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Tuesday, March 5, 2013 07:05 pm
"Laura Coffey" by Philip Ackerman   This is the first in a series of posts leading up to the Saturday March 9 group exhibit of work by members of local art collective The Pharmacy. Philip Ackerman co-founded the group back in 2011, and his distinctive work both in watercolor portraiture and tile mosaic have been touchstones of each Pharmacy group show so far. More than two years on...
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 01:57 pm
This week marks the return of the Torch Tuesday hip-hop concert series, featuring a local favorite, a consummate up-and-comer and a visitor from up North. Headlining the show is Black Steel (a.k.a. Young Twizz). "I wouldn't call it gangsta rap, but he raps about his experiences and what he has witnessed, so there's stuff about growing up around drug dealers, seeing people getting shot,&quot...
Monday, March 4, 2013 03:00 pm
Thrice each year, the artists of local grass roots collective The Pharmacy put their best work on display for all to see. All four of the previous exhibitions have been watershed events, brimming with stimulating images and textures, virtually vibrating with enthusiasm. This excitement doesn't just come from the artists proudly showing their most recent creations - the exhibitions have gained ...
Monday, May 16, 2011 12:13 am
In an inexplicable piece of happenstance, one of the most famous and respected rap artists in the world will be performing in downtown Springfield tomorrow night -- Tuesday, May 17th -- in a bar that can’t even legally admit 100 people. Yes, Raekwon the Chef himself will be, um, “cooking up some marvelous shit to get your mouth watering” this week at Bar None (427 E. Monroe), as part of ...
Thursday, April 28, 2011 11:26 am
The living rebuke to any Beatles-era baby boomers fond of lamenting the lack of melody and harmony in today’s pop music -- namely The New Pornographers -- will be playing at the Canopy Club in Urbana tonight, and I for one could not be more thrilled to have tickets. The Canada-based indie rock combo is grounded in the More-Hooks-Than-A-Live-Bait-Shop songwriting of bandleader A.C. Newman...
Sunday, April 10, 2011 03:59 pm
Midafternoon on a Sunday at Bar None isn’t exactly the time and place you expect to encounter a rock show, but that’s just what Tom Irwin has decided to pull out of his back pocket today. A makeshift “power trio” (Irwin on bass, local percussion legend Timothy M. “Grumpy” Harte on drums, and Tom’s guitar-slinging son Owen Irwin on 6-string duty) plows game...
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 09:49 am
In the market for a movie date this coming Valentine’s Day but want to avoid the usual RomCom clichés? Affairs of the heart have rarely been so absurdly and ineptly dramatized as they are in The Room, a notorious and unintentionally hilarious cult film oft -reputed to be the Citizen Kane of bad movies, which is starting at Champaign's Art Theater on Friday, February 11. Director-wri...
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 07:03 pm
The following was my first published piece of writing. I submitted it to the Illinois Times in November of 1987, at age 20, and it led to my unofficial position as go-to rock music writer for the paper over the next three years. More than two decades on, it still seems almost inconceivable that the Dead Milkmen and Mojo Nixon actually did a show at the PCCC. But it happened. I was there. And h...

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