Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, March 31

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Event Thu May 15 2008

Between Descartes and That "Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog"

It's been said that those artists who possess the highest degree of creative genius are often those who carry within them the greatest unresolved paradoxes. Kris Kristofferson might've had something similar in mind when he said of his friend and fellow artist Johnny Cash, "He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction."

Truth, of course, is the end concern of philosophical inquiry – getting at the brass tacks of life, human knowledge and experience, the nature of the world. As the latest in a series of titles from their Popular Culture and Philosophy line, Chicago-based scholarly imprint Open Court Publishing has just published Johnny Cash and Philosophy: The Burning Ring of Truth. In a collection of academically-inclined essays, eighteen deep thinkers and die-hard Cash fans offer a variety of perspectives on the metaphysical, social, and spiritual aspects of the Cash's music – the whys and what-fors of how Cash's lyrics connect with the singer's own life and speak to a large and varied audience on so many levels. The contributing authors examine the man's music from a range of perspectives. You get Cash on crime and the American penal system, Cash on sin and redemption and the many pitfalls of human nature, Cash on the value of honest labor and making what you can of what you've been given, Cash on the matter of love as examined in light of his relationship with June Carter, and a number of other topics.

The volume of essays was co-edited (along with David Werther) by former Chicago musician and current philosophy professor John Huss, who contributed the chapter "Johnny Cash and Justice." Before he vacated town to pursue his career in academia, Huss used to play around the Windy City as the frontman for the John Huss Moderate Combo back in the 1990s. Next weekend, the Moderate Combo will be reuniting to play a couple of shows in town to celebrate the book's publication and to pay tribute to the Man in Black.

The first show takes place next Friday, May 23, at the Elastic Arts Center; with the band sharing the bill with Slink Moss & the Flying Aces. The next evening, both bands will be part of the big Johnny Cash tribute and book-release event that will be taking place at the Ronny's. For the Ronny's event, the evening's bill will also features sets from -- among others -- the Waco Brothers, the Lawrence Peters Outfit, and the True Historians. Each band will be playing a couple of their favorite Cash tunes as well as their own material, and Chic-A-Go-Go host Mia Park will be emceeing the evening and will also being joining Huss on a cover of the Johnny and June Carter duet "Jackson."

Information for both shows:

John Huss Moderate Combo reunion concert -- Friday, May 23, 9 pm. With Slink Moss & the Flying Aces, Elastic Arts Center, 2830 N. Milwaukee, $10.

“Burning Ring of Truth: A Tribute to Johnny Cash” book release party and concert for Johnny Cash and Philosophy -- Saturday, May 24, 8 pm. With Al Scorch, Tijuana Hercules, Slink Moss & the Flying Aces, the Waco Brothers, John Huss Moderate Combo, Lawrence Peters Outfit, Frosty, and True Historians. emceed by Mia Park. Ronny's, 2101 N. California, $10.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


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