Posted inArts & Culture


I always assumed Kraftwerk’s celebrations of the union of man and machine were supposed to be dystopian: pairing the line “We are the robots” with the Russian phrases for “I’m your slave” and “I’m your worker” seemed like a pretty clear statement. But after a 1991 remix album, core members Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Spectacle Fortuna

Imagine Mardi Gras mated with the Burning Man festival and you’ll have some idea of Spectacle Fortuna, a parade of puppets, floats, prayer flags, music, stilt walkers, and papier-mache birds taking over Michigan Avenue Friday evening. The event is part of Manifest 05–Columbia College’s one-day campus-wide display of film, music, dance, theater, performance, and visual […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

You wrote this two weeks ago: “Hello, straight people? . . . Most of you seem content to rubberneck while gay people have the shit kicked out of us, and while that’s maddening, I suppose it’s understandable: it’s not your fight. But what explains your passivity when your own rights are being attacked?” I think […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cooler Than Thou

God help me for falling into the trap of writing to the Reader about Liz Armstrong, but this week’s column on M.I.A. [Chicago Antisocial, May 27] got me thinking. I can sympathize with the contortions Liz must go through before she can express genuine enthusiasm for something (heard the music at the cool parties but […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Treatment

Friday 3 BERTRAND RUSSELL’S CAPITAL T See Saturday. Jonathan Chen and Phillip Schulze will be joined here by Tatsu Aoki and Virgil Moorefield. Julia Miller and the Lucy Davis & Jamie Kempkers Duo open. 9 PM, Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-342-4597, $5 suggested donation. All ages. BLUEPRINT He’s produced albums for Illogic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big Love

“True love has no conditions,” says one character in Charles L. Mee’s exuberant updated adaptation of Aeschylus’ tragedy The Suppliant Women. And when conditions are put on love, there are terrible consequences. Fifty sisters try to avoid marrying their crass American cousins by fleeing Greece for Italy. In Jaclyn Biskup’s Experimental Theatre Chicago production, the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Off the Radar

In the Pleistocene epoch of journalism, the newspaper telephone operator did a hell of a lot more than merely direct calls to a reporter or editor [Hot Type, May 20]. She–it always was she–also tracked down people with whom a reporter wanted to speak, saving him or her (it wasn’t always a him) considerable time. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Spires That in the Sunset

Psychedelic folk is to acid rock what achieving altered consciousness through meditation is to getting there through hallucinogens; using acoustic instruments to create a trance state requires more focus and restraint than stomping on effects pedals. That’s not to say that Hawkwind was somehow cheating, just that the four women who make up the local […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bird Show

Ben Vida has created cyclical minimalist compositions with Town and Country, textured improvisations with Pillow, Steely Dan-style pop songs with Central Falls, and pensive acoustic guitar instrumentals on his 1999 solo debut, Mlps. (Boxmedia). Restraint is the only real common denominator–Vida brings a certain cool clarity to each endeavor. By contrast, Green Inferno (Kranky), the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Smoking Sections Stink

Being allowed to smoke in a public place is tantamount to being able to shoot off one’s gun in a public place–both could kill others in the room, yet allowing the one would be laughable. Your article [The Works, May 27] brought up many other good points as well. No business has been lost in […]