Posted inArts & Culture


TAWDRY at the Smart Bar, through October 30 The cabaret-style performance series Tawdry, offered on Saturday nights through the end of October, presents some very competent, skilled artists straitjacketed into a thematic framework that serves none of them well. The “tawdry” theme may have been an attempt to come up with something compatible with the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BERN NIX TRIO, 10/30, HOTHOUSE Bald-pated guitarist Bern Nix served as a crucial yet overlooked component of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time band for over a decade, and now he’s out on his own. Although Nix’s playing adheres to Coleman’s “harmolodic” theory–a musical system that replaces standard harmonic notions with layers of melody–his sound is surprisingly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Buffalo Tom/Bettie Serveert/Verlaines

It’s another alternative-rock road show! This week, melody and manners division: three irony-free presenters of unapologetically textured and intelligently crafted pop rock. Buffalo Tom are an earnest, somewhat stately Boston outfit who puts their chips on the squares marked sincerity, melody, and friendliness and thereupon bet the house. Bassist Bill Jankovitz, whose expressive voice sets […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Who’s a Feminist?

To the editors: In his letter (October 22) attacking the discussion in my article (“Right Wing Feminists,” October 1), Frank Palmer seems to be confusing feminism with liberal statism. My dictionary defines feminism as “belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” It says nothing about being required to buy into a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Farewell My Concubine

Like Gone With the Wind, Chen Kaige’s blockbuster–half a century of contemporary Chinese history (1925-1977) seen through the lives of two Peking Opera actors and a former prostitute–is worth seeing largely for its pizzazz: riveting performances, epic sweep and story telling, a bold and melodramatic use of color, and a capacity to generalize suggestively about […]

Posted inFilm

Truth and Consequence

IT’S ALL TRUE: BASED ON AN UNFINISHED FILM BY ORSON WELLES *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Richard Wilson, Myron Meisel, and Bill Krohn Narrated by Miguel Ferrer. Too much effort and real love went into the entire project for it to fail and come to nothing in the end. I have a degree […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Actor Charles Peyton, who appears in X-rated films under the name Jeff Stryker, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles this summer charging infringement of the “intellectual property” rights he owns on his name and his body. The lawsuit is against two companies that manufacture Doc Johnson marital aids; Peyton accused them of selling […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ideological Fascism

To the editors: Thank you for running Michael Solot’s review (October 15) of Edward Said’s book, Culture and Imperialism. At last a real critic points out that this pseudocritic has no clothes. Said has been publishing pseudo literary criticism for over two decades now and getting away with it, as well as occupying a prestigious […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Night Sweats

THE WILLIES Jenny Magnus at the Organic Theater Company Greenhouse Lab Theater, through November 13 Jenny Magnus’s The Willies is a collection of seven short, vastly variable pieces that allude to or directly address the anxieties that impinge on consciousness just before sleep. These vague anxieties have been called “the things that go bump in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Firesign Theatre

I’ve never understood exactly why Firesign Theatre’s media-savvy, wickedly satirical, pun-besotted comedy style–as exemplified on such brilliant concept albums as How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at All, I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus, and my personal favorite, Dear Friends–all but died out in the late […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Happy Camper

To the editors: Despite cries of outrage and threats of violence, your drama critics appear to be encouraged to wax eloquent about what they don’t like and why. Your film, dance, and music critics enjoy the same license. So why are exhibits of painting and sculpture given such gentle consideration? Fred Camper is not a […]