Posted inMusic

Blossom Dearie

BLOSSOM DEARIE Blossom Dearie sings grown-up songs in a little girl’s voice, but you never get confused about which persona’s in charge: every aspect of her performance, from the patient tempos to the immaculate phrasing, reveals the sophisticated tale-teller beneath the innocent sweetness. Her voice may conjure peaches and cream, but Dearie uses subtle inflections […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rough Mix

Revolving Troubadors Rhino in Winter at Link’s Hall, through February 21 By Carol Burbank The Rhino in Winter subdivision of the Rhinoceros Theater and Performance Festival started last week with a program of solo spoken-word performances by six of the usual suspects on the fringe scene: Abby Schachner, Greg Allen, Gabrielle S. Kaplan, Antonio Sacre, […]

Posted inMusic

James King

JAMES KING The most off-putting thing about contemporary bluegrass is its slickness. Whether it’s the way instrumental virtuosity gives way to indulgent flash or vocal harmonies meld into barbershop-quartet sterility, many of the music’s current practitioners fail to convey the grit that the genre’s roots are planted in. Virginia singer James King and his terrific […]

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Clothes Don’t Make the Band

BR5-49 Schubas, January 30 Waco Brothers FitzGerald’s, February 1 By Kevin McKeough Whether you’re talking about the songs of the old south and west or contemporary music that formally resembles those songs, the phrase “traditional country” is fraught with irony: what country could be less traditional than the United States, shaped as it has been […]

Posted inFilm

I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs

More a eulogy than a biography, this hour-long video documentary celebrating Marlon Riggs is riveting in its second half–following the trailblazing documentarian as he battles AIDS while working on his final project, Black Is…Black Ain’t. The home-movie feel of the cinema verite footage shot by Karen Everett and her crew adds urgency and intimacy to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Merry Wives of Windsor

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, Shakespeare Repertory. According to tradition Shakespeare wrote this play at the command of Queen Elizabeth, who so loved Falstaff in Henry IV, parts one and two, that she yearned to see the rotund rogue knight in a romantic comedy. Admittedly light and seldom produced, the play is often considered mere […]

Posted inFilm

The Ceremony

Not to be confused with features of the same title by Nagisa Oshima or Laurence Harvey, this expertly contrived and ultimately shocking 1995 psychological thriller is the best feature by New Wave filmmaker Claude Chabrol since 1971’s Just Before Nightfall. A mysterious, haunting tale, the plot centers on a sullen if dutiful maid (Sandrine Bonnaire), […]

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Adventures in Space

The Loyal 47 Ronin Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi By Fred Camper Most film aficionados outgrow discussions of the “greatest films of all time.” Not me. For more than a decade I’ve had three favorites. Stan Brakhage’s Arabics, a series of abstract silent films of perpetually shifting colors and shapes and spaces, is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dead Giveaway

Rope Bailiwick Repertory Deathwatch Trap Door Theatre By Albert Williams Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman–a rope over an abyss.–Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra In the stark confines of a jail cell and the plush comfort of a London sitting room, would-be supermen play fateful, fatal games of psychosexual power. The […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In December Texas A&M student Jonathan Culpepper and his fraternity, Kappa Alpha, were indicted in College Station, Texas, on a criminal hazing charge after allegedly giving someone a severe wedgie. The grand jury found that fraternity members had lifted a candidate off his feet by the waistband of his briefs, causing the student […]