Posted inArts & Culture

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

No Boundaries (Heads Up International), a collaboration between South Africa’s leading Zulu gospel choir and the string section of the English Chamber Orchestra, is in many ways a similar project to Youssou N’Dour’s 2004 album Egypt. Both integrate religious music from a foreign tradition: N’Dour uses the distinctive inflections of an Egyptian orchestra to celebrate […]

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Henry Grimes Quartet

Perhaps the biggest jazz story in recent years is the unexpected reemergence of the great bassist Henry Grimes. A flexible and powerful musician, Grimes was a crucial fixture during the 60s, working with avant-gardists like Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor as well as more daring mainstream players like Sonny Rollins, Lee […]

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As It Is in Heaven

Religious ecstasy figures prominently in the liturgy of the Shakers. But visions don’t. So on an afternoon in 1838, when one female adherent claims to have seen angels, her peers respond at first with bemused skepticism. But as others begin to experience these ecstatic spells, the elders worry about their disruptive effect on the community. […]

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Clem Snide

Everybody hates a happy ending, so Soft Spot, the album of quiet love songs that Clem Snide singer-songwriter Eef Barzelay wrote for his wife and newborn son in 2003, aroused some distrust among indie rockers committed to romantic dysfunction. The band’s new, darker End of Love (SpinArt) should win some of them back; Barzelay recently […]

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Gunner Palace

Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s documentary about U.S. soldiers of the 2/3 Field Artillery, stationed at a luxurious palace built by Saddam Hussein, is the first comprehensive film account I’ve seen of the Iraq occupation from the perspective of the soldiers; essentially this is their film. Most of the bullshit comes from Donald Rumsfeld, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Poison Eaters

David Tsao Environmental Engineer BP David Tsao specializes in phytoremediation, the use of plants to clean up pollution. Working from the business center of oil giant BP, in west-suburban Warrenville, he’s in charge of developing, designing, implementing, and monitoring more than 150 phytoremediation sites on four continents. Harold Henderson: When we say “clean up,” that […]

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Chicago Irish Film Festival

Now in its sixth year, the Chicago Irish Film Festival continues Friday through Sunday, March 11 through 13, at Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee. All films are projected from DVD and, unless otherwise noted, tickets are $10, $8 for members of the Beverly Arts Center. For more information call 773-445-3838; a full festival schedule […]

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Boris Hauf

On tenor saxophone Boris Hauf has played hair-raising solos with local prog-punks Lozenge and abstract Braxtonian bebop with vocalist Ruth Weiss; in the electroacoustic quartet Efzeg he sometimes switches to laptop, jumping between fine-grained multiphonics on the horn and piercing drones on the computer. But he always maintains a perfect attunement to context–whether he’s blowing […]

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Self (The Remix)

“Did you ever notice that when people call you ‘exotic,’ they look at you like you’re some kind of experiment?” asks poet-performer Robert Karimi during a rare aside in this brisk hour-long autobiographical monologue based on the notion that personality is created through sampling and blending. Karimi’s candor in discussing his own Iranian-Guatemalan heritage is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shot in Cold Blood

For “Wounded in America,” an exhibit opening this weekend at the Peace Museum, photographer Robert Drea traveled around the country taking photographs of victims of gun violence. Writer Stephanie Arena collected their accounts of being shot. Here are some stories they found in Chicago. Nora Schneider Interior designer Shot March 5, 1999, at the Eisenhower […]