Tor Books announced the news today that author Gene Wolfe has died at the age of 87. I interviewed Wolfe in 1993 when I was a reporter for Pioneer Press Newspapers in Chicago’s suburbs, visiting him at his home in Barrington. Here is my article, which was originally published in the Barrington Courier-Review on March… Continue reading 1993 interview with Gene Wolfe
Pioneer Press/Arlington Heights Post, September 21, 2017 — Two filmmakers are working on a documentary about Jay Bennett, the multitalented musician from Arlington Heights who died in 2009, eight years after leaving the Chicago band Wilco. … Read my story for Pioneer Press. Photo: Michael Walker/Chicago Tribune
Pioneer Press, February 16, 2016 — The Waco Brothers used to make studio records at a fairly brisk pace — releasing seven albums from 1995 to 2005 with their rousing mix of punk guitar riffs and country twang. “We thought it was a really solid string of records,” recalls Jon Langford, a singer-guitarist in the… Continue reading Waco Brothers release first album in 11 years
Pioneer Press, October 19, 2015 — At the height of the grunge era, the Pennsylvania rock band Live’s second album, “Throwing Copper,” was on the Billboard charts for a year before it finally reached No. 1 — an unusually slow climb. Read the interview.
Pioneer Press, August 20, 2015 — There was a time when you could walk into airports without worrying about metal detectors. You could greet friends — or even celebrities — as they exited airplanes, coming down stairs right onto the tarmac. “It breaks my heart that that era has vanished forever,” says Christopher Lynch, who grew up near… Continue reading ‘Now Arriving,’ a new book on Chicago airports
Pioneer Press, June 19, 2015 — Soul singer Sharon Jones sounded and looked as vibrant as ever when she returned to concert stages in 2014, less than a year after learning she had cancer. She’d had six months of chemotherapy. Told by her doctors that she’d beaten the bile duct cancer, she wasted no time getting back… Continue reading Sharon Jones interview
Pioneer Press, April 30, 2015 — Austin, Texas, is famous for its South by Southwest festival. Now, the Edison Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Far Northwest Side is hosting a weekend of concerts with its own take on the moniker: the North by Northwest Highway Music Fest. Read more in Pioneer Press.
This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Pioneer Press on September 29, 2011. See Underground for longer transcript of my interview with Sally Timms. Which rock band would open a concert with short slideshow lectures, talking about obscure topics like “various breeds of pigs, real and imagined”? Which rock band begins the recording process… Continue reading Mekons: 2011 feature
This article by Robert Loerzel was originally published in Pioneer Press and the Chicago Sun-Times on September 1, 2011. In case you doubted Richard Thompson’s impressive credentials as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he now has an official stamp of approval — from England’s Queen Elizabeth. The British musician … received the Order of the… Continue reading Richard Thompson Q&A
This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Pioneer Press on August 11, 2011. Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz live just a few blocks from each other in Oak Park. Both have been acclaimed for their heartfelt, thoughtful portrayals of people coping with problems such as poverty and crime. James portrays his subjects in documentary… Continue reading Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz discuss ‘The Interrupters’