Opium Traces
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The Psychology of War: Comprehending Its Mystique and Its Madness by Lawrence LeShan

LeShan is not a peacenik; he does not claim that war is never justified. He does argue, however, that mythic wars are dangerous. They impair people's ability to think rationally and make informed decisions.

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30 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Pie to Spoilt by  Chong Tze Chien

Affluence, academic competitiveness, early successes (getting it all right by your early 30s), neuroses, conspiracy theories, and crass materialism are some of the themes, metaphors, metonyms, and descants explored by young Singaporean playwright, Chong Tze Chien.

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30 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

The book flap suggests a mystery: ''strange clues' in their home: books rearranged on their shelves, a mysterious phone call, and other suggestions that nothing about Lexy's last afternoon was quite what it seemed.'' It's a great hook. If only the story were what it seemed.

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30 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Candy by Mian Mian

A rock 'n' roll drug addict love story that was banned by the government four months after it was first published but soon pirated versions appeared on the street and flourished.

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30 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Chaucer’s Queer Nation by Glenn Burger

In the end, Burger's argument hinges less on concrete examples of homosexuality in Chaucer's works, but rather, the notion of personalization in the writings, telling more about who a character is, and broader still, how a culture is defined.

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

S E T    L I S T One by OneWhen the Roses Bloom AgainBob Dylans BeardI Am Trying to Break Your HeartMuzzle of

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Alt-comedy icons Michael Showalter, David Wain, and Michael Ian Black, alumni of MTV’s much missed sketch comedy show The State, have been performing their

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Photo credit: JB Mondino Miracles were in short supply on July 11, as several stood outside the Palace in Hollywood, hoping someone had a spare Placebo

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

“Peyton Pinkerton on guitar. The greatest name in soft rock.” Joe Pernice is introducing his band. He’s holding his parlor-style Martin acoustic guitar in

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Aoi Heya lies on the east side of Shibuya station, tucked away from the hordes of shopping teens and university students that routinely flock to

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Halfway through the set comes “New Mexico”. It’s a song that sounds like an open stretch of highway bisecting a craggy landscape: it is

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For now, The Mars Volta live experience and the album remain separate entities as opposed to complementary halves.

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29 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Chance to Sing Along When Brian Wilson, the legendary pop writer, producer, and Beach Boy, announced that he would perform his 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds,

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28 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Joe Louis Walker: Pasa Tiempo

On Pasa Tiempo, Joe Louis Walker’s third of four releases in little more than a year, Walker has gathered together some of jazz and

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	O.A.R.: In Between Now and Then

It’s time to consider one more gap between collegiate cliques officially bridged. The tie-dyed set and the white-baseball-capped frat boys—whose only previous meetings

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	Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People

It is exceedingly difficult to qualify Mogwai’s work in the conventional sense. Not that there aren’t terms out there, mind you—I’ve

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28 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Marcus Miller: The Ozell Tapes: The Official Bootleg

Back in the summer of 1990, before the start of my senior year at the University of Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to catch a live

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28 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Joe Mannix: White Flag

Joe Mannix has built a reputation in the same way as so many singer-songwriters before him—get a buzz on the underground New York City

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	Wanda Jackson: Live & Still Kickin’

To be honest, I figured Wanda Jackson was dead, taken from us early by a fast rockabilly lifestyle. You know, the tragic victim of some

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	Various Artists: Bop Lives!

When you think of Chicago’s Delmark Records, you don’t generally think of bebop. While the label has recorded an immensely varied amount of

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

As our society is increasingly computer-dependent, the number of unethical persons seeking to encroach upon our personal computing life rises as well.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Kiss Me Kate

Culminates with 'Brush Up Your Shakespeare,' a musical tribute to the Bard sung by the two thugs, looking comically uncomfortable in their 16th garb.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2002)

Beyond their sexual pyrotechnics, Saeko and Yosuke's relationship develops a particular symbiosis.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Solaris (2002)

'The one thing you'll see as you watch the film, what you'll take note of, is how still it is.'"

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Spider (2002)

It's creepy inside Spider's head.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Daredevil (2003)

Daredevil has good reasons for his gear, and for the screwed-up attitude that goes with.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968)

It's like spending 99 minutes in a room a person you don't like in the least.

