Archive for the 'arts and culture' Category

Tryst Prep – Parshat Mishpatim

The Faith Between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of G-d

Fringesters: Short but delightfully packed interview up on Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again (my blog) that I conducted with Scott Korb and Peter Bebergal, authors of The Faith Between Us, A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of G-d. Beautiful read, wonderful guys. Show some love: Meet Korb and Berbergal, check out the interview, [...]

Parshat Vayeira

Parshat Lech-Lecha

Parshot V’Zot Haberecha/Bereshit

Parshat Ha’azinu

L’Shana Tova & Shabbat Shalom

HAMSA fest this weekend

“This popular summer festival will again engage people of all ages to not only experience a taste of the region through art and food, but also examine and challenge beliefs about personal and cultural identity. HAMSA-Fest will [...]

NFJC- what’s in a name?

A few years ago, UJA became UJC, and not much changed except a whole lot of bureaucratic shuffling and money being uselessly wasted. Messing with brand identity is risking, like adding “New” before “Coke.” Now The Forward reports that the Foundation for Jewish Culture has dropped the “National” from their name, apparently indicating a departure [...]

The Reader’s Critics’ Choice is…

It’s so effing sweet when they get it… and the Reader does tend to *get* it…
  Rabbinical School Dropouts
The California big band known as the RABBINICAL SCHOOL DROPOUTS actually does seem to play at a lot of weddings and bar mitzvahs, which is hard to square with their sound. Recalling Zappa at his giddiest and [...]

from Minsk to Chicago

Chicago Classical Music’s Jonathon Miller conducted Kol Zimrah last month and found a surprise personal connection…

WBEZ: KFAR’s Esta concert on Radio M

In case you missed KFAR’s May 16 concert by ESTA, WBEZ 91.5FM rebroadcast a 30 minute excerpt of Israel’s most original instrumental band on the Radio M program this past week. Our thanks to Tony Sarabia at Chicago Public Radio and Eric Butkus of Record the World for making this possible. Click on [...]

Jew music on craigslist

You have to laugh, not at the sincereity, but at the contrast of these two musos looking to jam.  Like two Jews stranded together on an island, they can’t settle on Minhag and build three shuls…. Not like there are a ton of folks looking to make Jew music on Craigslit… One wanting to avoid [...]

Parsha Balak

This is a parsha of contradictions. Balak, king of Moab, fears the Egyptian Hebrews and seeks help from the powerful prophet, Balaam. YHWH goes back and forth as to whether or not Balaam can go to Moab. He finally goes and (according to some rabbis) tries to curse the Hebrews, but is only able to [...]

HotHouse to close

You may have heard that HotHouse is in trouble, again. A month ago, the Tribune’s Howard Reich announced what many already suspected; that between the Board battle that forced out founder Marguerite Horberg, high overhead and funding shortages, things did not look good. $70,000 was reportedly owed in taxes, all staff but the [...]

Get Your Yiddish Here.

Every summer, the Chicago branch of YIVO (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) mounts a Summer Festival of Yiddish Culture, and the schedule for this year is now online. I always feels its a great shadow of what it could be where there a modest investment in the programming, but its [...]

Balkan BeatBox @ Empty Bottle TONIGHT!

Digital Monkey
Bulgarian Chix
Balkan Beat Box performs an inspired madness that crosses multi-cultural circus with non-stop dance party. Its full horns, dj beats, throbbing basslines and percussion come together for a surreal atmosphre that’s part Gypsy caravan, part performance-art collective. Blending electronic music with hard-edged folk music from the Balkans, North Africa, [...]

Borat’s Brother composes for Kazakh

In an odd twist of events, Erran Baron Cohen, Sacha’s brother, was commissioned to compose a symphonic piece based on Kazakh folk tunes.
The commission came after someone from Kazakh saw “Borat” and loved his composition for the soudtrack so much, they rang him up. I guess they got over the initial bruises and realized [...]

Gospel in the Greater Lawndale Ghetto

There’s a long sordid history of Jews and Blacks in Chicago.  some of its good and some of it is not.  LAWNDALE is the old west-side neighborhood where from 1920-1959 or so, nearly 200,000 Jews lived within a square mile.  You can still see the old, magnificent shuls along Douglas and Independence Boulevards, along with [...]

Parsha Bamidbar

This week, YHWH (which we’re told can be pronounced, “Yoo Hoo Woo Hoo”) and her band of Hebrew homies begin their adventures “In the Wilderness.” Despite being about the business of raising an army, the parsha itself is REALLY DRY. You can see why it’s called the book of “Numbers.” They might also call it, [...]

Chabon’s Frozen Chosen

The latest from the Pulitzer-winning novelist is a “murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller,” in the words of Publishers Weekly. It’s a private-eye story set in a fictional community of Jewish exiles — “the frozen chosen” — displaced to a temporary settlement in Alaska by World War II.
He appears in Chicago for a NextBook program [...]