Posted inArts & Culture

Death From Above 1979

You know your band’s gonna be all right when your fans get pissy about a positive Pitchfork review, as if even getting props from the snobbiest of snobs does some disservice to your genius. But that’s just one review, and Toronto duo Death From Above 1979 is currently enjoying a Slip ‘n Slide journey down […]

Posted inNews & Politics

What in Tarnation?

Ms. Brody, Your glowing review of this “film” propelled me to get myself over to the Music Box to see Tarnation [Section 2, October 22]. As a mental health counselor working in the foster-care system, the subject matter is of great interest to me. In fact, based on your review, I mistakenly recommended this film […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tan Manhattan

Black songwriter Andy Razaf isn’t as well-known as Oscar Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin, and other white lyricists of his era. But such Razaf creations as “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue,” and “My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More” earned him the admiration of his Caucasian colleagues, who regarded him as “an expert […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

After much trial and error, it’s become abundantly clear to me that I’m a lesbian. My problem is that I’m having a lot of trouble meeting women. I tried dating a friend of mine, but that turned out terribly. I’m sick of meeting people in bars, seeing as how bars only ever seem to be […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe McPhee Trio

Sixty-five-year-old Joe McPhee embodies what AACM cofounder Roscoe Mitchell calls the “super musician”: a jazz player who “moves freely in music,” negotiates past and present idioms, improvises, and composes, all with consummate skill. That’s McPhee: He’s used his tenor sax to explore the lyricism of Benny Golson’s melancholy ballad “I Remember Clifford” (from 1982’s Oleo, […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The musicians in the Malian ensemble Tinariwen are members of the Tuareg, an ancient group of nomads that has crisscrossed the Sahara for centuries. In the early 90s the Tuareg staged armed rebellions against the governments of Mali and Niger, which galvanized the people’s music; both Tinariwen and Ensemble Tartit, the best-known Tuareg musical acts, […]

Posted inNews & Politics


[snip] Why the police are never around when you want them. Francine Washington, who lives in the last high-rise in Stateway Gardens, which is near U.S. Cellular Field, tells the Chicago Reporter (July/August): “You’ve got 100 police officers coming down [on home-game nights] for all these white folks coming to the game. And, yet and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

uBung (Practice)

When children take on adult personas, the result is generally either way too cute (Bugsy Malone) or hilarious (The Daily Show’s occasional segment in which kids read transcripts from the world of talking-head punditry). In uBung (Practice), Belgian multidisciplinary production company Victoria does something more adventurous. Young actors age 10 to 14 deliver the dialogue […]

Posted inArts & Culture

SOFA Chicago

The 11th annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art brings 90-some dealers in ceramics, furniture, jewelry, and other three-dimensional media to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand. Special exhibits focus on wood sculpture, fiber art by Ed Rossbach, work by artists living in Israel, and work by artists associated with Maine’s Watershed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Darren Callahan

Self-publishing is a great way for the poor and obscure to lose their shirts and go nowhere, but there are exceptions. Take local musician and mystery writer Darren Callahan. When I interviewed him in 2003, Callahan had sold several hundred novels through his Web site ( and he was trying to get a trade publisher […]