Wednesday, November 3 2004
Harlem's current renaissance has less to do with the art and culture that flowed freely during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and more to do with good old-fashioned commerce. The new gentry went looking for a new ground floor, and found it right in their own mythic backyard.
The thrift store shopper needs to turn a misfortune into a virtue; that of the conscientious non-conformist.
Wednesday, October 27 2004
Violence in the American tradition tends to bed down with the American Myth of Innocence; horror films full of southern hellbillys often erase the historical context for southern violence.
Pitbull comes across as a clever guy, attuned to the interplay of social, political, and economic dynamics. He insists that he can weave some heavy stuff in among the booty music, but he's still prone to broad clichés.
The UK's disparaged 'Lotus Eaters' are leaving town in droves, for good. Everyone, it seems, would rather be somewhere else.
Sixty-four-year-olds aren't what they used to be, and if John Lennon were still alive, he would probably not be living the quaint parlour scene played out in McCartney's ditty.
Wednesday, October 20 2004
For those types of games that allude in same way to the real world, weather's configuration, representation, and possibly meaning, ought to be a major consideration.
Newsweek's Anna Quindlen thinks fining non-voters in the US is a good idea. Thompson, his university students, and some friends who lived under communist dictatorships in Hungary and the Czech Republic, think otherwise.
What's happening now in black literature is similar to the smooth jazz/serious jazz dichotomy; urban fiction is getting more 'play' to the public, and fine literature is experienced only by the cognoscenti.
Wednesday, October 13 2004
Like a latter-day Alan Ladd as Shane, Chicago-based independent label, Bloodshot Records, has taken upon itself the role of savior of the sagebrush, mixing it up in the robber-baron world of corporate Country.
The best literature on the world's great cities becomes massive solidifications of cities as enlarged physical characterisations; maps of the full gamut of human expression and suffering. Breebaart sees much-overlooked Brussels as next up for such great literary work.
To this day, with all that history behind us, black folks are accused of jumping to the other side whenever their music veers off the beaten track. Keep on jumping.
Wednesday, October 6 2004
If the former Cat Stevens were barred entry to the US due to his bad music, one might not feel compelled to defend him. As it is, we've got a problem, here.
Horning is not sure if he should admire those who maintain a personal ethical code and refrain from downloading free music -- a function the record industry has enabled -- or despise them for holding back the revolution.
Tuesday, October 5 2004
Should a celebrity's pointed comments on political issues slip past the censors, it's worth listening.
Wednesday, September 29 2004
It's not that a black child can't appreciate the talents of a white baseball star; it's just that a black athlete's accomplishments mean more to that child because the athlete looks like him/her, and therefore, that black athlete is a role model.
Lindsey's varied and complex neighbourhood is but a speck in the great dusty bowl that is Cairo. It's also very much like any patch of urban life found elsewhere in the world.
Holden takes a two-hour plane ride from Tokyo to Seoul and finds himself in a completely different, yet paradoxically very similar world of Japanese and Korean pop culture.
The Mercury Prize helps spread the gospel of talented UK musicians beyond the confines of their homeland, without over-the-top, Grammy-like showboating.
Wednesday, September 22 2004
Ayatollah Khomeini's regime had, in effect, manipulated the results of the 1980 US elections by ensuring Reagan's victory. Such on-again/off-again, under-the-table 'I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine' politics continue to this day.