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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...
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 03:25 pm

 In the new fact-based comedy-drama I Love You Phillip Morris, (opening at Champaign’s Art Theater this Friday, January 28, 2011) Jim Carrey has the role of a lifetime as gay confidence man and multiple prison escapee Frank Russell. Perhaps even more over-the-top than any previous character portrayed by Carrey, Russell’s compulsion to manipulate, lie and go to outrageous extremes t...
Friday, July 16, 2010 03:47 pm
Big Boi formerly of the hip-hop Beatles, actually known as Outkast, just released his stupendous solo album, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty.” It’s really good, and it lends even more credence to the rumors of an Outkast reunion. Which is the greatest thing ever. I’m not the world’s biggest Outkast fan. When they were huge, I mostly listened to (ugh) ...
Friday, July 9, 2010 09:26 am
As a person who has more than a passive interest in pop music, I am always disappointed by the summer. It’s a time when the radio is ruled with trashy throwaway ballads that mostly appeal to people who tweet about lying out by the pool. It’s disposable, usually focused on how much cheap beer you can drink, overly sexual without any winking charm and generally just not much fun to liste...

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