Friday, April 19 2002
Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'
Thursday, April 18 2002
The Wisconsin Film Festival represents the Badger State's belated but nimble leap onto the festival bandwagon.
Wednesday, April 10 2002
How is a sense of security retained in an environment embedded with hidden policies and clauses that come to the foreground only after the fact? The same security measures put in place to protect our privacy have the capacity to strip them from us.
Something of this clumsy love can get us through a season of war. By way of the benefit concert, pop has seemed like a parade of virtue; by way of everything else, it has sounded like knee-jerk nationalism.
To the movie maven, Billy Wilder was the last of his kind, the most visible link to the Golden Age of Hollywood . . . he epitomized the professional spit and polish that the factory system of the major studios promoted.
Thursday, April 4 2002
At the start of the '90s, Kurt Cobain appeared to be the savior of rock 'n' roll. He was a beacon of hope to the black and flannel set, who saw him emerge from the fog of macho groups like Guns N' Roses as the only guy who could wear liberalism on his sleeve, begging sexist, racist, and homophobic rednecks not to buy his records, while still gaining their admiration by rocking fucking hard.
When talking about movies, the phrase 'based on a video game' does not have to mean simply 'dumb'.
Tuesday, April 2 2002
What Earl Scruggs brought to banjo was a 'little something extra', that being his middle finger . . . In fact, it can be said with a straight face that Scruggs is the father of industrial music, because his home environment had everything to do with his sound.
Sunday, March 31 2002
Czech New Wave film was able to hold up a mirror to the other side of the Iron Curtain, and to demystify the influence of the West.
Thursday, March 28 2002
Indications are that the SXSW Film Festival may be soon outgrowing the Music Festival's shadow and stepping into a light all its own.
Friday, March 15 2002
Irish traditional song reflects the cultural cross currents and historical conflicts that long have linked Ireland and the British Isles. So what makes Irish traditional music 'Irish', and for that matter, what might distinguish it as 'Celtic'?
Taken together, the St. Patrick and Oisin tales constitute a dialogue that is also a theological battle between Christianity and Celtic paganism.
[The Dropkick Murphys are] quite possibly the most brilliant and exciting live band around today, really. And if they don't make you start thinking patriotically about Irish-American heroes like Mother Jones, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Michael J. Quill, and George Meany, then they haven't done their job.
We knew, just 'knew', that U2 was so political and fiery and impassioned because they were Irish.
Wednesday, March 13 2002
The fact is that this saccharine child of our times [smooth jazz] bears no more relation to modern jazz than Glenn Miller's sound did to Count Basie's or George Shearing's to Bud Powell's.
Wednesday, March 6 2002
During the 20-plus years he spent making cartoons for Warners, alongside such other luminaries as Fred 'Tex' Avery and Bob Clampett, Jones left an indelible mark on popular culture.
Pop music has long had a strong hold on British airwaves. But the national obsession seems to have reached new heights this year with the success of star making series like 'Popstars' and the even bigger 'Pop Idol'.
Friday, March 1 2002
We don't need to be entertained; we are actually quite good at entertaining ourselves, and we are quite accustomed to reframing 'straight' tv and films for our amusement.
If they were not just noisemakers in funny clothes with funny voices, then what exactly did the Velvet Underground do that was so important?
Monday, February 18 2002
If a blues artist stays 'true' to the blues, it viewed as a plus. Jazz with its emphasis on innovation is less easily pleased. Hence the recent rows. The musician has to be both radically innovative and belong to an unproblematised lineage that stretches back to New Orleans.