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Posted inArts & Culture

Days of Being Wild

Wong Kar-wai’s idiosyncratic style first became apparent in this gorgeously moody second feature (1991), whose romantic vision of 1960 Hong Kong as a network of unfulfilled longings would later echo through In the Mood for Love. Leslie Cheung, Hong Kong’s answer to James Dean (in fact the movie appropriates its Cantonese title from Rebel Without […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bootleg Islam

It’s not quite “My Big Fat Persian Wedding,” but Iranian-American Negin Farsad’s autobiographical comic monologue about a trip back to Tehran in 1999 for a female cousin’s nuptials does tread some familiar ground as this all-American party girl confronts old-world traditions. A hit at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival, Bootleg Islam has a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Andrew Morgan

Though he moved to Chicago in 2001, Andrew Morgan spent most of the subsequent years elsewhere, bouncing from his native Kansas City, Missouri, to Oxford, England, to Lawrence, Kansas, to Los Angeles to Harvard University before finally settling back in Lincoln Park in June. He began recording Misadventures in Radiology, his ambitious solo debut, at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Confessions of a Mormon Boy

Writer-performer Steven Fales has an extraordinary story to tell. Born gay and Mormon, he married, had kids, and underwent “reparative therapy” in an effort to go straight. Finally he gave up, suffered through divorce and excommunication, and descended into a vortex of drug addiction and self-destruction as a sex worker in New York City. But […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Michel Doneda, Jack Wright & Tatsuya Nakatani

Fifty-year-old French saxophonist Michel Doneda has been a presence in European improv circles for decades, but he’s relatively unknown in the U.S. He favors heavy abstraction and precise extended technique, not the fireworks better-known European free-jazz reedists like, but recently he’s found a natural niche within the bustling electroacoustic improv scene. On Strom (Potlatch), a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Neko Case, Sadies

Like a photograph of a movie star’s good side, Neko Case’s last studio album, Blacklisted (2002), was a perfect but incomplete picture of her outsize talent. The noirish production on the album spotlighted her dynamic, expressive vocals and emphasized an atmosphere of unease, but it also gave short shrift to the earthy humor and unbridled […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I keep hearing claims that the Salem witchcraft trials were the result of poisoning by grain infected with ergot fungus, which caused convulsions and other symptoms that the simple souls of the day interpreted as signs of demonic possession. Any truth to this, Cecil?–Daniel L., Kenosha, Wisconsin Not likely. While it’s rarely possible to prove […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony Fitzpatrick’s gorgeous new book, The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Volume I (La Luz de Jesus/Last Gasp), reproduces 30 of the Chicago artist’s cryptic, symbol-laden collage-drawings, which include ephemera like postage stamps, nudie pinups, and matchbook covers from long-gone local hotels and taverns. Evoking a romantic era that Fitzpatrick remembers from tooling around […]