Posted inMusic

A Frames

Even if the postapocalyptic world of the future runs out of more than just oil and freshwater–if, for instance, there’s somehow a shortage of musical notes–this Seattle robot-punk band will be all set. Using only a few basic materials–simple, almost affectless vocal melodies, squared-off guitar and bass lines that repeat in blocks of two or […]

Posted inArts & Culture

SlowAnna

The setting might be contemporary America, but the school known as “System 16” is a nightmare straight out of Victorian literature. Part lunatic asylum and part prison, it’s populated by misfit students and derelict teachers. In this new play, Jeremy Menekseoglu depicts life within these walls in his characteristic Dickensian fashion. (Even more horrifying than […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Snips

[snip] “It is honorable to defend a Social Security status quo that works, but it is something else to defend an education status quo that does not,” writes Robert Gordon in the New Republic, urging Democrats to stick with their ideals, as embodied in the No Child Left Behind law. “When Democrats become champions of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Nuns Under Fire

Dear sir: This headline [“Nuns Give AIDS Patients the Boot,” July 8] is deceiving. I hope your readers are interested enough to read the whole story and learn how generous the nuns have been to the AIDS patients. Mr. Flosi is a gentleman and was quite honest in telling the story. Did your headline writer […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tripleplay

One reason Ken Vandermark has so many bands is that he recognizes how changing a single musician can have a big impact on a group’s sound. Tripleplay, his trio with bassist Nate McBride (who until recently lived in Boston) and drummer Curt Newton (who still does), is similar in form to two of his other […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Beat That My Heart Skipped

Fingers, James Toback’s 1978 debut feature about a second-generation gangster who plays classical piano, was described by Dave Kehr as “dauntingly personal filmmaking, full of strange, suggestive ideas and deep feelings that are never made comprehensible for the audience.” Despite the enthusiasm of everyone from Pauline Kael to Edgardo Cozarinsky and Francois Truffaut, I never […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Power of Liz

Despite my growing hatred for Ms. Armstrong’s holier-than-thou stance on corporate America, the ad industry, and anything leading to profitability; despite my patience being constantly tested by her hypocrisy and general inability to write an article without pointing out who she knows; despite the fact that my opinion of the situation is virtually the antithesis […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vision 10

This annual Chicago Art Dealers Association series opens Friday 7/15 with 20-some receptions at galleries in River North (5-8 PM) and the West Loop (6-9 PM); free shuttles run between Superior and Franklin and Washington and Peoria 6-8 PM. “Vision 10” runs through Saturday 7/30. Programs through Thursday 7/21 are listed below; for a complete […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Steven Biel

In 1930, sitting at his breakfast table in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Grant Wood sketched his sister, Nan, and his dentist, Byron McKeeby, on the back of an envelope. Practically everyone’s familiar with the painting that resulted: the dour man in overalls gripping his three-pronged hay fork, the weak-chinned woman with a cameo and a center-parted […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pet Owner’s Ire

Dear Reader, I realize that it’s only a cartoon, and P.S. Mueller usually has some esoteric and/or funny items in your newspaper, but the strip on the front page of Section 4 of the July 8 issue is really uncalled-for. There is nothing funny, thought provoking, or of any redeeming value to seeing someone bludgeoning […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lick Your Wounds

An uneven ensemble of ten improvises a group-therapy session in this dull late-night show by Chemically Imbalanced Comedy. Whenever the improv begins to fizzle, an ensemble member interrupts the scene to introduce a new idea, riffing on information gathered from an audience member before the show in the context of his or her own recollection, […]