Posted inArts & Culture

Laura Cantrell

As host of the popular WFMU program Radio Thrift Shop, Nashville native Laura Cantrell has been celebrated for her catholic taste in country music; her playlists thoroughly explore country’s deep past but leave room for its gospel and jazz progenitors and modern-day outliers. But on her third album, Humming by the Flowered Vine (Matador), Cantrell […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

A friend and I have a running disagreement on which type of natural disaster causes the most deaths and destruction in the U.S. and worldwide–hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, etc. In a given year any one of them could cause massive destruction (like December’s tragic tsunami disaster), but how about on average, and how has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dirty Water

The concept–four guys in a bar improvise a conversation in a bar–won’t set the world on fire. But if half the tavernous chats I’ve sat through had been this lively or funny, I’d count myself lucky. The cast handily brandish wicked-hahd accents to convey the Beantown locale, which helps lift this improv beyond the everyday, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gogol Bordello

With their third full-length, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (Side One Dummy), these New Yorkers have finally come close to capturing the manic, relentless energy of their live show. (The parts of the show you can hear, anyway–you’ve still got to see them to appreciate Eugene Hutz’s bug-eyed Iggy Pop mugging and cavalier indifference to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Like A Dog on Linoleum

It’s a good thing television actor Leslie Jordan can make even so-so material hilarious: his autobiographical show is very so-so. He talks a lot about his childhood in Tennessee; his extended adolescence in New York, LA, and points in between; his wild, promiscuous sex life; and his many drug and alcohol problems. The stories are […]

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Modey Lemon

Pittsburgh’s Modey Lemon are that rare and glorious thing glimpsed from time to time creeping out of the primordial ooze of neo-garage: a bona fide new creature that is far, far more than the sum of its influences. I don’t much see the point of picking out individual sequences of genes in this trio’s weird […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Giving Sorrow Words

A dramatic presentation of poems anthologized by the National Association for Poetry Therapy after the September 11 bombings might easily have delivered nothing more than a good 45-minute cry. But Smoke & Mirror Productions rages at the dying of the light in this adaptation by Nick Jones and Peter Anderson. Using movement, baroque music, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Oneida, Kinski

ONEIDA have always been (and continue to be) essentially abstract hard rockers, but I can’t think of many other groups that’ve made such a virtue of self-reinvention. I’m tempted to call the new The Wedding (Jagjaguwar) their best, but that wouldn’t be responsible–each new phase of this Brooklyn band’s career has provoked superlatives from me, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In July WHAM TV in Rochester, New York, reported on the local New Born Fellowship Christian Center and its recurring Independence Day-related program “Spiritual Warfare.” To encourage prayers for American soldiers, pastor Warren Meeks dressed up in military fatigues (congregants were encouraged to do the same) and decorated the church with visual aids […]