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Thursday, September 29 2011

Chuck Eddy Will Piss You Off with ‘Rock and Roll Always Forgets’

Buy this infuriating and brilliant book. But get it in softcover. You'll be throwing it against your wall.


Thursday, September 15 2011

Epistolary Rex, The Sharp Hunger for Letters: Conversations with Peter Case

A poetic series of ruminations between a journalist and his subject, a folk-hero rebel rocker, who celebrate years of friendship by exploring the rocky, jolting, and quasi-spiritual experiences that shaped both of their lives.


Monday, September 12 2011

Transforming the Metamorphosis

While Atanes's film comes across as somber and unintentionally funny, and the Capaldi film is bizarre and outright amusing. Both do a brilliant job of capturing the surreal, dark mood that The Metamorphosis is cocooned in.


Sunday, September 11 2011

We Piss Anywhere: ‘Sympathy for Mick Jagger’

Mick Jagger is the devil; the avatar for the swaggering, fatally self-assured hedonist who will piss anywhere with a cocky smirk written all over his face that only confirms there is nothing you can do to stop him.


Thursday, September 8 2011

Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.


Wednesday, September 7 2011

Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.


Thursday, August 11 2011

‘Red Shambhala’: Telepathy, Mental Powers, Electronic Surveillance & Mysticism in the U.S.S.R.

While the practical experiments of laboratories bent on superhuman creations failed as surely as did the subversive aims to spark revolt on the Mongol plains or in the Tibetan monasteries, the lesson of this unbelievable plot lingers in this thoughtful, instructive, and sad testament of grand hopes and puny fates.


Sunday, August 7 2011

Steve Earle’s ‘I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive’

A been-there-lived-it-attitude and street-level redemption, all propelled by a songwriter's/storyteller's lyrical and narrative knack.


Thursday, August 4 2011

‘Shock Value’: What Men (and Boys) Really Fear

Jason Zinoman argues that the fantastic, Gothic monsters of the first half of the 20th century were replaced by a New Horror -- the monster right in front of your face.


Sunday, July 24 2011

Frustrated Fantasies: Misperceptions of Fandom and ‘Gone With the Wind’

The value of fandom is often underestimated. Rather than the stereotyped burnt-out housewives or socially inept teenagers that obsessively and indiscriminately consume popular culture, fans are active agents.


Friday, July 22 2011

No One Is Untouchable: Not Federico Garcia Lorca, Not Ai Weiwei

Governments tend to take on their worst form, to devolve to their most horrific manifestation, when they kill artists. Artists look out into the horrors of the world, and inevitably, the horrors sometimes reach back.


Sunday, July 17 2011

The Hate for Southern Hip-Hop: Why So Serious?

The way some of us disparage Southern rap, you'd think rappers like Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame had recorded a record dissing Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane.


Monday, July 4 2011

‘Norwegian Wood’ Is Pretty Onscreen, But Puzzling

Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood has been referred to as the "Japanese Catcher in the Rye", but J. D. Salinger said that his book was not actable and he would never sell the rights to Hollywood. Maybe Murakami should have listened to Salinger.


Thursday, June 30 2011

Enmeshed In Modernity: Malcolm Turvey’s ‘The Filming of Modern Life’

Most of these films have been studied to death, then autopsied, buried, exhumed, and autopsied again, but Malcolm Turvey unearths some fresh perspectives and in the process, provides a nice corrective to long-misguided notions.


Tuesday, June 28 2011

Tommy McKearney’s ‘The Provisional IRA Is an Insider’s Analysis of the Dream and the Reality

A contemporary analysis of the main IRA force in its 40 years "from insurrection to parliament", from a participant not in a seminar but a cell, as an operative and not as a professor, a volunteer and a leader of the IRA -- not a reporter.


Wednesday, June 22 2011

Dylan As Text, Sub-Text, Ur-Text in ‘Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown’

This is Bob Dylan as shifting text, not just layered like pages, back or front, or over-laid like a palimpsest, but cross-wise and motile as a termite.


Monday, June 20 2011

Reality, and Then Some, as Conveyed in ‘The Wire’ and ‘Oliver Twist’

The spoonful of sugar that The Wire employs in relating its harsh theme is all wrapped up in that medicine's themes of fatalism. The humor employed in Oliver Twist highlights the opposite: the needlessness of the system that allows orphans to starve to death.


In Praise of Silliness

They say you gotta laugh to keep from crying. A simple dose of pure silliness taken on a regular basis is much needed, these days.


Thursday, June 16 2011

Prince’s Parade: It’s Really All About the Music

A large part of what I love about Prince is his ability to take his influences and synthesize them into a whole that suits his fancy. So it's not so much that he brings a new dish to the table. It's more that he explores new ways to enjoy what's already there.


Monday, June 6 2011

David Foster Wallace’s Posthumous ‘The Pale King’ Explores Self-Consciousness As a Disease

The problem with The Pale King is not that it killed a great writer, but that a great writer’s own problems became the narrowing factor for what might have been his greatest work.


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