Arts & Culture
Double-jointedness is a terrific way to describe Eisen-Martin’s poetry and literary practices. Especially in his most recent collection, Blood on the Fog (City Lights Books), the 39 poems dedicated to his mother, Arlene Eisen, arrive with mind-bending, multi-directional force: blistering heat, visceral energy, judicious reserve, gentleness, humor, lucidity and more.
Haynes’ latest film, 'The Velvet Underground', rates special handling because the Velvets were simultaneously more dangerous and more attractive than the rest. The new film is a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic, split-screen, rapid-montage, black-and-white documentary exercise in disorienting adulation, so thick with allusions that it would take a list to piece together the splintered impressions.
From carrying his own cannabis brand, “Nump’s Smackers Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich” and Sideshow Tone’s FHUF Suckaz, to providing all sorts of other cannabis, Bolo CBD, edible, pre-rolled and indica goodies like “Grape Pie” and “Grape Sorbet,” Perfetto lives up to his promise made back in 2005: He really has grapes. And, perhaps more importantly, he’s doing it as a proud Bay Area Pinoy.
Los Tangueros came together four years ago. They honed their sound playing clubs, concert halls and milongas—tango dance parties that take place every night of the week. El Valenciano, in the Mission District, has hosted a weekly milonga for more than 20 years. When everything came to a halt during the pandemic, Jacobsen decided to use his time to produce 'Alma Vieja' (Old Soul,) the band’s debut album.
“What happened is something that hadn’t really crossed my mind or that of the director—is how relevant this documentary is,” she said. “It is so connected to right now and in a terrible way, because things have changed and they have not changed. That is what is so maddening.”
Legendary comic artist R. Crumb recalls that when he and Rodriguez started out, 'Comics were held in utter contempt by the educated upper class'—a fact that evidently spurred former outlaw biker and art-school student Rodriguez to épater les bourgeois. Says 'Maus' author, Art Spiegelman, 'The avant-garde was not following the commercial rules' with its lurid sex and violence. 'He [Rodriguez] always punched up,' declares writer Ishmael Reed. According to performer/columnist Susie Bright: 'Spain is a trickster and a classic satirical artist.' Cartoonist Ed Piskor credits Rodriguez with 'opening the doors to today’s graphic novels' with his classically trained drawings."
“I’d been toying with the idea of a blues opera for a while. I like rock operas like Green Day’s American Idiot and the Who’s Tommy. I began imagining a romantic blues adventure, based on the hero’s journeys from Greek and Roman mythology. A kid in rural America is dreaming of a different life. When a bluesman comes to town, he’s changed forever. After hearing the blues, he decides to start a band and go on the road. I ran the idea past Bruce Iglauer, head of my label, Alligator Records. He didn’t think it was a bad idea, so I pursued it."
"Theater, Dooley suggests, is at its best when it is decidedly unsafe and forces us to question our own assumptions and understanding of the world and its people. 'Theater occupies not a binary space, but a liminal space between light and dark, a middle space we might occupy for only a second,' he says. 'That’s where humanity is: not in a place of two sides only, which is an unhealthy place from which to observe the world.'"
Publicity for 'Wife of a Spy' claims that Kurosawa’s multi-layered marital melodrama/war story—written by the director with Hamaguchi Ryûsuke and Nohara Tadashi—has a whiff of Alfred Hitchcock about it, perhaps with the devious, suspenseful romance of Notorious in mind. For us, Satoko and Yusaku’s tension-filled relationship owes just as much to the labyrinthine conspiracies and paranoia of director Fritz Lang.
“In the summer of 2020, Megan Slankard, one of my favorite singer/songwriters, told me about someone bringing music to people on their doorstep. That got me thinking about backyard concerts: private events, with 10—maybe 15—people, if you had a big yard. We’d have strict rules; everyone masked and socially distanced. I have battery-operated BOSE speakers, so we wouldn’t need to run a cord into your house. We could do it for a flat fee, and pay artists. I could get off unemployment and bring joy to live-music fans.” As soon as Turner put the word out, the shows filled up.
Litquake aims never to be a mere, take-it-easy mirror of the moment. Instead, festival organizers and presenters stretch, squirm, protest, parade or pounce beyond and outside of predictable facades and frames to offer a glimpse from now into tomorrow.
“I’ve had a crippling fear of spiders since I was a kid,” Shaw said. “They‘ve been drawn to me since I was a baby. It’s been a nightmare. I’d pick up a cluster of grapes and, if a spider fell out, I’d throw them away. I had to find a way to reframe the things that scare me the most, so I started looking at them as beautiful creatures that control their own ecosystem. The songs on the album are reflections on that power of transformation.
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