2005 November

Always looking forward

The tension between spontaneity and established routine creates challenges for any musical group, but it is all the more problematical in jazz, where improvisation plays a critical role. Successful combos often lose their spark,...

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Anne Carson 2005

Anne Carson defies categories. She has been called “the most interesting poet writing in English” by more than one peer, yet her books are usually a mixture of things that look like poems, that look like essays...

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Channeled Spirituality

I won’t pretend this concept isn’t foreign — bizarre, even — to many of you. I also approached this assignment with a fair amount of skepticism. I’d been eyeballing this Observer calendar listing for years....

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Found’s Lone Surfer Tour

Ann Arborite Davy Rothbart does something nobody else has thought to do: he collects interesting lost notes and lists and other kinds of communication that he finds on the street, and publishes them in his on-line and print...

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Heywood Banks 2005

Stand-up comic and song parodist Heywood Banks is a study in contrasts. He wears a plum sports coat, safety glasses, and a crazed mop of graying hair with matching goatee. If he himself is aware of how silly he looks, he...

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Konono No. 1

The African musicians who have become well known in the West are mostly those working modern popular traditions: Miriam Makeba and all who followed her in South Africa, the kinetic juju bands of Nigeria, Angelique Kidjo from...

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Matt Watroba

Matt Watroba likes tradition. He likes songs that somehow seem traditional, even if you know who wrote them. He likes knowing that every Saturday afternoon, as host of the Folks like Us radio show on WEMU, he gets to talk about...

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The Subdudes

Stumbling out the back door of the Ark after seeing the Subdudes in May 2004, I paused in the alley to get my bearings. A man walked out behind me and, speaking to his companion, summed up the evening: "That was gorgeous....

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Weird Wednesday

Don't be afraid of the witchy pentacles for sale, the stacks of tarot cards, or the music stand that looks like macaroni. And don't let the mismatched chairs — either stuffed and stained, hard and metal, or the...

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Soapboxers and Saboteurs

When you get off the elevator on the seventh floor of the U-M Hatcher Graduate Library this month, you may be surprised to hear the insistent strains of "Solidarity Forever" floating from the exhibit room. This space,...

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