Posted inArts & Culture

Rempis Percussion Quartet

The name of Dave Rempis’s latest group is fair warning: never before has the local saxophonist led a band that hit this hard. Bassist Anton Hatwich provides a stable fulcrum with his thrumming, insistent vamps, around which drummers Frank Rosaly and Tim Daisy, both on trap sets, play a dynamic array of swinging beats, interlocking […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Intimate Apparel

Lynn Nottage’s award-winning play is like the extravagant corsets created by its protagonist, both sturdily constructed and richly detailed. Set in Manhattan in 1905, it’s based in part on the story of Nottage’s great-grandmother, an African-American seamstress who sold her wares to both society matrons and women of ill repute. In some ways Intimate Apparel […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’ve just started dating a guy who is into being dominated. He also has quite the foot fetish. Problem is, I have zero experience with any sort of kinky sex. He’s 35 and has been around the block; I’m 24, and all I’ve ever had is sex with guys who claimed to have no fantasies. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

A clumsy documentary that tells a fascinating story, this 2003 Canadian-UK feature chronicles the 1997 defeat of world chess champion Garry Kasparov by IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in Manhattan. After Kasparov lost the second game of the match, he suggested that IBM was cheating, and in fact Deep Blue’s play had been remarkably creative for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Largest Family in North America

Margaret Thayer Entomologist The Field Museum of Natural History Asked what he could infer about God from nature, British biologist J.B.S. Haldane replied that the deity must have “an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Margaret Thayer, assistant curator of insects at the Field Museum, spends her time studying just one family, the rove beetles, or staphylinids, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Snips

[snip] Ask questions first, shoot later. A National Research Council committee that includes economists Joel Horowitz of Northwestern University and Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago has found that nobody really knows whether popular measures against gun violence do any good (December 16 National Academics press release). For instance, there’s no credible evidence that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chevere

The biggest Chicago jazz story of the year so far is the release of the first CD by the Latin-jazz-fusion nonet Chevere–an event a quarter century in the making. Costa Rican drummer Alejo Poveda, a veteran of a dozen or more local jazz bands, formed Chevere here in the late 70s as a small percussion […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stefan Kiesbye

Small presses have been putting out some really good books lately, and it’s often hard for them to get noticed, but Stefan Kiesbye deserves whatever hype can be scrounged for his debut novella, Next Door Lived a Girl (Low Fidelity Press). Set in small-town working-class Germany following World War II, it follows 12-year-old Moritz and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

An Architect Looks Inside

Recently retired Chicago architect David Munson says his 17 sculptures at Roy Boyd “mix up the inside and the outside. There’s no sense of enclosure, and that would be very difficult to achieve in a building.” He says Elliptical Skeleton 1 was inspired by the spinal surgery his wife was undergoing: here wooden “ribs” are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

The victims in John Bishop’s spoof of 1930s mystery comedies are Broadway show people preparing for an audition in their benefactor’s cavernous home. With campy fervor they chase one another through secret passageways (of course), reveal secret identities (of course), and eventually explain the murderous spree’s convoluted whys and hows. Under Ray Frewen’s direction the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The King Khan & BBQ Show

If you still miss the campy, feral 50s garage punk of the late, lamented Spaceshits but weren’t too attached to their drummer, this free show is gonna make your Monday. King Khan is the erstwhile Blacksnake, that Montreal band’s slippery bassist, and BBQ was Creepy, the notoriously camera-shy lead singer. In their current duo BBQ […]