Posted inArts & Culture

Diamanda Galas

Sometimes your very favorite albums aren’t the ones you play the most. I’ve always loved Diamanda Galas’s early work, like Masque of the Red Death and The Litanies of Satan, but those discs were never something I’d slap on just ’cause they were lying around. When Galas pours it on, her phantasmagoric opera-trained voice can […]

Posted inMusic

Muffs, Visqueen

If you want to make the case for the continuing artistic viability of pop punk, this old-school/new-school pairing is Exhibit A. Headliners the Muffs emerge from a self-imposed hiatus with their first new album since 1999’s stellar Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow. Leader Kim Shattuck engineered nearly all the tracks for Really Really Happy (Five Foot […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I broke up with a long-term girlfriend about two years ago. Last week, while totally drunk, I thought it would be a great idea to see whether I could still log on to her e-mail account, since we told each other our user names and passwords way back when. (Yes, I know I’m going straight […]

Posted inArts & Culture


During a quiet moment on Ghost’s new album, Hypnotic Underworld (Drag City), you can clearly hear the sound of pages turning. It’s easy to imagine them as leaves of vellum bound into a massive, dusty, leather-covered tome full of arcane secrets; this Tokyo-based collective, founded by singer and guitarist Masaki Batoh in the mid-80s, makes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

One Day the Hodja

The Hodja is Turkey’s variation on the archetypal trickster–and in this Tireswing Theatre children’s show, he “borrows” donkeys, sweet-talks his way out of debt, and wins the sultan’s approval by besting a French visitor in a contest of wits. Adapter-director Andrew Lines also depicts the Hodja as a father shamed by his daughter’s decision to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Single File

This third annual showcase of solo performances, featuring more than 30 pieces, runs through 10/10 at the Athenaeum Theatre, third-floor studio, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $15 per show; “all access” passes cost $90. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 312-902-1500 or logging on to; single-show tickets are also available at the […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Lifeline Theatre has added a wonderful new puppet to the revival of its adaptation of Deborah and James Howe’s children’s book, first produced in 1999. Harold the dog and Chester the cat must adjust to the new baby–oops! pet–a furry intruder called Bunnicula, named after bunnies and Count Dracula. Bunnicula’s odd eating habits (don’t worry–rabbits […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Oz the Urbantale

Writer-director Kevin Foose’s satire on the evils of gentrification for Why a Duck Theatrical Productions has some obvious problems: a rambling script, awkward performances, nearly nonexistent direction. The nine chorus members who slump onstage to provide mostly unison vocals seem so ill at ease they might have been rounded up in an alley before the […]

Posted inNews & Politics


[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 […]