Thursday, January 3 2013
Back when Martha (Reeves) and the Vandellas and the Marvelettes would have one big hit and then nothing much for months, and the Supremes didn’t have a hit among their first nine releases, Mary Wells was Motown’s reigning pop star, queen and cash cow.
Tuesday, December 11 2012
John Pizzarelli is a blazing swing guitarist whose music is among the most consistent pleasures and most reliably smart expressions of the “The Great American Songbook” of the last 25 years.
Wednesday, December 5 2012
James Wood's new collection of essays and reviews, The Fun Stuff, at once subverts the critic's elitist persona and fortifies it.
Monday, November 26 2012
Since it launched in 2007, Bazillion Points has released seven of the best books about metal and punk, including the very best book about metal, yet.
Thursday, November 15 2012
Because history can be seen to be a malleable artifact, it’s a useful tool to employ when writing fiction. Because history is often chaotic, fiction can be the best way to approach it.
Tuesday, November 13 2012
Even a cursory look at The Big Lebowski and the Gospel reveals that Jesus of Nazareth was an original Dude and Lebowski of Los Angeles is, in his own way, a practitioner of Jesus’ way and life.
The world around us is the world of the book, says Vanessa Veselka. In Zazen, there's a highly fetishized identity politics world that someone is getting lost in.
Tuesday, November 6 2012
Claire Vaye Watkins' first short story collection, Battleborn is winning well-deserved rave reviews. Here, she discusses monkeys in chinaberry trees, Yo La Tengo, and what it's like to be a putter-inner.
Sunday, November 4 2012
Michael Chabon writes with empathy, with earnest reflection and self-consciousness, pervaded by sepia-daubed nostalgia.
Tuesday, October 30 2012
One wonders if Elvis, the Beatles, the Who, et. al. would have gained such importance had TV not been available.
Is Ray Bradbury's classic a horror film? Well, not exactly. Is it a family film? Nah, it has too many genuine scares for the kiddies. Is it perfect for Halloween? Well, Mr. Dark is delightfully wicked...
Sunday, October 28 2012
Teenage outcasts often feel like the world is against them; in 1994, three adolescents in West Memphis, Arkansas, experienced proof that it actually was. Now, despite being freed after 18 years of wrongful imprisonment, the battle of the West Memphis Three is not concluded.
Wednesday, October 24 2012
Is black minstrelsy a celebration of noxious stereotypes or an important part of American culture? Or both?
Wednesday, October 10 2012
Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.
Tuesday, October 9 2012
Before Occupy Wall Street rattled the money merchants, Herman Melville and the Beats shook the city's foundation with gumption and glee.
Monday, October 1 2012
World War II changed the way we eat, live and work on such a fundamental scale that to those in the West it seems like there has never been anything other than the globalized world it created.
Wednesday, September 19 2012
So expressly "chocolate city", go-go is part art form, part entertainment, and part Washington, D.C. civic totem pole; heading south, bounce is a distinctly and defiantly New Orleansian spin on an established rap genre.
Tuesday, September 18 2012
It Chooses You provides a sketch of the deluxe hipster, one who hardly knows what to make of the poor, the underprivileged, the recently incarcerated, and others who are just plain weird, as opposed to quirky.
Thursday, September 13 2012
Some of Daniel Clowes’ exaggerated bitterness about his vocation comes from a willingness to see himself as just as ridiculous as the characters he gets paid to doodle. But he also harbors a deep disillusionment with art itself.
Sunday, September 9 2012
New York is a symbol that claws its way into the core of stories. It's never just a set piece, never just a grid of architecture. It's a city of multitudes, madness, and muddied values.