There's no better way to further an artistic career than to have a bunch of stuffed-shirt Republican wankers attack your work in the national media.
Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales
At his worst, Ray Bradbury's science fiction tales seem somewhat dated when read through 21st century eyes. For my tastes, at least, the whole space-suits-and-little-green-men-on-Mars routine seems a bit antique at this point. There's no denying, though, that at his best Bradbury is one hell of a good tale teller, and his short stories certainly represent some of his very best work. Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales offers exactly what the title says it offers, and there's a reason these stories are so celebrated. Short and punchy, many of these tales extend far outside the boundaries of anything that can legitimately be called science fiction. For long-time fans or new converts, this should be an excellent one-volume collection of stories culled from a long and distinguished career.
Jamming and Slamming
As the host/producer of KUNM's "Spoken Word Hour," I've heard more poetry/spoken word on CD than almost anyone I know. Almost every Sunday night since January of 2000, I've scanned through KUNM's library and my own collection and tried to put a show together that will keep people from turning off the radio at 11:30 p.m. Poetry is not background music; it demands that the listener stop doing things they might be able to do when listening to many kinds of music. This is not always easy. Too often, poets think just reading their poem into a microphone is enough to make a good, listenable track. So it was with anticipation and relief that I popped Taylor Mali's latest CD into the player.
Contemplate a Dead Bird
Astonish Yourself! 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life
We live in an adamantly non-reflective culture. In the United States, reflection—and, by extension, mental activity of any kind—is regularly dismissed as dorky and pretentious. Most Americans don't like to waste a lot of time contemplating their place in the world, and they certainly don't spend much time challenging their preconceived ideas about reality.
Lonely Hearts Burlesque Troupe
Although for a while Burlesque seemed to have gone the way of the brontasaurus and the hoola hoop, it's recently made something of a comeback. Burlesque troupes have cropped up all over the United States in recent years, and these days even our little Burque boasts a troupe of its very own. The Lonely Hearts Burlesque Troupe consists of 18 lovely ladies who, I'm told, put on quite a show. And gosh darn, if they ain't pretty. The Lonely Hearts Burlesque Troupe will do their thing at the Sunshine Theater this Friday, Sept. 12, at 9 p.m. Kinky! Tickets are $7. Ages 21 and up only, please. We wouldn't want to corrupt the kiddies, now would we? 764-0249.
Picking the Lock
Coax at the Tricklock Performance Space
Ordinary people are often full of shit. Theater people, at least when they're on stage, are always full of shit. They trick us for a living, and we pay them to trick us, because, deep down, everyone loves to be fooled.
Conservatives are also working hard to publicize books written by liberals. Fox News decided to sue Al Franken because his latest book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, contained the term "fair and balanced" in the title. The right-wing network believed that it had trademarked the term. The judge, of course, immediately dismissed the case.
Platform: A Novel
French novelist Michel Houellebecq isn't exactly known for writing cheeful, uplifting, feel-good stories. In novels like The Elementary Particles, Houellebecq showed a perverse talent for probing the darkest, most sinister reaches of the human soul. In his latest novel Platform, newly translated by Frank Wynne, Houellebecq is as cynical as ever in a story about an emotionally numb, sexually screwed-up bureaucrat who unwillingly tangles with a violent Muslim sect. Thankfully, advance readers have said the novel is clever and convincing enough to make this bleak and outwardly unpleasant tale well worth a read.
Kim Arthun saves commercially printed mass-media materials, sometimes for years, before finding ways to work them into his collages. He usually keeps the background while discarding the primary subject. You can witness Arthun's eccentric visual samplings in an exciting new exhibit opening this Friday, Sept. 12, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at Exhibit/208. The show will run through Sept. 25. For details, call the gallery at 266-4292.