Posted inNews & Politics

Marx’s Druthers

Re: David Futrelle, “Marx on the Skids” [September 15] Thanks for the stunning insight that Marx wrote Capital because he didn’t want to get a job. If you had actually read the book whilst you were posing, you would have noted that earlier concepts of “revolutionary proletariat” and “alienation” had all but disappeared in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Naked Truth

To the Reader: “Naked Censorship, Part I” [September 29] uncovers a lot of fascinating material, and although I wasn’t nuts about everything said about me, that’s what they call life. It is the best single piece I’ve read about this now 37-year-old matter. There is of course more to be said about everything I remember, […]

Posted inMusic

Teaching Jazz to Rap

Guru’s Jazzmatazz Metro, September 23 When Guru first threaded smooth jazz melodies with hip-hop’s heavy bass lines in Gangstarr’s 1989 single “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” he was taking a risk–jazz fans screamed blasphemy, and hip-hop purists questioned its street credibility. He created an uproar, but he helped set the stage for such groups as […]

Posted inFilm

Don’t Worry, Be Unhappy

Seven *** (A must-see) Directed by David Fincher Written by Andrew Kevin Walker With Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Roundtree, R. Lee Ermey, John McGinley, Julie Araskog, Mark Boone Junior, and Kevin Spacey. Since when have designer vomit, mannerist rot, and other chic signifiers of gloom, doom, and decline become such comforting mainstays […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Overheard exiting the R.E.M. show, where Michael Stipe did a number with surprise guest Patti Smith: A young man to his clique of male and female companions: “Who’s Patti Smith?” There’s a brief silence, as the group rack their brains for an answer. A young woman, dripping derision, responds, “She’s a lesbian, I can tell […]

Posted inArts & Culture


“Personally I like comedy to be intensely modern, and like my tragedy to walk in purple and to be remote,” Oscar Wilde wrote. He would have admired actor-director Steven Berkoff’s staging of Salome, the poetic drama Wilde adapted from the biblical tale of the teenage temptress who lusted for John the Baptist. Berkoff, who plays […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fred Hersch Trio

Finding pianist Fred Hersch listed as a sideman on someone else’s album has much the same effect as ordering something in a restaurant and discovering it comes with champagne on the side. It’s a treat, and it has a definite psychoactive effect: it makes the music sound better. Though he isn’t so well known as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Squonk Opera

Squonk Opera’s onomatopoeic, jokey name suggests an irreverent troupe bent on creating a novel kind of musical theater, and the Pittsburgh-based band, which was founded only two years ago, largely fulfills that promise. Its five members draw on their varied backgrounds in experimental theater and classical composition and performance to create an often witty, always […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

LUNA, MERCURY REV 10/6, METRO Penthouse (Elektra), the third album by Luna, explores the same post-Velvet Underground strum grooves the combo has been working since it formed in 1992, after the dissolution of Galaxie 500, leader Dean Wareham’s previous band. With rolling rhythms and gentle melodies polished to a new luster, the band has continued […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The re-creation of the Vietnam combat experience in John DiFusco’s Tracers reveals no love of war but an immeasurable compassion for the warriors who, willingly or not, fought in it. This Mary-Arrchie production, which opened last July to critical praise, has lost none of its intensity–indeed, its new quarters in the Firehouse allow the action […]