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28 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Beautiful Thing (1996)

A sweet, subtle slice-of-life drama about the sexual awakening of two gay teenagers whose home lives are less than perfect.

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	Vue: Babies Are For Petting

San Francisco quintet Vue have been steadily building a name for themselves over the past three years. While bands like The Strokes, The Mooney Suzuki,

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27 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Bree Sharp: More B.S.

My friend George has a designation for the kind of solid, foursquare rock with good songwriting that seems to be out of favor right now—

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27 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jay Farrar: Terrior Blues

Jay Fa·rrar n.&adj. n. 1 an alternative country singer/songwriter in the Bob Dylan troubadour tradition and former co-front man of Uncle Tupelo;

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27 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Crazy Town: Darkhorse

“So keep your candy-coated pain to make the vibe better, Now all the songs I’m writing sound like suicide letters.”—Crazy Town, “Candy Coated”

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27 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Cloudsmen: self-titled

Sonic psychedelia is a lot easier said than done. And while many try and fail, this band from Ontario, Canada, succeeds in many ways on

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	Aarktica: Pure Tone Audiometry

Chances are, you have probably taken a pure tone audiometry test as a child. You know, the one where you sit with the big fat

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24 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers

Alcohol plays a huge role in Managers, but instead of the adolescent diversion it was only yesteryear, it now appears as a pathetic crutch.

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24 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Voivod: self-titled

Voivod should have been far more popular than they were in the ‘80s. Hailing from the remote Quebec city of Jonquiere, home of a huge

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24 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Soul Purpose: Breaking Records

Right out of the box, Soul Purpose make bold pronouncements. Of course, there’s that title, a pretty unambiguous mission statement itself, but even more

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	The Saturday People: self-titled

TREE FORT ANGSTLast Page in the Book of Love(Foxyboy)US release date: 9 December 2002UK release date: 30 September 2002 (through Rough Trade Records) by Patrick SchabePopMatters

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24 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Rain Band: self-titled

2003 is a confusing, chaotic time for the average music fan. New genres are being birthed at an alarming rate and existing ones are being endlessly

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	Les Baton Rouge: Chloe Yurtz

The arrival in America of this Portuguese punk rock band affords an opportunity to speculate on ramifications of cultural product that manages to emerge from

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	Ahmad Jamal: In Search of Momentum

Ahmad Jamal is very enthusiastic about his latest recording, In Search of Momentum, representing as it does the first in a series of recordings for

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	Xavier Cugat: The Original Latin Dance King

Just mention the name Francisco de Asis Javier Cugat Mingall de Cru y Deulofeo (or Xavier Cugat for short), and a giant technicolor screen flashes

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24 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Black Lips: self-titled

The garage rock revival has reached the critical point where the wheat needs to be separated from the chaff. For every genuinely entertaining practitioner—the

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Novelists across generations and national borders have had feet planted simultaneously in the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, creative writing and journalism.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Rob Spillman, review by Jonathan Messinger -- It's possible, ostensibly, to judge a magazine solely on its sex issue -- if for no other reason than it's the most fun for the reviewer.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The newest video, for 'Crazy in Love,' begins with a hailing by Jay: 'History in the making.' Again, the process of work comes into focus, and again, Beyoncé's body becomes its undeniable emblem.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

As gamers we may be brave in the virtual world but maybe we're actually just running scared from reality.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Suicide, substance abuse, narcissism, eating disorders, antisocial ways, schizotypal symptoms, depression, even psychosis are considered sick by some cultures -- and utterly normative or advantageous in others.

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What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News by Eric Alterman

The image of the 'hack,' the gruff, curmudgeonly, cigar-chomping, semi-alcoholic journalist of yesteryear who battered away mercilessly on his typewriter and rubbed everybody the wrong way (especially the societal elite who saw no profession as unworthy as journalism), has all but vanished.

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The Wave and Other Stories by Caren Gussoff

Caren Gussoff's short stories map feminine experience of contemporary reality from the inside, and offer jolting rides through disturbed, damaged lives and minds. Her fictional worlds are fractured by emotional pain, criss-crossed by barely-healed scar tissue, gnarled and knotted by frustrated desires and thwarted ambitions.

