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Total Print Reviews: 59 | Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
What is the state of race relations in the Obama-era United States? This is the question posed by Michael Chabon's novel Telegraph Avenue. Unfortunately, the book does not provide an answer. It instead offers a beautifully-drawn jumble of a portrait. Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe run the Brokeland record store in a literal and figurative borderland between Oakland and Berkeley. The black/wh ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 17th, 2012

Believe it or not, people used to make things in Baltimore: airplanes, cars, even brooms. The most iconic factory in town was Bethlehem Steel's complex at Sparrow's Point, tucked in a peninsula just southeast of the city line. Deborah Rudacille's criminally overlooked Roots of Steel is the story of Sparrow's Point, from its Nineteenth Century origins to its revolving-door ownership in the Twenty-F ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 4th, 2011

It’s not something that I’ll casually admit in mixed company, but I love comics. There’s a magical immediacy to the medium, particularly in the eyes of a child (or simply the young-at-heart). For one thing, comics occupy a sort of midway point between the lushly illustrated picture books of infancy and the far more linguistically demanding chapter books and novels of grammar school and later li ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 21st, 2011

Professional criticism is an old, old game. We’re talking thousands of years. On the modern end of the ol’ left-to-right timeline, you’ve got your popular masters of the ever-evolving art—people like Lester Bangs, David Cote, Michiko Kakutani, Simon Reynolds, Jonathan Lethem, Nick Hornby, John Berger, Barney Hoskyns, Greil Marcus, and Roger Ebert, to name but a few. Then there are literary-academi ... Continue Reading

Posted: May 25th, 2008

To call The Psychic Soviet a book about rock and roll is misleading to the point of falsehood. Yes, there are essays contained within its pages that touch upon rock and roll specifically (and popular music in general), but The Psychic Soviet is anything but “a book about music.” Music is used as a lens, a porthole through which one can gaze, in a rather limited fashion, at the sea of politics, rel ... Continue Reading

Posted: January 20th, 2008

The best things in life are usually completely unexpected. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 is proof of that. Earlier this year, when comic book/TV/movie guru Joss Whedon announced that everyone’s favorite ass-kicking, stake-wielding, undead-boinking smartass California girl would be returning for a canonical eighth (and ninth) season—in comic book form—the geek community collectively squeed w ... Continue Reading

Posted: December 28th, 2007

A stereotyped, and perhaps popular, view of Latin America might depict a desperate, romantic citizenry struggling against demagogues and dictators throughout Europeanized cities and pristine jungles. In idealistic, brilliant poetry and guerilla radio broadcasts, these forces of good combat evil, torturous governments. On the face of things, Lost City Radio and The Savage Detectives fall into thi ... Continue Reading

Posted: August 24th, 2007

Forget city guides and phone books. Upon stepping from the moving truck, new residents to Baltimore should be handed a copy of Criminally Yours, a true crime zine published by Eight Stone Press and the weekly email list-serv Mobtown Shank, where many of these stories first appeared. Don't get me wrong, it's not a scare tactic or wake-up call. Between television shows like Homicide, The Corner, ... Continue Reading

Posted: July 13th, 2007

I first learned about the uniquely Japanese social phenomenon of “hikikomori” through a New York Times article. Roughly translated to “pulling away” plus “being confined,” hikikomori is the term coined to refer to Japanese teenagers and twentysomethings who, disillusioned by job prospects, exam failures, or bullying, retreat into their childhood bedrooms for months, years, or even decades. Refusin ... Continue Reading

Posted: July 13th, 2007

Klíma’s The Spirit of Prague consists of a series of essays by one of modern Czech literature’s heroes. His early writings, like many others’, were published in samizdat editions – a sort of pyramid scheme of copying books, in order to avoid the oppressive thumb of the governing regime. Klíma, survivor of Nazi occupation and the Holocaust – and endurer of the later Soviet occupation, begins this ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 19th, 2007

Total Print Reviews: 59 | Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
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