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Monday, December 23 2002

Quiver by Stephanie Spinner

Stephanie Spinner's 'Quiver' is not just a good book for young readers, it's a stepping stone to Greek mythology.


The Ice Cream Headache by James Jones

The works of James Jones should be required reading in time of impending war.


Bombay-London-New York by Amitava Kumar

Indian fiction, long confined to the coffee tables of Indian expatriates, has now entered mainstream publishing in an understated, but determined manner.


Thursday, December 19 2002

Various Artists: Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music, Volumes 1 and 2

When you consider the various talent levels in the world of popular music, it might look something like this, in descending order: the legends, the


Various Artists: Urban Renewal Program

The city—in my case New York City—is not a passive setting. One doesn’t simply move through it on the way to work.


Various Artists: Pure Slow Jams

The late Melvin Lindsey was an intern at Howard University’s WHUR in 1976, when the station’s programming director gave him the go ahead to


Yohimbe Brothers: Front End Lifter

I gather that many people felt Living Colour was groundbreaking simply by virtue of having African-Americans fronting a metal band. All I remember about them


Stickfigure: Ape of the Kings

Does fame and reputation in one field help or hinder a burgeoning career elsewhere? This is the nagging question behind the music with this recent


Röyksopp: Melody A.M.

Aside from the obvious comparisons to Air, or any other European down-tempo impresario, they wear their affection for pure pop sound producing on their parkas.


L.L. Cool J: 10

L.L. is at his best when the chips are down. That’s always been the pattern. He grew up poor and scared and ambitious


Khia: Thug Misses

There’s a long list of women in music who have appropriated “bitch” like it’s some claim to liberation and aggression that all women


Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Live at the Quick

You take a lot of things away from Bela Fleck’s music: awe at the skill on display, a sneaking suspicion that maybe the music


Two Weeks Notice (2002)

People keep wanting Sandy Bullock to be sweet and feisty like she was in Speed.


The 25th Hour (2002)

The 25th Hour opens with huge, hard-hitting shots of the March 2002 tribute to the Twin Towers, the towers of light.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

It's useful to remember that, offscreen, both good and bad tend to be tricksy.


Gangs of New York (2002)

Daniel Day-Lewis wears a tall stovepipe hat in Martin Scorsese's long-awaited Gangs of New York.


Don’s Plum (1995)

And so the clichés begin.


Antwone Fisher (2002)

This single-mindedness can feel limited; there's obviously more to Antwone's story than the scenes in which he appears.


Tuesday, December 17 2002

Various Artists: The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas / A Peaceful Christmas

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the red, white, and green. Never mind that I’m a lifelong agnostic raised by Zen


Why Make Clocks: Fifteen Feet and Twenty Degrees

The outstanding feature of Why Make Clocks’ debut full-length release, Fifteen Feet and Twenty Degrees is its honesty. With steady and low guitars, deliberately unhurried,


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