2006 March

Billy Bragg

Sometimes I think even my friends who've heard Billy Bragg's music are coming to him backwards. They picked up 1998's Mermaid Avenue, Bragg's collaboration with Wilco that set Woody Guthrie's unpublished...

Read More

Fêtes accomplies

Counteracting the popular image of Alexander Calder as a whimsical wizard of elegant megamobiles, a nineteen-minute film of a Cirque Calder performance inadvertently portrays the artist as a doddery paterfamilias of a charming...

Read More

Robert Hershon

Emily Dickinson told us that poets should tell the truth but tell it slant, in the belief that coming toward something from the side, unexpectedly, may reveal more of its reality. A variation on this might be that poets —...

Read More

Lee Roy Parnell

"Keep it vanilla," Hank Williams once said to band members who cut loose with jazzy licks. Country music, whose simultaneous glory and weakness is its orientation toward the common denominator, hasn't always been...

Read More

Peggy Seeger

In my left hand I hold the first Peggy Seeger record I ever owned. It came out in 1957 — I was born sometime after that — and by the time I was a toddler, American Folk Songs Sung by the Seegers was in regular...

Read More

Guest Artist

It’s tempting to see Guest Artist, written by Jeff Daniels and playing at the Purple Rose through Saturday, March 18, as something Daniels wrote on the set of The Squid and the Whale, in a method-actorish obsession with...

Read More

The Ragbirds

Last summer, weeks before the release of the group's debut CD, Yes Nearby, I downloaded and fell in love with a catchy tune called "Tipi Baya" done by the Ypsilanti band the Ragbirds. Quirky and melodic, the track...

Read More

Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant published more than half a dozen books before her first historical novel, The Birth of Venus, catapulted her to the top of the New York Times best-seller list in 2003. The book was set in Renaissance Florence in...

Read More

Scrabble at the Firefly

S, Q, U, M, L, I, E. Tom looks despairingly at his rack and then out the window of the Firefly Club. The fading light of dusk seems to represent his hopes of winning. A table away, Amy plays a Z on a triple letter square to make...

Read More

Shostakovich symphonies

The symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich, the former Soviet Union’s most celebrated composer, are the best of the twentieth century. From his First Symphony in 1925 through the Fifteenth and final symphony of 1971,...

Read More

Children of Uganda

2005 was dubbed the year of Africa. New commitments to fight AIDS, poverty, and instability were made at the G8 Summit, at Live 8 concerts, and in millions of homes around the world. Generalizations are frowned upon for good...

Read More

Upcoming Events