Entries from March 2009

The Illustrated Book Review

March 29th, 2009 · No Comments

We’ve written before about comics as a vehicle for memoir. Now comes Alison Bechdel to show how comics can be applied to memoir criticism. Bechdel’s illustrated review of Jane Vandenburgh’s A Pocket History of Sex In the Twentieth Century: A Memoir in the March 29 New York Times Book Review contains all the…

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Tags: The Rabbit Rants

No Comparison

Don't mistake trumpeter Enrico Rava for Miles Davis...

March 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Enrico Rava’s New York Days is a warm, impressionistic tribute to the city that has contributed much to the Italian trumpeter’s career. With saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Stefano Bollani, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Paul Motian, Rava paints a moody, intellectual landscape that belies the soaring skyscraper vistas. This is the…

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Tags: Featured · Music Reviews

Walter Mosley’s Socrates

March 21st, 2009 · No Comments

The hell with Easy Rawlins. We think Socrates Fortlow, despite his unlikely given name, is Walter Mosley’s best series character. After reading Mosley’s recent The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow we went back and read Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, the 1998 collection of stories that introduced the…

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Tags: The Rabbit Rants

See Murakami Run

The loneliness of the long distance novelist...

March 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment

“Long distance running suits my personality,“ writes Haruki Murkami in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Murakami’s memoir isn’t a book exclusively for runners, nor does it try to make running a grand metaphor for life or writing, though there’s some of that (Chapter Four: “Most of…

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Tags: Book Reviews

Ring Tone

Vibraphone as wake-up call

March 18th, 2009 · No Comments

Percussionist Bobby Previte’s Set the Alarm For Monday is a three-day weekend’s worth of moods and entanglements. Framed fore and aft in a nod-off theme that ticks at an after-hour’s pace, the center holds a clarion call for weekend warriors, a series of anthems and dance themes that alternately chill…

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Tags: Music Reviews

The Drinking Life

In which our hero shares a sausage with Monica Lewinsky...

March 17th, 2009 · No Comments

Comics are the perfect vehicle for memoir, both fictional and…well, is there any other kind? Ames and Haspiel’s The Alcoholic takes full advantage of illustration’s ability for aggrandizement and visual parody. Cartoonist Haspiel (American Splendor) draws Ames’ sodden narrative with stylistic humor and consitent exaggeration. “A.” has razor-sharp features (that nose!) and…

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Tags: Comics

Gonzo Goes On…and On

Gonzo, Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson, The Gonzo Way, The Kitchen Readings, The Joke's Over

March 17th, 2009 · No Comments

When four years ago Hunter S. Thompson put a bullet in the back of his throat and through his brain stem—“he couldn’t have placed it better” said the local coroner— he triggered a slow bleed of tributes, biographies and personal accounts that has yet to be stemmed. Since that exclamation…

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Tags: Book Reviews · Gonzo

Burn, Baby! Burn!

March 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Headlines we’ll never see:

Protests at AIG Spur Arrests, Tear Gas

Tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the AIG International Building in lower Manhattan today as police used tear gas in an attempt to break up the demonstration. Meanwhile, another several thousand demonstrators blockaded the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange…

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Tags: The Rabbit Rants

Walter Mosley In Context

March 8th, 2009 · No Comments

The recent controversy Attorney General Eric Holder stirred when he remarked that we’re “a nation of cowards” when it comes to race made us think of Walter Mosely’s latest book The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow. Fortlow, the central figure of a couple previous Mosley works, is…

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Tags: The Rabbit Rants

Herbert Love

March 7th, 2009 · No Comments

We’re reminded again why we love Bob Herbert. In today’s column, there’s this:

What I know is that the renegade clowns who ruined this economy, the Republican right in alliance with big business and a fair number of feckless Democrats — all working in opposition to the interests of working…

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Tags: The Rabbit Rants