Posted inMusic

Sam Thousand, Chicago soul Renaissance man

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist Sam Thousand moved to Chicago from Texas in 2009, and within a year he’d joined hip-hop fusion outfit Sidewalk Chalk. He’s since become deeply embedded in several overlapping arts communities, gaining increased visibility under his previous stage name, Sam Trump—I first saw him perform solo in 2018, during a cross-genre Steppenwolf […]

Posted inFilm

Welcome to the skate park

“When we go to a skate park, we take up space, and then all of a sudden you don’t see a bunch of guys trying to tell you to move out the way, ’cause we’re the majority now,” says Lid Madrid. “And we’re taking up space, and just changing the way that skate parks traditionally […]

Posted inMusic

Moor Mother’s Jazz Codes needs little decoding

Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, has always been one to cite her sources. In addition to performing as a member of Philly-based free-jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements, the contralto wordsmith has frequently paid homage to the jazz, blues, and gospel canons in her solo work, beginning with her 2016 debut, Fetish Bones, and continuing through last […]

Posted inTheater Review

Choice debates

Natalie Y. Moore’s play The Billboard, now in a world premiere with 16th Street Theater, is subtitled “A Play About Abortion.” In the spirit of Chicago improv, allow me to say: Yes, and. The setup is as simple as it is powerful: a neighborhood gadfly puts up a billboard near the [fictional] Black Women’s Health […]

Posted inOn Culture

A bloody Independence Day in Highland Park

Nothing was said about it on the July 4 television interviews I saw, but among the security experts interviewed during coverage of the Highland Park parade shooting, one face and name had resonance. Crisis management expert and former FBI agent Phil Andrew survived another mass shooting in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, more than three decades […]

Fame, Creativity, and Mental Health

Alex Ebert may be best known as the lead singer and songwriter of Grammy Award-winning indie-rock band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the frontman of art-rock group Ima Robot, and a composer who won a Golden Globe for his score for the 2013 film All is Lost but his interests and creative endeavors extend […]