Was Jane Addams a lesbian?

Chicago magazine, July 2008 — A new documentary establishes Jane Addams and her close friend, Mary Rozet Smith, as gay icons. Does it go too far? Read my story for Chicago magazine. Chicago History Museum photo

A Conservatory, a Zoo, and 12,000 Corpses

Chicago Reader, May 15, 2008 — One day in the 1970s, when Pamela Bannos was a teenager, she was riding in the back of her father’s car as he turned off Lake Shore Drive onto LaSalle Street. Looking out the window, she noticed an old stone structure standing in Lincoln Park. Surrounded by a chain-link fence… Continue reading A Conservatory, a Zoo, and 12,000 Corpses

Record review: Portishead, ‘Third’

This review by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Pioneer Press on March 2, 2008. Portishead Third ***½ The two albums that Portishead released in 1994 and 1997 still sound otherworldly, no matter how many times we’ve heard then. After a long hiatus, the British trio has returned, sounding stranger than ever. As forlorn and heartbroken… Continue reading Record review: Portishead, ‘Third’

Baby Dee profile

This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Signal to Noise magazine’s Spring 2008 issue. Baby Dee talks about the old German folk tale of the Erlkönig as if it really happened to her—back when she was still a boy, growing up in Cleveland. The Erlkönig, a king with a beard and a flowing cloak,… Continue reading Baby Dee profile

Cat Power: 2008 concert review

This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in The Daily Southtown on February 11, 2008. Cat Power, the singer also known as Chan Marshall, was once notorious for abandoning songs or entire concerts before she was halfway through finishing them. When she played at Chicago’s Vic Theatre two years ago, she gave an erratic performance,… Continue reading Cat Power: 2008 concert review

Playbill feature: ‘Shining City’

This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Playbill magazine in January 2008. Are ghosts real? Or do these apparitions spring out of the human psyche? Are they supernatural beings from another world or merely manifestations of our own emotions? Robert Falls, artistic director of the Goodman Theatre, has never seen a ghost, but in… Continue reading Playbill feature: ‘Shining City’

Bettye LaVette Q&A

This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Pioneer Press on December 5, 2007. Four decades after she began making records, Detroit R&B singer Bettye LaVette finally broke through to national acclaim last year with her album, “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise.” Praised by many critics as one of 2005’s best records, it… Continue reading Bettye LaVette Q&A

Grace Slick Q&A

This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Pioneer Press on September 6, 2007. Grace Slick hasn’t sung on a stage since 1989. These days, the former vocalist for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship spends her time drawing and painting. Slick will make appearances Sept. 8 and 9 at the Wentworth Gallery in Schaumburg’s Woodfield… Continue reading Grace Slick Q&A

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