Posted inArts & Culture

PAC/edge Performance Festival

This “convergence of Chicago artists,” presented by Performing Arts Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, runs weekends through April 18. The avant-garde showcase features presentations by some of the city’s most adventurous artists working in the disciplines of theater, performance, circus arts, storytelling, dance, music, video, and sound and installation art. […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Stereolab singer-guitarist Mary Hansen, who was killed in a bicycle accident in late 2002, was a crucial component of the band’s sound: in concert it was she who elevated breathy, wordless cooing and ba-ba-ba-ing from bachelor-pad kitsch to exquisite art-pop trope. On Margerine Eclipse (Elektra), the ‘Lab’s first album since her death, the multitracked vocals […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Owen Gingerich

In his 1959 history of early astronomy, The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler notoriously labeled Copernicus’s De revolutionibus “the book nobody read.” The Polish astronomer’s landmark 16th-century work, which proposed that the earth revolves around the sun, was so difficult, argued Koestler, that it was ignored in its day, even by astronomers. But when Harvard historian of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: of mice and men

The flawed, feathery tracings of circles currently on display at Jean Albano Gallery could be mistaken for the meditations of a calligrapher–if the three white mice who drew them with a pencil attached to their exercise wheel weren’t installed on a nearby shelf, busily cranking out another one. The ringmaster of this little art factory, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Long Winters, Bigger Lovers

A career in power pop isn’t for the fainthearted. The subgenre’s biggest names have been cranky cult stars (Alex Chilton, Dwight Twilley) and major-label also-rans (Jellyfish, the Posies), and when you consider the tragic fates of Chris Bell and Badfinger, plain old obscurity starts to look pretty good. But such dreary prospects haven’t discouraged Philadelphia’s […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Please excuse the lack of pussy farts and gay penguins in this e-mail, but it would be nice if you could help out a straight guy with a meat-and-potatoes problem every once in a while. My girlfriend is the most complete mattress back I have ever encountered. She refuses to adopt any position that doesn’t […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Seventh Continent

Michael Haneke’s powerful, provocative, and highly disturbing film is about the collective suicide of a young and seemingly “normal” family (1989). Prompted by Austria’s high suicide rate and various news stories, the film’s agenda is not immediately apparent; Haneke focuses at first on the family’s highly repetitive lifestyle and takes his time establishing the daily […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Missy Elliott

Since Missy Elliott’s first album, Supa Dupa Fly, dropped back in 1997, she and her regular collaborator, the groundbreaking producer Timbaland, have delivered a steady stream of brilliant singles. Only two of her five albums aren’t weighted with filler (the debut and 2002’s Under Construction), but the audacity and ingenuity of her best material easily […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Asian American Showcase

The eighth annual Asian American Showcase, presented by the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media and the Gene Siskel Film Center, runs Friday, April 2, through Wednesday, April 14. Screenings will be at the Film Center. Tickets are $9, $5 for Film Center members; for more information call 312-846-2600. Films marked with an * are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Piece of My Heart

A PIECE OF MY HEART, A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company, at the Cornservatory. Shirley Lauro’s play, adapted from Keith Walker’s book about female veterans of the Vietnam war, is more an episodic compilation of oral histories than a character-driven drama. Here six women tell us how they came to be military or Red Cross nurses, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Gorillas in Our Midst; More Monkey Business

Gorillas in Our Midst Last week the Plain English Campaign denounced at the end of the day, ballpark figure, bottom line, and many other handy cliches of deadline writing. Fortunately, the London-based crusaders failed to banish the extraordinarily helpful “900-pound gorilla”–the dreadful presence that changes everything, even if no one admits it’s there. This cliche […]

Posted inFilm

Defending Bresson

Les modeles de “Pickpocket” *** Directed and written by Babette Mangolte With Pierre Leymarie, Marika Green, and Martin Lasalle. Not until he was in his late 90s did Robert Bresson get the recognition he deserved. He died in 1999 at the age of 98, living long enough to see his work affirmed by a retrospective […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

I’d love the sauteed shrimp, but God won’t let me. The fundamentalists who go on about Leviticus 18:22 (“You shall not lie with a man as with a woman: that is an abomination”) don’t seem to have read Leviticus 11:9, which says, “Of creatures that live in water…all that have neither fins nor scales, whether […]