Posted inMusic

Cash Value

Johnny Cash Unearthed (American) Unearthed, last fall’s five-CD collection of outtakes and unreleased material from Johnny Cash’s ten years with the American Recordings label, comes in a box as black as Cash’s tormented soul. The sleeves are made of CD-scratching cardboard, as unbending as Cash’s famous raised middle finger. The shrink-wrap is tenacious, as tenacious […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: Holy Hot Wheels!

As part of Miguel Luciano’s La Mano Poderosa Racetrack, visitors to Humboldt Park’s Galeria Tinta Roja can line up pairs of Hot Wheels cars smack in the middle of a ten-foot-tall fiberglass replica of Christ’s punctured hand. Given a nudge, the cars speed down a 20-foot track as a TV monitor (“the stigmonitor”) rolls looped […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Christopher Scheer

The evidence is mounting that George W. Bush and his neoconservative gurus sold the American electorate on the Iraq war by shoveling blatant lies that went far beyond the usual spin and BS of politics. Yet while recent months have seen those lies fray–and the arguments for war collapse into a din of accusations, backpedaling, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

I Know What You Did Last Shermer

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SHERMER, New Millennium Theatre Company, at Boxer Rebellion Theater. This late-night comedy written by Chad Wise (based on Leslie Kerrigan’s concept) and fleshed out by the company focuses on teen movies and TV shows, mostly of the 80s. And the premise has potential, as John Hughes is kidnapped by […]

Posted inFilm


Jersey Girl ** (Worth seeing) Written and directed by Kevin Smith With Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Liv Tyler, George Carlin, Raquel Castro, and Jason Biggs. Next month the second Chicago International Documentary Festival will screen Mark Brian Smith’s fascinating Overnight, which chronicles the precipitous rise and fall of indie filmmaker Troy Duffy. A blue-collar kid […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Populist Grab-ass Comedy

Vikings! A Musical in Two Axe premiered at Noble Fool’s downtown Chicago theater in February 2003 and became unexpectedly topical when the two-month run coincided with the invasion of Iraq. Playwright Jack Bronis and his collaborator, composer and lyricist Bonnie Shadrake, had begun work on the frisky antiwar musical six years earlier. “We were approaching […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story As of February, postal employee and professional magician George Reiger of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had 1,579 Disney-related tattoos, including 102 dalmatians (on his right leg) and the whale from Pinocchio (on his belly); he adds about one a week, the latest a portrait of Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced one of the characters in Finding […]

Posted inFilm

Mississippi Burgling

The Ladykillers ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen Written by the Coens and William Rose With Tom Hanks, Irma B. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, Diane Delano, and George Wallace. The day after I saw the Coen brothers’ remake I watched the original–the Ealing Studios’ The Ladykillers, a […]