Posted inMusic

Lucinda Williams

Counting the recent World Without Tears (Lost Highway), Lucinda Williams has put out three records in the past five years–that’s as many as she made in the 18 years preceding 1998’s flawless Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Steady touring, increased popularity, and critical acclaim have surely helped ease some of the business hassles that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prince Paul, Aceyalone

Aceyalone was a founding member of the Freestyle Fellowship, a group that countered gangsta culture with jazzy beats and abstract rhymes in the early 90s. He released a couple solo discs later that decade; they seemed groundbreaking at the time but now sound unnecessarily cryptic and subdued. But by 2001, when he released Accepted Eclectic, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fifth of July

Fifth of July, Griffin Theatre Company. Few plays reveal decency in action the way this Lanford Wilson drama does. Lovingly crafted, it’s a group portrait of former 60s crusaders coping with the materialistic shift of the late 1970s, as three generations of the Talley family assemble for a Fourth of July reunion. Now 64, Sally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Don’t Cry

This digital video feature from Kazakhstan is about an opera singer who returns to her impoverished village under doctor’s orders to rest her voice. The improvised dialogue is intermittently awkward, and the image sometimes goes soft in the manner of a cinema verite documentary. Nonetheless, it’s far more affecting than many slicker productions thanks to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Minnesota’s new “conceal-and-carry” handgun law went into effect on May 28, despite complaints from critics who claimed it was even more lax than the Texas law. Licensees may carry guns openly in any parking lot in the state (except those at federal facilities), including school parking lots–although possession of a knife in a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Zoo Story

The Zoo Story, NihilistGELO, at Stray Dog Studios. Edward Albee’s two-man play transpires on a bench in Central Park, but the stage at Stray Dog Studios features an empire sofa, pedestal ashtray, and Japanese screen. Obviously the NihilistGELO production of this 1958 American classic will not be the standard interpretation, and it’s up to us […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I find applying stinging nettles to my body highly pleasurable. I’ve tried the Web for more information, but either I get herbalist pages or, when searching the words “nettles” and “fetish” together, I get directed to S-M-type pages. I don’t really go for that. Can you direct me somewhere where I can get advice? Are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Learning to Fly

Learning to Fly, Signal Ensemble Theatre, at Wing & Groove Theatre. There’s nothing like seeing a play about a fatal plane crash when you have to fly the next morning. The irony of it all gives me new reason to live. Writer-director Ronan Marra’s new work has its share of Twilight Zone elements, like a […]

Posted inMusic

Great Apes

Fischerspooner #1 (Capitol) The Faint Danse Macabre (Saddle Creek) As the Renaissance waned, visual art hit a speed bump. For an uncertain hundred years or so, before Baroque heraldry emerged as the next dominant style, artists labored to assimilate the immense advances in both their tradition and the larger world of ideas. These painters were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Davy Rothbart

Given the affectionately derisive, sometimes sentimental nature of Davy Rothbart’s Found magazine, an erratically published collection of discarded or lost notes, love letters, photos, greeting cards, and miscellaneous scribblings, I was surprised by the five dark stories in The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas (21 Balloons), his first work of fiction. To wit: they’re pretty […]