Posted inArts & Culture

Bardo Pond

Bardo Pond may have gone three years without putting out a proper record of songs, but the Philadelphia-based quintet hasn’t been slacking. Instead they’ve focused on no-net improvisation–recording a fantastic collaboration with Charalambides guitarist Tom Carter and issuing a CD-R series of practice-space jams that were later cherry-picked for the double-disc set Selections: Volumes I-IV–and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

No Train, No Gain

I’d like to clarify a few points regarding the film production tax credit bill and its hijacking by the state’s black legislators [The Works, June 2]. As someone who can name more than a half dozen black studio mechanics who I worked alongside on The Break-Up, I suggest that Ms. Marsh and Representative Dunkin spend […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rufus Reid’s Linear Surroundings

Rufus Reid’s playing epitomizes the conflicting faces the bass has presented to modern jazz. Ever since Oscar Pettiford and Ray Brown developed the technique that made the instrument a solo vehicle, it’s been torn between its traditional place as a rhythmic anchor and a spot in the front line. In the 70s, after graduating from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival

Even as commercial moviemaking becomes more geared to teens and preteens, this crackerjack survey, the opening-night program of the 18th Onion City festival, shows how some contemporary experimental work approaches and interacts with the mainstream. Among the shorts screening are Soul Dancing (2004), a weird video by Japanese cult horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Instructions for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

In Martin McDonagh’s 1996 play, circumstances have forced a tyrannical mother and her mentally unstable middle-aged daughter to live together in a relationship that offers them nothing better to do than torment and bully each other. (What? You thought women were naturally caring and unselfish?) But in Trudie Kessler’s staging for Actors Workshop Theatre, no […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Record Industry Victims

James Barnett’s letter [June 2] regarding WBEZ’s abandonment of music is so typical of people who have been musically dumbed down by the record industry, an industry that tells you what’s hip to buy but never dares seek your opinion. He seems to take pride in himself as musically eclectic but won’t take the time […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I decided at 12 years old that pregnancy was not something I wanted to worry about. Now, at the ripe age of 26, I’m still a virgin. I exchanged oral favors with my past boyfriends, none of whom lasted more than three months. Approximately half said they wanted more; the other half were only settling […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Madonna

Madonna’s always been a terrible disco singer: she lacks the suitably brassy gospel pipes, and she’s rarely been willing to make herself an anonymous part of the music’s cheesy grandeur. In fact, one of the notable achievements of her earliest hits was the reduction of dance music to a human scale, where even her squished […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Who Cares What You Think?

The letter from James Barnett [June 2] demands a response, particularly since he was given so much space to expound on his personal preferences as if they were universal truths. Mr. Barnett made it clear that he doesn’t like jazz and therefore welcomes the proposed change in WBEZ’s format to eliminate most music programming, including […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Snips

[snip] Borrowing while black. The Woodstock Institute reports that in 2004 “over 40 percent of the conventional single-family mortgages to African-American borrowers in the Chicago area were high cost,” compared to just 10 percent of such mortgages given to white borrowers. And the disparity increases when blacks and whites earning twice the Chicago median income […]

Posted inArts & Culture

I’ve Always Loved You

A long neglected romantic who argued that love is a surrender of pride, director Frank Borzage was never more passionate than in this 1946 color melodrama, shown in a beautifully restored archival print. An imperious concert pianist travels the world with his pupil, ignoring her love for him; she’s left behind an achingly nice farm […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Berny Stone Bites Back

To the editor: In the letter to the editor of June 2, “Devon Development,” Greg Brewer distorts not only my record, but also what he has deluded himself into believing are the feelings of the 50th Ward community, all the while showing absolutely no concern for the economic well-being of the Devon Avenue business community. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Real Looker

Laura Mackin’s show at Contemporary Art Workshop is based on “imagery from strangers,” she says. “When you find someone’s videos or pictures, they seem mysterious at first, and then you wind up imagining the intentions of the people who made them.” The origin of this exhibit is a home video she bought at a thrift […]