Posted inArts & Culture

Jonathan Ames

A few years ago, many people who’d heard of novelist and performance artist Jonathan Ames couldn’t get past the “Mangina.” The public fixated so overweeningly on the inclusion of a prosthetic puss in his 1999 stage show, Oedipussy, that in a subsequent radio appearance Ames was moved to scream, “I’m a serious novelist, not just […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sweet Mystery

Miyoko Ito at Thomas McCormick, through August 21 Brad Durham at Carrie Secrist, through August 21 Lure: Richard C. Lange, John Slavik, and Shawn Slavik at Columbia College Glass Curtain Gallery, through September 3 Miyoko Ito’s 11 paintings at Thomas McCormick are at once alluring and unstable. Ito–a Chicagoan who studied calligraphy and art in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sahara Hotnights, Reigning Sound

On their first two albums, Swedish rock chicks Sahara Hotnights showed a fondness for the power-pop side of punk, nicking the Real Kids’ look (jean jackets, sneakers, Bert-and-Ernie striped shirts) and sometimes sounding like a superbutch Holly & the Italians. Singer Maria Andersson’s sweet, muscular voice is the perfect instrument for delivering pop hooks, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts BBI Thu 7/29, 6 PM, Bank One Plaza, Davis & Orrington, Evanston. 847-328-5864. BLUES TRAVELER Tue 7/27, 8 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay & Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park. 847-266-5100. CHRIS BOTTI, JIM BRICKMAN Sat 7/24, 8 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay & Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park. 847-266-5100. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Trial and Errors

The Judas Kiss Circle Theatre Playwright David Hare would like us to believe that Oscar Wilde suffered through two fateful moments late in his life, the combined effect of which drove him to the grave. The conceit allows for tidy and affecting theater–but Hare has to treat truth like a tabloid would to pull it […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Diving The Golden Dumpster

Age: 48 Occupation: Career counselor Apartment: Four-room condo. $200 monthly maintenance fee, includes cable. Location: Ravenswood How Long in the Apartment: Moved in in 1999 after a gut rehab. Building previously had been Section Eight housing. “The only thing that’s original is the floor.” Oldest Objects: Gifts from an elderly neighbor in his hometown of […]

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Active Cultures: the hottest basketball ticket in town this summer is free

It began as idle conversation between Vince Carter and Michael “Skeet” Horton, a couple of basketball aficionados from the near north side. “We were talking about how there is no really strong college summer tournament in the city,” says Carter, the boys’ basketball coach at Von Steuben high school. “We thought we’d start one.” Finding […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kekele

The members of Kekele are bona fide aristocrats of Congolese rumba music, having been star players in some of the greatest groups in the genre–including Franco’s TPOK Jazz, Sam Mangwana’s African All-Stars, Papa Noel’s Orchestra, and Les Quatres Etoiles. Based in France and formed for what was intended to be a one-off studio project, 2001’s […]

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Style Without Substance

Skin Tight: The Sensibility of the Flesh at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through September 5 It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. –Oscar Wilde Though you’d hardly know it to look at me at this stage of my life, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In May the city council in Columbus, Ohio, approved a building permit allowing the Faith Christian Center (“On Fire for God!”) to construct a 52,000-square-foot indoor skateboard park (featuring a restaurant, arcade, and pro shop) to be called Godz Xtreme Power Park. Above-Average Kids Last month two child prodigies made the news in […]

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In Business: move over Barney, here come the Bzots

We interrupt this entertainment product for an important public announcement: Spotted making music in Lakeview last Saturday, the Bzots–three assembly-line robots recently escaped from Globocrud LLC’s local plant–remain at large. Says Globocrud’s CEO, the Exalted Sir Cleve Crud, PhD, Esq.: “While these robots are in no way dangerous, they cost me a lot to build. […]

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Mazen Kerbaj

Mazen Kerbaj’s only commercially available recording, A (La CD-Theque, 2003), is a session with fellow Lebanese improvisers Sharif Sehnaoui (guitar) and Raed Yassine (bass) that recognizably belongs to European free-music tradition. On the album Kerbaj plays mostly saxophone–quiet, sputtering, harmonically striated squeals and groans that mesh well with Yassine and Sehnaoui’s coloristic rumbles and drones–but […]

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Socks, Porn & Roses

SOCKS, PORN & ROSES, Hermit Arts, at Prop Thtr. I feel responsible. Last September, when I reviewed Idris Goodwin’s Sidewalk Etiquette, I took the playwright to task for being too timid, for not exploring all the absurd and satirical possibilities implicit in his premise. That play–in which a gentrifying yuppie dispenses with the niceties and […]