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Monday, September 16 2002

Monday Night Football

John Madden is a master narrator of a football game. Amid the grunting and groaning of the linemen, the staccato rhymes of the cheerleaders, and the screaming of thousands of fans, his commentary comes through with a clarity that gives shape and meaning to the sound and fury that plays out on our television sets.


Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans by Will Brooker

For as much as Lucasfilms would like to be in control over its content, 'Star Wars' has grown too big to fit inside of Lucas' universe anymore. Nearly everyone alive today has a 'Star Wars' story to tell.


Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life by John Heskett

Conveys the theory that almost nothing in our environment is completely natural.


This War Called Love by Alejandro Murguia

His narratives are crisp and filled with vivid descriptions of street life, reminding one of a painting that is packed with minute details.


The Season of Lillian Dawes by Katherine Mosby

A lush novel, thick with the heady atmosphere of first love, lust and betrayal, Katherine Mosby's sophomore effort, 'The Season of Lillian Dawes' is part 'Catcher in the Rye', part 'The Great Gatsby'. Original it ain't, but the author's fluid, lyrical prose makes it worth the deja vu.


Screening Party by Dennis Hensley

I'd like to take a moment to reflect upon the fine art of 'riposte au cinema', or talking back to the movies. It's one of those pursuits, like driving and sex, that most people attempt to do but few actually do well.


The Psychology of the Sopranos: Love, Death, Desire, and Betrayal in America’s Favorite Gangster Fam

Gabbard (a professor of psychology at Baylor College of Medicine) delves into the psyches of the Sopranos, and explains why the nation has become seduced by a show about the 'misadventures of a middle-aged thug.' Doesn't sound so odd, really. How many people, after all, refer to 'The Godfather' as an all-time favorite movie?"


The End of Baseball As We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81 by Charles P. Korr

I've just paid too much money for a nosebleed seat in Turner Field and now I can't 'afford' a hot dog, some dickhead behind me has just spilled beer down my back because he can't hold his cup and talk on his cell phone at the same time, and the row in front of me has decided to spend the entire game trying to resurrect the Wave.


Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke

Though Hawke often expertly captures some charming and lush moments, 'Ash Wednesday' is not supposed to be a great work of literary genius (as some of his 'But, he's a Hollywood pretty boy!' detractors seem to think), just an uncomplicated tale of the tribulations of young people in love. Objective achieved.


Thursday, September 12 2002

Various Artists: NOW That’s What I Call Music! 10

Back when I was growing up, you could always count on a beautifully cheap collection of current hits issued forth from the folks at K-Tel.


Tall Paul: Back and Forth

England’s DJ Tall Paul is a crowd-pleaser. If you don’t run with the pack, he could probably give a shit whether you like


Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain

Songs: Ohia can leave you totally cold or wrap you in a late-night trance like nobody’s business. I guess that’s one of the


Oh-OK: The Complete Recordings

Despite having a member of the Stipe family in common, there is probably only one other main point of comparison that can be made between


Doug Martsch: Now You Know

With his band Built to Spill, Doug Martsch takes a philosophical approach to rock. A singing voice that’s both light as air and gruff,


Layo & Bushwacka!: Night Works

Ever since the ‘90s boom of edgy dance acts, groups such as Layo & Bushwacka! have taken European clubs by storm. Layo Paskin (founder of


Karsh Kale: Redesign: Realize Remixed

I’m not supposed to talk about how much I love Karsh Kale’s 2001 album Realize. It doesn’t matter, because I’m reviewing a


Halford: Crucible

They don’t call him the Metal God for nothing. After his departure from pioneering metal band Judas Priest back in 1992, Rob Halford went on


The Jeffersons

The first 13 episodes of 'The Jeffersons', collected on Columbia's new DVD, reveal why the show was not, after all, another 'All in the Family': its comedy was too broad to be taken seriously.


Scratch (2001)

As 'Scratch' makes abundantly clear, by definition, scratching does not stand still.


Swimfan (2002)

Ben checks his mailbox, the camera zooms in to a computer screen filled with little email-message-envelope emblems, all from 'swimfan85.' Cue spooky music.


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