Make them Grow: Vashti Bunyan on Freak Folk and a Life Away from Art
Vashti Bunyan would have made a frustrating friend. In the late ’60s she possessed an undeniable gift: an inner eye that pierced the very essence of her surroundings. Like a sage, her words were weighty and her melodies transcendent. But her temperament was far less sublime. A look at her career (or lack thereof) reveals […]
Fear, Loathing, and Legacy: Why Hunter S. Thompson Ruins Writers
Drenched, nervous, fingers frenzied. The morning’s approach lends a frantic energy, an inexorable hunger for an end to this ruin. Stretched across the good and bad sides of anger and hate, caught inside some strange body, some insomniac’s shadowy skin, I press myself hard, against the full weight of the approaching sun. Please Lord; don’t […]
INTERVIEW: Talib Kweli on the Subtleties of Race in Music and the Impossibility of Selling Out
Even within the complex, persona-driven world of hip-hop, Talib Kweli is something of an enigma. He came up with progressive hip-hop act Black Star, shunning the bling mentality of other MCs for message-driven music extolling the social and intellectual ascendancy of African Americans. But, since striking out on his own, he’s engaged in a constant […]
Future Feminism and the power of Yes
Sackler Center assistant curator Carmen Hermo on her mission and recent rise
If New York’s cultural titans ever held a highbrow rumble royale, MoMA, the Whitney, Guggenheim, and Brooklyn Museum would each make strong contenders for heavyweight ruler of international art. But Carmen Hermo wouldn’t be able to play favorites. Possessing one of New York’s most discerning eyes, the up-and-coming curator has had a finger in each […]
INTERVIEW: Chris Rock Gets Down to Earth
Eyeing the movie industry, the raunchy comic takes situation comedy from 'PG-13' all the way to 'R'
Chris Rock hits hard and takes no prisoners. Unencumbered and unrelenting, Rock’s outrageously forthright brand of comedy levels potshots at white America, black America, the rich, the poor and, in the end, leaves everyone both a bit insulted and a bit amused. Now, after success in stand-up and on TV, Rock sets his sights on […]
8 Accessible (but off-the-radar) Albums You Can Use To Out-Gun Any Music Elitist
Nothing’s more satisfying in life than out-gunning a pack of unrepentant music elitists. Of course, you have to do your homework first (after all, it’s pretty easy to get flustered when music nerds start jaw-boning on needlessly obscure albums). After the jump we offer ammunition and eight off-the-radar but mainstream-accessible albums that non-nerds can listen […]
Buzzcocks Singer Pete Shelley talks Gender Fluidity, Sex, and Selling Out
Whether wryly declaring himself an “Orgasm Addict” or subverting cultural taboos with bi-curious electro anthem “Homospaien,” Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley has always steeped his art in deviant subtext. Some 30+ years after its release, the Buzzcocks’ Singes Going Steady stands next to The Clash’s London Calling and the Sex Pistols’ Nevermind the Bullocks as one […]
Let's Hush it Up: John Cleese talks Life, Sex and Nearly Headless Nick
Kids know him as Harry Potter’s pal Nearly Headless Nick, but back in the day John Cleese used to be in, like, this thing called Monty Python. This month we’ve got a 20th-anniversary DVD of “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life,” an earlier venture into cinematic near-headlessness. Shall we keep being funny, or shut up and […]
Bad Riddance to Good Rubbish: A Sort-of Tribute to CBGBs
As the New York's punk club doors are wrenched closed, a hurt-so-good account of its final show with Bad Brains.
Trash bags line the New York City streets—it’s the smell of piss and rotting animals. The stench builds as each large, black bag is tossed to the curb, churning used diapers and stale lettuce washing-machine style inside the plastic. The funk is manmade, but it’s taken an epic, unworldly turn in the early autumn heat. […]
In Memoriam: Desmond Dekker
Live Review and Commentary from one of the Legend's Final Concerts...
Bob Marley? Bah. Desmond Dekker was cranking out hits when Bob Marley was still wearing boy-shorts. Suffice it to say that Dekker established himself as the reigning king of Jamaican music well before Marley’s dreads attained their legendary, nappy sheen. Of course Dekker, unlike Marley, didn’t die young and so he, like his music, has […]