Columns

Thursday, March 8 2007

Celebrating John Coltrane, Personally

Spurred on by a couple of anniversaries, a new podcast "Traneumentary", and plenty of memory, Layman reflects on the music and meaning of John Coltrane.


Wednesday, March 7 2007

Coming ‘Out’ to Play

American sports fans may consider themselves a more level-headed bunch than their seemingly always rioting European equivalents, but they excel at hurtling vitriol at 'out' gay players.


Say What You Will

What you say about yourself is also, by implication, an argument about the world around you – whether you would have it be or not.


Tuesday, March 6 2007

Art History

Without venturing to psychoanalyze Art Garfunkel’s unconscious fixations, I’d say there are times when you can, in fact, tell a book by its cover -- and one of them is when it’s covered in protective plastic.


Monday, March 5 2007

Las Vegas—The Real Never Never Land

In less than 36 hours, I was rear-ended in traffic by a sleazy local lingerie-shop owner who offered free pot for my troubles; I overcame an early $70 deficit and left the blackjack table with $45 in winnings; and the hotel upgraded me to a swanky top-floor Jacuzzi suite.


Sunday, March 4 2007

Vibe: Hard to Let it Go

Vibe once nailed down the sweet spot between hip-hop swagger and Madison Avenue polish. But no longer needing to prove hip-hop’s worth to the broader audience, it morphed into a gooey valentine to hip-hop’s ghetto fabulousness.


Send/Receive: The Instantly Regretted E-Mail

You know that sick feeling you get when fire off a toxic reply, hit the “send” button, and find yourself peering into the Dark Side of instant global electronic communication?


Thursday, March 1 2007

The Revolution Will Not Be in a Stadium

If the Chinese revolution has a soundtrack, it won't be the Rolling Stones' songs; especially given that their ticket prices are more than most Chinese can afford.


Wednesday, February 28 2007

Brazilian Choro Music: The Oldest Jazz

Before jazz, before samba and bossa nova, before even Stravinsky had been born, musicians in 19th century Rio were testing their virtuosity playing choro tunes.


Tuesday, February 27 2007

The Gallant Gourmet

He championed both culinary extravagance and gastronomic restraint. But Graham Kerr's greatest legacy may be his innate ability to reach across the airwaves and touch each viewer's inner epicure.


Monday, February 26 2007

Rumi-nating on a New Axis

The Sufi poet formerly known as Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is celebrating 800 years, and the entire spectrum of Persian culture is throwing a party.


Sunday, February 25 2007

Defying Extinction and Celebrating the Strange

Some might say the elusive coelacanth, in spite of its primordial ugliness, has attained rock star status in the popular imagination.


A Hopeful Immigrant’s Letter, Intercepted

A tip for the riff-raff trying to squeeze through the INS bureaucracy or slip past the US Border Patrol: try bending it like Beckham.


Thursday, February 22 2007

Rewarding the Oscar Also-Rans

With the Academy's 'big dance' on the horizon, it's time to recognize those motion pictures and performances overlooked by Oscar's self-serving system of artistic determination.


Not-So-Strange Noodling

The Crusaders' jazzy soul conjured images of a cool neon wilderness populated with hop-heads, pool-hall hustlers, and midnight cornerboys straight out of Nelson Algren.


Wednesday, February 21 2007

It Takes One, Baby

Agent Zero -- or The Hibachi, or The East Coast Assassin, or The Black President, or, least colorfully, Gilbert Arenas -- is the most dynamic, most talked about individual playing in the NBA today.


Soulless

James Redfield's 'prophetic' novel, The Celestine Prophecy, as manifested in film... maybe it means something. I see soft-focus imagery and swirling colors. I'm getting a feeling. It's...it's... nausea.


Tuesday, February 20 2007

Falling In Love, Estonian-style

The EESTI: ballaadid was like a dream with scary and dark moments that was nonetheless beautiful. Upon seeing that performance, I fell in love with Estonia.


Monday, February 19 2007

Women of the Evolution: (Another) Discussion of Chick Lit

If literary genres were a feast, chick lit would be the coconut soufflé. Dessert, anyone?


Sunday, February 18 2007

But I Wanted the Catfish!

No industry in America so readily -- even eagerly -- treats conjecture with the same value as fact as political commentary.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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