Posted inFood & Drink

A Chefs’ Family Tree

A handful of fine-dining institutions from the 70s, 80s, and 90s have served as major incubators of culinary talent–in fact many local hotshots have worked at several. More than that, though, these places are a testament to how long fine dining has been part of the fabric of the city. They’ve all won major awards and share a devotion to innovation, detail, and customer service (and they all charge accordingly). What follows is a selective map of influence.

Posted inArts & Culture

An Affair of Honor

It’s always a pleasure to watch Dawn “Sam” Alden and Amy Harmon engage in stage combat, which is what they–long skirts tucked up out of the way–do in Tony Wolf’s Satisfaction. Director David Woolley successfully integrates the swordplay into this one-act about a group of women in post-Civil War New Orleans as they ostensibly enjoy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Keepin’ It Random

IIn 2004, after moving across the street from the Funky Buddha Lounge, Jonathan Gitelson found that his car was being festooned daily with nightclub flyers. He collected more than 1,000 of them, spent three months sewing them into a car cover, and took pictures of his covered car in front of the nightspots advertised. Eight […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Silver Jews

Last year, while promoting the recent Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City), David Berman, the lone permanent member of the Silver Jews, told the Fader that he’d bottomed out a couple years before in a small Minnesota town, becoming suicidal and abusing most of the better-known intoxicants. Since then some of his more obsessive fans have floated […]

Posted inMusic

Ab Baars Quartet

Most jazz musicians are content to express themselves within the confines of their solos, but the great Dutch reedist Ab Baars is just as interested in personalizing tunes by reworking their underlying structures. In 1999 he did it to the oeuvre of clarinetist John Carter (a onetime mentor), and 2001’s Songs was a brilliantly conceived […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beckett 100

The citywide celebration of all things dour and doleful, honoring what would’ve been Samuel Beckett’s 100th year on earth, continues with this weekend of theater curated by the Irish American Heritage Center’s resident Shapeshifters Theatre. Friday and Saturday at 8 PM in the IAHC auditorium, Chicago expat Michael Martin, no stranger to obsessive monologues, performs […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stephen Kinzer

In 1893, Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani announced that she’d allow all citizens the right to vote, not just large property owners–and the wealthy American sugar plantation owners began plotting her overthrow. With the help of American minister John Stevens and a U.S. gunboat, they forced her to abdicate within days. As coups go, this one was […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Swedish alt-pop band the Sounds are fronted by a hot blond singer and mix their keyboards front and center, which is why nearly every story about them mentions Blondie. But the comparisons are weak: the Sounds’ choruses are too big, their guitar sound too anthemic, and if you caught the band sweating through any of […]