Posted inArts & Culture

W.C. Clark

W.C. Clark developed his guitar skills in an East Austin roadhouse in the early 60s, backing artists as diverse as Hank Ballard, Brook Benton, and Redd Foxx. He later toured with deep-soul legend Joe Tex, then returned to Austin and became a mentor to the Vaughan boys and others on the local blues-rock scene of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cost of a Reputation

Dear Editor, Mike Miner’s excellent “No Questions Asked” [September 10] is a sad and instructive primer on what an opportunist does to get ahead. However, Mr. Miner misstated two important facts. James Thompson prosecuted Otto Kerner for a deal that was neither secret nor for $300,000. It was for $125,000 that Kerner openly declared as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Our Lady of Lord & Taylor

Shopping is our national religion. Our malls are grander than our cathedrals, and retail design turns the act of shopping into a grand ritual with the shopper as star. BRIAN ULRICH in his ten color photographs at Peter Miller articulates this with a frightening precision. Ulrich’s images show how stores feed shoppers’ narcissism, placing them […]

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Joffrey Ballet

In his compelling fictionalized biography of Rudolf Nureyev, Dancer: A Novel, Colum McCann paints a picture of a man both representative of his time and unique. Of Tatar descent, Nureyev experienced both incredible hardship in Stalinist Russia and–at the height of his career in the West, after he defected–unimaginable luxury. Reportedly sexually rapacious, he was […]

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Rafael Toral

Rafael Toral’s Wave Field (currently out of print) and Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance (Touch) are two of the most gorgeous ambient guitar discs ever recorded, so you’d hardly blame the guy if he made a few more just like them. In fact the Lisbon-based sound artist’s latest stateside release, a one-sided vinyl […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rights of the Abused

The “Victims of Victims” article [October 1] was a sad and outrageous tale, showcasing the many deficiencies of DCFS. The defective thinking compounding its oft-stated problems of too little staff and too few moneys is quoted by Jill Manuel, deputy director of communications. In addition to the “not enough resources” lament, she says the DCFS […]

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Sing Hallelujah!

Joining the gospel sweepstakes with Black Ensemble Theater’s Somebody Say Amen is this somewhat slicker musical, a Passion Productions import from Cincinnati Playhouse. Expanding the definition of godly music to include reggae, soft rock, R & B, and blues, a terrific quintet–backed by a cooking combo and well coached by Donald Lawrence (who contributes 10 […]

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Rokia Traore

Most of the Malian music we get to hear in this country bears Western trappings–the drum machines in Issa Bagayogo’s songs, for example, or the funk bass that undergirds Oumou Sangare’s circular grooves. Rokia Traore’s three remarkable albums are no exception, but their subtlety and almost spartan restraint makes their departures from tradition sound radical. […]

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Slanguage

Slinging language hash to various beats–hip-hop, nursery rhymes, blues, boleros–the five members of Universes kick ass in a 90-minute tour de force of spoken-word performance and song. Products of the South Bronx and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the original artists tossed together a word salad made up of their own verses plus appropriations from Poe, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In an August event staged in Austin, Texas, to publicize the use of liposuctioned fat as a source of adult stem cells, plastic surgeon Robert Ersek had a video crew film him as he gave himself local anesthetic and then vacuumed a pound and a half of fat out of the left side […]

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Libertines

Rarely has sin demanded its wages–or an advance on its wages, anyway–quite so promptly as in the case of the Libertines. No sooner had the hype crested beneath these London boys’ cocky debut, Up the Bracket, than guitarist and singer Pete Doherty succumbed to a messily public heroin and crack habit. The UK music press […]

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Sound Field 2004

Charles Ives once declared that it wasn’t composers’ fault they were limited to ten-fingered pianists. Disregarding those limitations, American composer Conlon Nancarrow wrote an extensive series of studies for player piano whose rhythmic complexities are beyond any human performer: they have a breathtaking mathematical complexity yet don’t sound like abstraction for its own sake. Nancarrow […]