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Pearl of Perlis: Perlis State Park Guide by Editors: Kasim Osman, Rahimatsah Amat and Surin Suksuwan

The general impression given by this book (for better or worse) is a sense of nostalgia and a strong urge to visit the place before everything disappears into oblivion.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Low End of Higher Things by David Clewell

Author of six poetry collections, winner of the National Poetry Series, and professor of writing and literature at Webster University, Clewell celebrates this quirky adventure we call life, and does it with grace, style and aplomb.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Cinema’s Missing Children by Emma Wilson

The ascent of the vanished child to the level of national preoccupation is nothing new to film scholar Emma Wilson, who has been tracking the phenomenon in both Europe and the United States for years. Wilson, a professor at Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University, contends that images of missing children have become among the most predominant and haunting in western art, particularly in film.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Seabiscuit (2003)

Engaging viewers emotionally, in a way that the rest of the summer's car chases and explosions can't even imagine doing, the racing scenes create an exhilarating rhythm for Seabiscuit's story.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Northfork (2003)

Challenges U.S. myths of enduring national identity, corporate good will, and westward-ho expansions.

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

The focus on her irate face reveals Lara's resolve, fury, and urgency. She's not playing.

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Johnny English (2003)

'He may be a fool, but he's a fool who keeps showing up.'"

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24 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

I Capture the Castle (2003)

The Cottons bluster into the Mortmains' lives, as Americans in British tales will do.

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23 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Taking Pictures: Friends Are Ghosts

The Plugged To Death Facts That We Know So Far: Taking Pictures, Chicago rock trio of present, are mainly made up of old Pittsbugh-faves Hurl.

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23 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Tart: self-titled

Listening to Tart, the band’s second full-length release, it’s more than a little obvious these girls have listened long and hard to the “

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	Peace Harbor: Not Yet Fire

The idea of “cinematic” music seems to have lost its cutting edge. Ever since Radiohead released OK Computer, the style has been refined to the

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23 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Mink Lungs: I’ll Take It

As Walt Whitman noted in Song of Myself #51, “I am large, I contain multitudes”, and it not only holds true for the poet, but for

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	Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won

What is it about Led Zeppelin that allows the group to endure more than two decades after its untimely break up? Is it the mystical

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23 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Sonny Chillingworth: Endlessly

When talking of the most important ki ho’alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar) players of the last century, three names come instantly to mind: Gabby

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	The Appleseed Cast: Two Conversations

When the Appleseed Cast released their Low Level Owl discs (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) in 2001, critics perked up their ears and took notice. And for good

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22 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Typewriter: Skeleton Key

Typewriter is effectively a pseudonym for London-based musician Mark Bandola. Bandola gained a modicum of success in the ‘80s with the Lucy Show, touring with

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	Nineteen Forty-Five: I Saw a Bright Light

Birmingham’s Nineteen Forty-Five give it everything they have for I Saw a Bright Light. But the disc, mostly comprised of upbeat, straight-ahead rock songs,

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22 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	NorthernBlues Gospel All Stars: Saved!

Saved!, a collection of classic and original gospel music, features the vocals of Hiram Joseph, Danny Brooks, Amoy Levy, and John Finley. However, it is

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	Mary Lee’s Corvette: 700 Miles

Even though they’ve already had two independently-released albums out, New York’s Mary Lee’s Corvette made a whole lot of ears perk up

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22 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Mountain: Climbing / Nantucket Sleighride

Greil Marcus once wrote that, at their best, the Clash sounded like their name. You could easily say the same thing about Mountain. No, really.

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	Mötley Crüe: Greatest Hits / Live: Entertainment or Death / Lewd, Crüed & Tattooed -

After two decades of mayhem, self-destruction and debauchery, the best and worst of Mötley Crüe ‘s topsy-turvy career has been distilled into a

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	The Latin Project: Nueva Musica

When a couple of English blokes decide to dub themselves the Latin Project, you might well raise an eyebrow at it. When you discover that

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

S E T    L I S T Couch PotatoAngry White Boy PolkaParty At The Leper ColonyYour Horoscope For TodayA Complicated SongDog Eat DogIt’

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

When Hawaiian slack key guitarist and singer George Kahumoku Jr. comes to town, expect something different. He never plays a song the same way twice,

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Before you enter the doors at Circus Disco in Hollywood, you have to get past Cole, the man who greats you with a ear-to-ear smile,

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

S E T    L I S T Our New National AnthemBeautiful MeBig Black BuckPeople PersonCloud 9Welcome to the Colored SectionDo You Know?RocketshipHeaven

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Cinematic Orchestra Live—great, but remind me why I care? The Cinematic Orchestra’s show at the Bowery Ballroom was more than a little

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Once I fell in love with a girl who liked Blonde Redhead. She tore my world apart, blew it to bits. She lived in Chicago,

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Queer Eye is the single most shameless corporate tramp on television.

