February 29, 2004 |
"Blues City" is the latest title in the "Crown Journeys" series, a collection of highly literary travel guides whose conceit is to place a writer of distinction at large in a place that he or she knows especially well and then see what happens. As rendered by Ishmael Reed, a distinguished novelist, playwright, poet and essayist, however, "Blues City" is less a travelogue than a potent and provocative mix of literary memoir, revisionist history, amateur urbanology and red-hot political manifesto.
January 28, 2001 |
New Year's Eve provided British singer-songwriter David Gray with the latest in a succession of firsts: the first time he had been recognized while wearing a false beard. On holiday alone together in the small west-country town of Dartmouth on Dec. 31, he and his wife, Olivia, followed local tradition by donning fancy dress. Gray further disguised himself with some Santa-style facial fungus.
June 2, 2000 |
Robert Stone's splendid documentary "American Babylon" opens with some stockfootage of a series of implosions that leveled Atlantic City's immense old boardwalk hotels to make room for an array of gaudy new hotel casinos. The arrival of the gambling industry to the venerable New Jersey seashore resort has done little, however, for the city's black ghetto.
October 12, 1999 |
Most of us weren't paying attention, and that was part of the problem. During the years 1995-98, we were jogging along as usual, reading books, watching TV and sending a little e-mail, while in warp speed "Internet time" a would-be revolution in online entertainment got off the ground, wobbled furiously and crashed. The corporate landscape was littered with the wreckage of start-up firms. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost. What happened?
June 19, 1999
Your paper has recently been addressing the issue of sex and violence on television. There has been, and still is, some quality programming on television--you just have to know where to look. When I wanted an interesting, thought-provoking program, I used to watch "Babylon 5." There, I could get a dose of interesting characters dealing with real-life issues (no matter the alienness of the space setting), while forming complex relationships. It was interesting, intelligent and never gratuitous in dealing with sex or violence.
September 28, 1997 |
When the Rolling Stones mobilize for a tour, it's a model of organization and enterprise. Stage a splashy press conference, unfurl the tongue icon, design the merchandise, book the stadiums, hook a sponsor. Anything else? Oh, right, an album. Disney doesn't need a "Fantasia" in theaters to keep Disneyland the happiest place on Earth, and the Stones don't need a new "Exile on Main Street" to anchor a tour. But, really, they could act a little more interested than this.
September 25, 1997 |
OK, what's next for the Rolling Stones? The question may sound a bit premature, given that the band just launched its worldwide "Bridges to Babylon" tour before 54,000 fans Tuesday night at Soldier Field here. But this tour is a slam dunk. Unlike U2's unfocused "PopMart" affair, Tuesday's "Bridges" show--which centered on the band's '60s and '70s tunes--was a winner on both musical and technical levels. The large video screen above the stage was breathtaking in its clarity.