Posted inArts & Culture

El crimen perfecto

A dapper salesman in a Madrid department store (Guillermo Toledo) lives a life of consumerist splendor, parading around in the latest fashions and bedding his beautiful clerks in the furniture department, but after he’s passed over for a promotion his resentment draws him into a tangle of criminal intrigue. Spanish cult director Alex de la […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Reader’s Guide to the 27th Annual Jazz Festival

As usual the Chicago Jazz Festival is recognizing a few big-name anniversaries–40 years of the AACM, 70 of Down Beat magazine, and what would’ve been Charlie Parker’s 85th birthday–and celebrating a handful of jazz greats both living and dead. (This year it’s Roy Haynes and Eddie Johnson in the former category and Tony Williams, Charlie […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hypocrite Hackers

Your cover story [“But Can He Hack Prison?” August 19] does a good job of documenting the sorry state of “radical” politics these days. I can just see all these left- and right-wing computer nerds trying to figure out how to shut down Web sites they don’t like. Talk about hypocrisy. Jeremy Hammond trumpets himself […]

Posted inArts & Culture

African Festival of the Arts

The African Festival of the Arts features live performances on two stages in Washington Park, 51st & Cottage Grove. General admission is $10. For information call 773-955-2787. Friday 2 Main Stage 4:30 Spirits 5:30 Jean Paul Samputu 6:45 Vickie Winans with the Apostolic Church of God Choir 7:45 Pimenta Malagueta & the Samba1 Dance Group […]

Posted inArts & Culture


For almost 25 years and more than 200 albums, Tokyo noise patriarch Masami Akita, better known as Merzbow, has maintained an unflinching devotion to sonic brutality. Anglo noisemongers like Whitehouse and Boyd Rice have linked violent sounds to sexual power, black humor, or antisocial aggression, but Akita treats them as a source of pleasure in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

It’s Not Easy Being Lefty

While I typically find extreme activists on both ends of the political spectrum to be, at best, annoyingly cute but rarely informative (god, everything was so very black-and-white when I was younger too!), Mr. Fleming [Letters, August 26] and the rest of his ilk need to be aware of, or at least acknowledge, one very […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Fela Kuti never exhausted the possibilities of Afrobeat as a music–never even came close. Maybe that’s because his re-Africanization of funk was often primarily a vehicle for exhausting the possibilities of being Fela. So the lack of a charismatic front man is kind of a lucky break for this New York outfit–Fela himself may be […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I recently watched a karate/tae kwon do demonstration of breaking boards, and once again I wondered: What is the important part in making the board break? Is it the speed with which the martial artist moves his hands/feet/elbows, according to the laws of physics, meaning any other trained sportsman who achieved that same speed could […]

Posted inMusic


Mick Collins has been trying for ten years to get people to stop calling the Dirtbombs a garage band. Their recent singles compilation, If You Don’t Already Have a Look (In the Red), includes covers of the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” Soft Cell’s “Insecure Me,” and Yoko Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss.” (“Fuck you […]