paul Wertico Trio

Don’t Be Scared Anymore (Premonition), the 2000 debut studio date from drummer Paul Wertico and his trio, immediately marked the group as a delightful anachronism. They played music that hadn’t been heard since the heyday of fusion–when such groups as the Tony Williams Lifetime and the Mahavishnu Orchestra roamed the earth, unapologetically powered by rock–before […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shameless Pandering

Once again the insipid if not megalomaniacal Margasak has made glaring, ridiculous omissions in his “Local Record Roundup” [Post No Bills, December 12]. How is it that the Chicago Reader continually ignores a robust and innovative local rock scene? Does Peter find the musical tastes of real Chicagoans too pedestrian for his highbrow column? Does […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Datebook

JANUARY 9 FRIDAY “People always say, ‘I love to see your shows, but always feel a little bit disappointed because I want to be in a piece myself,’” says David Feiner, cofounder of the Albany Park Theater Project. This weekend’s Heat Included, the company’s new festival of performances, panels, and workshops, “is a first step.” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

GZA

It’s been a couple years since the Wu-Tang Clan made an album, but with RZA and Raekwon putting out CDs in the last few months and several other members (Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Masta Killa) gearing up to release solo projects this year, the Wu is definitely still a going concern. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bailey Barks Back

The distortion in Deirdre McCloskey’s angry letter to the editor [December 19] is of such large magnitude that it cannot be effectively corrected in a letters column. One example is that evidence for the theory of transsexualism she hates comes from my own research. It does not, at all. Free access to my book and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Am I a moron for believing that “mole people” exist in New York City’s underground? The mole people, as documented in an eponymous 1993 book by Jennifer Toth, are homeless people who live in subway tunnels, sucking down electricity and other resources for free a la Ellison’s Invisible Man. Is Toth lying? Hallucinating? What documentation […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Asking for It

Did Ms. Homan [Hot Type, December 19] think her plan of billing the Trib for an appearance fee all the way through? If I’m a manager at the Sun-Times, perhaps I’m not happy about one of my reporters (1) appearing in a Trib ad and (2) getting a check from appearing in a Tribune ad. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Self-Serving Elitism

Jonathan Rosenbaum is a snob, which might be OK if he at least had good taste [“The Year in Pictures,” January 2]. The two best movies of 2003 (according to Rosenbaum) are 25th Hour [tied with Crimson Gold] and Down With Love–both of which were decent but not great movies (although 25th Hour was actually […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 1/9 – Thursday 1/15 JANUARY 9 FRIDAY “People always say, ‘I love to see your shows, but always feel a little bit disappointed because I want to be in a piece myself,’” says David Feiner, cofounder of the Albany Park Theater Project. This weekend’s Heat Included, the company’s new festival of performances, panels, and […]