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

nip/tuck

This combination of crude humor and gross-out imagery is designed to scandalize.

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Banzai

Banzai comes dangerously close to masking racism under the guise of stupidity. Just because something is idiotic, doesn't make it any less offensive.

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22 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Big Brother 4

Perhaps a couple of exes will decide to rehash their broken relationship, leading to loud fights and slammed doors. You know, the stuff we like on reality TV.

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	Tall Dwarfs: The Sky Above the Mud Below

After a reasonable break following the release of Fifty Flavors of Glue back in 1998, New Zealand’s ultra-wacky Tall Dwarfs are back, springing into action

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21 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Sport Murphy: Uncle

Mike Murphy, former lead singer of the folk-punk group the Skels, isn’t really keen on the music industry as a rule. After releasing two

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21 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	µ-Ziq: Bilious Paths

Mike Paradinas is µ-Ziq, pronounced, simply, “music.” He has released music under various appellations, among them “Jake Slazenger” and “Kid Spatula”. But his primary moniker

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	Kurt Elling: Man in the Air

There are two schools of thought on Kurt Elling. Both sides tend to agree that Elling is a talented interpreter of songs in the jazz

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	Matt Elliott: The Mess We Made

Matt Elliott is such a regular-guy name. There must be thousands of geezers in the UK (one fairly well-known footballer springs immediately to mind) with

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	The BellRays: Raw Collection

Aretha Franklin fronting the MC5. Ma Rainey singing with the Stooges. Do a web search for BellRays CD reviews, and you’ll get dozens of

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21 Jul 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Save My Soul

During the ‘90s, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy scored some pretty high points by jumping on the bandwagon of an ephemeral swing revival spear-headed primarily by

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21 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Tsui Hark’s Vampire Hunters (2003)

The Vampire King looks like someone tossed a banana cream pie in his face and left it there.

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21 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Spun (2002)

Screenwriter William De Los Santos calls Spun a 'love story'.

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21 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Mouse That Roared (1959)

The Mouse That Roared is that rare nuclear holocaust flick you can watch with the kids.

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21 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

In Hiroshima Mon Amour, Resnais and his screenwriter, French novelist Marguerite Duras, show their debts to the Modernists.

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The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer, Volumes One and Two - PopMatters Film Review
)

Jan Svankmajer's films, surreal transformations of everyday objects into living creatures, are intensely visceral.

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21 Jul 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Carpetbaggers (1964)

More troubling than the melodramatic disintegration of Jonas' personal life is The Carpetbaggers' depiction of Hollywood's exploitation of female sexuality.

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	Various Artists: Stoned Asia Music Presents World Peace

When I first popped this disc into my car stereo, I thought, “Oh, god”. DJ Pathaan’s latest in his ongoing series of mix CDs

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Thank God, then, for events like Merlefest: a celebration of music so totally devoid of corporate meddling that you'd think for sure this was some other place in a time long since past (never mind that Burger King and Pepsi are among the sponsors -- hey, a festival attracting upwards of 70,000 people each year requires some funding). Pure, unadulterated music is hard to come by these days; more so for those who depend upon mainstream radio for their supply of tunes.

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	Various Artists: Punk-O-Rama 8

For those music aficionados who had lamented the gradual demise of punk rock, take heart, guardians of the flame remain among us and their name

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	Josh Wink: Profound Sounds v2

Long before labels recognized the potential for making a buck via DJ Mix CDs (No studio time to shell out for, and song licensing fees

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	Lionel Richie: Can’t Slow Down (Deluxe Edition)

I’m ashamed at just how much I’m enjoying the Deluxe Edition of Lionel Richie‘s Can’t Slow Down. While the music on

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Doctor Who': Casting a Woman as the Doctor Offers Fresh Perspectives and a New Kind of Role Model

// Channel Surfing

"The BBC's announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor has sections of fandom up in arms. Why all the fuss?

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