Columns > Books

Thursday, February 16 2012

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and the Power of Music?

Denise Sullivan represents the insider intellectual stamina of rock 'n' roll journalism without the pomp and pretense. She is the past and future of the form, rolled into one uncanny style.

Monday, February 13 2012

Some People Have a City Instead of a Life: The Work of Tim Hall

Tim Hall possesses the uncanny gift to compress startling insight into short phrases with such care and concision that he could likely turn a Twitter feed into a system of philosophy.

Sunday, February 12 2012

Hip Hop Es Mi Cultura

This travelogue takes us four locales: Havana, Chicago, Sydney and Caracas. Each locale translates into distinctive interactions with hip-hop and its pillars of deejaying, emceeing, b-boying, and graffiti.

Sunday, February 5 2012

‘Nebraska’: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Heart of Darkness’

In 1982, with the charts ruled by “Physical”, “Don’t You Want Me” and “Eye of the Tiger”, along came a low-tech record about killers, small-time thieves and other forgotten souls -- and it's still one of the best albums in American music.

Wednesday, February 1 2012

Tower Songs: Townes Van Zandt

I'll Be There in the Morning offers an affectionate but hardly rose-colored view of Townes Van Zandt and his influence on other songwriters.

Thursday, January 26 2012

‘Library After Air Raid’: On the Survival of Culture Amid the Barbarity of War

War is a science, science is an art and art, as Library After Air Raid attests, is everything.

Sunday, January 22 2012

Riding Into a Nightmare: ‘A Train in Winter’

Caroline Moorehead's A Train In Winter, like Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost, leaves nothing to the imagination, a decision that makes reading it simultaneously engrossing and deeply disturbing.

Wednesday, January 18 2012

Doing The Worst Things Well: What We Can Learn from Anthony Burgess

The 50th anniversary of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, along with the recent discovery of a vast archive of the author's unpublished work, should shine fresh light on one of the 20th century's most prolific, daring and underrated writers.

Sunday, January 15 2012

Machine Guns and Metaphors: Outlaw Poet Todd Moore Remembered

The tough, vernacular, and outsider writer Todd Moore became an icon of Outlaw Poetry; he disdained academia, embraced gangsters like John Dillinger, and made American poetry pulse with dark blood.

Thursday, January 12 2012

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Failure May Be Your Style: ‘The Queer Art of Failure’

Rather than searching for ways around death and disappointment, the queer art of failure involves the acceptance of the finite, the embrace of the absurd, the silly, and the hopelessly goofy.

Tuesday, January 10 2012

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Vampire

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I is a gratifying escape from reality. Those who are familiar with the books will be pleased with Director Bill Condon's attention to detail.

Sunday, January 8 2012

Queer Country: Chely Wright’s Coming Out

The upcoming documentary, Wish Me Away, centered on country singer Chely Wright chronicles the pains of coming out in Nashville and raises questions about why more country musicians haven’t come out.

Monday, January 2 2012

Kicked in the Teeth by Art

For a full day, it seemed like I got pummeled by unflinching art. And I feel like I'm better for it.

Thursday, December 15 2011

O Captain! My Captain! Going Where No Octogenarian Has Gone Before

As "Bill" explores the meaninglessness of celebrity, "Shatner" embraces the shallow and the superficial like an Andy Warhol soup can come to life.

Wednesday, December 7 2011

Art for the Hip-Hop Generation

The Legends of Hip Hop chronicles 50 deserving pioneers of the culture, and ultimately transforms and humanizes them.

Tuesday, December 6 2011

When the Music’s Over: Greil Marcus on the Doors

Apparently seeking to account for every important rock act of the '60s, Greil Marcus turns his critical attention to the Doors.

Monday, December 5 2011

Showing My References: On Reading Too Much About TV & Watching Too Much TV

I still yearn for a hefty volume of pages to take down from the shelf, to leaf through at my leisure or to zero in on that relevant fact.

Thursday, December 1 2011

‘Caligula’s Ghost: Why Cinema Needs Epic Failure More than Mediocre Success

Obscene, grandiose and artistically worthless -- such is the monstrous reputation of the 1979 art-porn blockbuster Caligula. Is this most shocking of Roman epics worthy of reappraisal?

Tuesday, November 29 2011

Cold Wars End, Betrayal is Forever: ‘Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy’

What is espionage if not getting into bed with people -- physically or ideologically -- for purposes of betrayal?

Sunday, November 27 2011

Simon Reynolds Redux: A Conversation from the Past About Post-Punk

Simon Reynolds discusses Joy Division and The Ramones, sex and politics, and punk's blatant localism and latent racism around the time of the release of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.

//Mixed media

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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