Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story BBC News reported in December on Mark Davis, a 31-year-old bus driver from Pontypool, Wales, who’d been sporting a holiday-themed hairdo: he’d had his hair dyed red and a holly pattern shaved into it; then a miniature fir tree was woven in and a string of lights hung from its branches. “It gives […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Recently my boyfriend and I broke up, one reason being his lack of initiative in calling me. After we broke up, I spoke with several of my girlfriends and found out that they, too, have similar troubles with their boyfriends or guys they are seeing. Some of these women are in serious, long-term, loving relationships. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago SketchFest

Every January since 2002, local and out-of-town comedy groups have gathered in Chicago–birthplace of the pioneering Compass and Second City companies, and mecca to the world of sketch and improv–to showcase their work at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. The first SketchFest featured some 30 ensembles; this year, SketchFest, presented by Lukaba Productions, presents almost […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Controller.Controller’s History EP, released last year, stays mostly on the darkly melodic side of that dancey postpunk that’s sweepin’ the nation. Their forthcoming full-length, X-Amounts (Paper Bag), doesn’t cover much new ground either, but sometimes an album where every song sounds exactly the same transcends monotony and capitalizes on its consistency of mood, and this […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Immigrant Crackdown

I am submitting a correction for Kari Lydersen’s immigration article [“Sitting on a Parked Motorcycle While Latino,” December 1]. House Resolution 4437 was not “anti-immigrant legislation.” It was anti-illegal immigrant legislation. By failing to recognize the differences between legal immigration and illegal immigration Ms. Lydersen calls into question her own capability to report unbiased, accurate […]

Posted inNews & Politics


[snip] All that glitters isn’t green. Fred Pearce writes in New Scientist, “The drive for ‘green energy’ in the developed world is having the perverse effect of encouraging the destruction of tropical rainforests. From the orangutan reserves of Borneo to the Brazilian Amazon, virgin forest is being razed to grow palm oil and soybeans to […]

Posted inMusic

A Cushicle

Bands with regular engagements are easy to take for granted–until I saw A Cushicle again last month, I’d been telling myself “I’ll just catch them next week” for more than a year. But such engagements are perfect for jazz: the musicians get the time and space to develop a deep rapport. This trio of guitarist […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Treatment

Friday 6 KRISTIN SHOUT & SMOKING KITTEN Kristin Shout’s a longtime Chicago fixture–she used to book bands at Czar Bar and was part of the team that won the 1991 National Poetry Slam–but she earned her musical chops busking around Europe, picking up the life experiences that give her jazzy country-hybrid songs their cinematic resonance. […]