Posted inNews & Politics

The Treatment

Friday 25 DJ HELL For some, the luxury, gluttony, and debauchery of 2002’s electro surge was just a fad. To the former Helmut Geier–jet-setting Eurotrash DJ/producer and owner of Eurotrashy jet-setter label International Deejay Gigolos–it’s a way of life. The evolution of the label’s logo says it all about Hell’s sleazy, oiled-up aesthetic: he used […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Divine Order of Becoming

Carla Stillwell’s new play about what we learn when a loved one gets sick is full of lovely intimate moments between mother and daughter: learning to bake, giving a home perm, fighting over doing chores. As directed by Kim Crutcher for the Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT), these scenes are performed beautifully […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hair

Leads Steve Tomlitz as Claude and Zach Laliberte as Berger don’t have powerful enough voices to knock their solos out of the park in this quintessential antiestablishment piece, but that’s almost beside the point. Hair redefined the American musical, focusing more on complex themes than characterization, and Tomlitz and Laliberte are skilled enough to elicit […]

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Dave Douglas & Nomad

A few years ago trumpeter Dave Douglas was asked to write music to be played at high altitude (around 10,000 feet) for a festival in Italy’s Dolomites; band and audience would hike to the performance spot. The organizers sent along a recording of Ladino music from the region, and taking its emotional range–Douglas would later […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Little Al Thomas

Blues singer Little Al Thomas largely models himself on suave stylists like B.B. King, but the force of his delivery and the pugnaciousness of his phrasing reflect the decades he spent shouting over crowds on Maxwell Street. That training also sharpened his instincts as a crowd-pleaser: he can rock hard enough for a beer-soaked roadhouse […]

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Body Work

Three different couples in their underwear tickle each other on the three large screens of Alison Ruttan’s video installation at Monique Meloche, Love Me Not. The scenes produce an overwhelming avalanche of flesh and gestures at once playful and aggressive as the ticklers lunge for a torso, try to fend off the other person, or […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Futureheads

The unlikeliest achievement of the new wave of postpunk is that it’s made spastic yelps cool. Not “cool” as in trendy, though it is. I mean “cool” as an overall mood. With a band like the Rapture, for instance, vocal hysteria is just another formal element; it’s meant to be a sonic effect, not something […]

Posted inMusic

The Man in Bleak

William Elliott Whitmore Empty Bottle, 2/17 Can white men sing the blues? The answer to that depends on what you think the blues are really about. I believe that everybody can sing the blues, at least in theory–because everybody is going to die. What gets me about gritty prewar blues and scratchy old-timey mountain music […]

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Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

Pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo, and cellist Sharon Robinson have become one of the best-known trios in the country since making their debut together in 1977 at Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. As part of a chamber recital at Mandel Hall, members of the trio will perform two works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s brilliant principal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Imaginary Heroes

Pennsylvania native Dan Harris has found himself a seat on the Hollywood gravy train writing blockbusters like X2: X-Men United and the forthcoming Superman Returns. But his ticket aboard was the script for this personal, mordantly funny black comedy, now his feature directing debut. Like Ordinary People, In the Bedroom, and Moonlight Mile, it’s a […]