Spring 2003

Farfetched Assertions to Queries
“Who are you people? What are you doing? When did you have time? Where in the world? How are you reading my mind? Why are you here?”

Pops & Clicks
On Singing, Leeds, and Tater Tots: An Interview With Sally Timms
“I was always a big Yoko Ono fan, so I think there's a closet avant-gardeist trying to get out but not succeeding very well.”

Mission: Ambition
On Southern Rock Opera and 69 Love Songs

Radical Reinterpretation of the Text
Unusual Cover Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard (But Should)

Sifting Through the Pebbles
Pebbles is an undiluted romp through the murk of one-single wonders long forgotten outside of the rarified world of record collectors.”

The Golden Age of Hip-Hop Is Now
“Everybody wants their own golden age. The problem is you never know it when you see it.”

Short Reviews
Mickey Baker, Orville Couch, Kenny Brown, Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban, and The American Song-Poem Anthology

Pistol Opera
“Before Suzuki, primo Japanese cinema was a Rolls Royce. After him, it was a ’68 Camaro Z28, and it would never be the same again.”

For the Sake of the Children
The Long Courtship and Short Marriage of Comics and Movies

The Bottom Shelf
“Reality television is the current favorite whipping boy of the culture, with each new Survivor knockoff or Bachelor clone castigated as yet another portent of the inexorable decline and fall of civilization.”

Infomercials For Myself
“That’s when it struck me, when the totality of his slouch, his stomach, his sitcom-Zapata ‘stache and his predilection for chemicals all came together and caromed the medicine ball of epiphany off my forehead. “Wait... are you Lester Bangs?””

The Adman Magritte

Magritte as Cartoonist and Shill

The Believer, the latest product from the McSweeney's literary fun factory, is a square-shaped “monthly magazine,” handsome and idiosyncratic in its design, like everything that Dave Eggers has a hand in.”
Obsessives Unite!: Lethem Reviewed
“Look, I don’t really want to write a review of Jonathan Lethem’s novels. I want to hang out with the guy.”

There Ain't No Doubt: An Anthem For Us, Not Them
“It's fitting that Lee Greenwood's ‘God Bless The USA,’ began its journey toward anthem status in the Reagan administration, and completed its trajectory during the George W. Bush era.”

Eric Alterman’s 'What Liberal Media?'
I was reasonably convinced of a rightward bias in media coverage, even before reading this book, and this book served to reinforce that notion. I wanted that reinforcement, so mission accomplished there.”

Beyond Bush-League Politics: A Hopeful Look
Ahead At 2004

“There are three or perhaps four of the current Democratic presidential candidates who are capable of running a strong campaign against Bush”

Stony Expressions: Facing Facts about
Monumental Faces

“In the middle '60s, when I first apprehended the M&O Man, he was the ideal symbol of difference for Livingston. He wasn't the conformist culture or the freak-out culture. He was our saucy cigar sign from another realm. The realm of the stone faces.”
A Little Not-Music: Adventures in the String Trade
“I didn't care much for orchestral music, having played far too much of it back in high school. But where better to meet amateur musicians than in an amateur orchestra?”

My Days of Engine Whine and Strawberries
“The strawberry harvest lasts six to eight weeks, and during that time he sets up several roadside stands for selling berries. I let Mike know that I would be interested in working for him on weekends at one of the Raleigh spots.”


Algonquin Kids’ Table: The Office
In which various participants crack wise about the BBC comedy, The Office.