[snip] When headlines are all you need. Consecutive headlines in the online version of Education Week (September 1): “Most in Ed. Dept. [the U.S. Department of Education] Are Paid Bonuses for Performance,” followed by “Study Finds Teachers Are Losing Ground on Salary Front.” Who’s doing something about those outrageously unconstitutional “free-speech areas”? The Roger Baldwin […]
Rather than take the easy path through Latin-jazz territory–simple montuno grooves that emphasize brass and percussion, or familiar tunes done up with Latin accents–saxist David Sanchez keeps pushing back its boundaries. Instead of a trumpet or trombone, he features another saxophone in his elegant, compact sextet–the alto of Miguel Zenon, an inventive but restrained player […]
Singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone, and guitarist Johnny Ramone have died in such quick succession that their demise almost seems staged, as if some celestial voice had counted off “1–2–3–4!” This profile by Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields follows the punk pioneers from their early days as glue-sniffing losers in Queens to their […]
Bitten by the Fuckdog The last time we heard from former Chicagoan Gary Cole, in 2001, he was launching StageDirect, a business that films fringe theater shows and markets videos internationally; Chicago’s Neo-Futurists are among the troupes he’s taped. That venture hasn’t taken off financially yet, he says, but it hasn’t been foremost in his […]
BLACK KEYS This rust-belt duo’s third album, Rubber Factory (Fat Possum), was recorded in a makeshift studio the guys set up in an old tire plant, which is almost too bad in a way; it’s funnier to imagine deliberately crude rattlebag stuff like this being generated bit by bit in some high-end digital emporium. Probably […]
This Athens band gets a fair amount of props for their use of gamelan and other non-Western instruments (what exactly is a “Bollywood viola”?)–but not so much for using them on desultory third generation New Order synth-pop, as their new Forget Tomorrow (Jetset) all too often does. There are signs of change a-comin’, though: something […]
The tribulations of married life have been mined again and again in the theater. And this new musical, produced by Second City Theatricals, covers much of the same territory as plays like I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. But Sex and the Second City is belly-laugh funny. Its sparse character development doesn’t even matter, […]
This summer a spontaneous reunion spurred a series of gigantic street parties for people who called the project home. No plans, no permits, no problems.
The compositions bassist Mark Helias brings to his latest album, Verbs of Will (Radio Legs, 2003), sound deceptively simple; from the warm, low-down blues of “How ‘Bout It” to “Give Up the Ghost,” an appealing blend of fatback heft and west-coast cool, his melodies are never convoluted or busy. That’s plainly by careful design. Apparently […]
A couple of British TV writers work over George Romero’s zombie classics for a laugh.
The second annual Cineme International Animation Festival runs Friday through Sunday, September 24 through 26, at the Illinois Institute of Art, located in the Chicago Merchandise Mart at 350 N. Orleans. Four programs of short animations will be screening Friday from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, and another four will be screening Saturday from 10 […]
In the 80s, novelists Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis drew a connection between the 60s counterculture and the Reagan-era revolt against consumerism. Playwright Kenneth Lonergan had considerably more time to ponder the mysteries of the 80s before writing this 1996 play, set in 1982. But he couldn’t come up with any more compelling ideas […]
To open its 50th season the Lyric chose Don Giovanni, that rare unclassifiable opera from its time: equal parts comedy, drama, and tragedy. The philandering don and his story appealed to Mozart, who loved dirty wordplay, but he gave equal attention to his portraits of the other characters: the long-suffering servant Leporello, the wronged women, […]
George Romero’s zombie trilogy has generated an endless parade of remakes and rip-offs, but this clever British spoof comes closer than many to the bitter satire that makes his movies so distinctive. TV writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright fully exploit the core gag of most horror comedy, as the title hero (Pegg), a feckless […]