As spring sends you outdoors in pursuit of fresh air, exercise, and greener lawns, let Blogcritics be the one place you go to stay current on all things literary, cinematic, musical, and newsical. There’s tech for the non-technical, coverage of E3 for the gamers, and more. As usual, we opine all over the place.
Let me remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Modern Pea Pod‘s Megan Giddings delivered as only she can in CD Review: Demolition Doll Rods — There is a Difference, giving a wonderful detailed synopsis of the album as well as sharing some memories from an early live performance she attended.
In Concert Review: John Martyn – Wolverhampton Daniel Woolstencroft shares more than just the details of the show with the reader. He digs deep and gives us a peek at his life.
DJRadiohead reminds us all in Confessions of a Fanboy 005: Glen Phillips – Mr. Lemons how music has a way of comforting us when we are sad, and celebrating with us when we are happy. Oh yes, he also gives an extensive review of the CD too. It’s definitely a must read.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
Book Review: High Lonesome: Selected Stories 1966-2006 by Joyce Carol Oates by Nik Dirga
There’s often a temptation when writing reviews to sit on one’s high horse, to assume the pose of expert addressing the masses, whether you’ve got the knowledge to justify that or not. But Nik begins this review by admitting that this is the first of Oates’s work that he had read. Then he infectiously shares his enthusiasm for what he discovered – much better than pontificating!
Book Review: Sleeping on Potatoes by Carl Nomura by Sujatha Bagal
Similar infectious enthusiasm marks this review. Sujatha fairly sets out the faults with the writing in the memoir of an “ordinary man” living an extraordinary life, but also celebrates a “story of determination, perseverance, kindness, love and good humor .”
From TV Editor Joan Hunt:
House – “Euphoria” by Diane Kristine
I never feel so bad about missing an episode of House as long as I know Diane Kristine’s around. Providing insight into the characters with whom she’s become quite familiar, she always offers a view of the show that others fail to get.
Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” by Tony Figueroa
This is a must-read for parents. Dateline‘s series of pedophiliac-nabbing shows should be required viewing for anyone who allows their kids unsupervised online activity.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
Cumulatively, North Americans can claim ancestry from every country, religion, culture, and language in the world. For many Americans, the familial lines are blurred beyond recognition by generations of mixture with those whose familial lines are also blurred. When faced with so many forks in the road, seeking out who we really are can be daunting. Sometimes it’s easier to seek out other cultures and assume them as our own – a sort of reverse immigration, if you will. In Cultural Archaeology: Finding Your Past, Richard Marcus eloquently points out the inherent disrespect we bring to others and our ourselves when we treat the cultures of the world as little more than a cafeteria from which we can freely sample.
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
Pop Cult Mind Wax – The Beauty Of Bjork, The Snarling Of Fate, Romantic Endeavors by Duke De Mondo
I’ve been “staring at the screen for nigh on forever and nary a syllable done danced ‘cross the white” this good, this distinctive in a long time. Just the thing for a mind-funk – an inspired love story about inspiration.
From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:
Kinky Friedman: Singer-Songwriter-Novelist, Governor? by Richard Marcus
A nice first-look at Texas’ maverick gubernatorial hopeful. We’ll be hearing more about the campaign in future weeks.
“Truthiness”? Stephen Colbert and Comedy as Political Argument by Al Barger
Just one of many pieces we had this week on Colbert’s appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner, but the one which stirred up the best and most interesting responses.
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
Dave Nalle, pushing the National Day of Prayer Envelope (Item# NPS28), goes for the jugular and the jocular in his on-target satire A Godless Nation Saved by the National Day of Prayer!
No picks this week.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
Satire: Wii? What About Me! by Nicholas Bowman
Forget about the Wii. Here’s the scoop on the new console that’s for hardcore gamers!
Nintendo DS Review: Brain Age – Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day by Kevin Cortez
Turning your DS to its side like a book and writing with your stylus on the touch screen is the perfect way of activating your prefrontal cortex — or drawing some peculiar looks.
E3 2006: Sony Manipulates Audience During Press Conference by Matt Paprocki
When fanboys attack! Matt’s op-ed draws the ire of fans, and we like it!
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
In A Non-Techie’s Adventures With Computer-Based PVRs, Diane Kristine continues the chronicle of her experience in researching and setting up a personal video recorder. I think she can legitimately start thinking of herself as a techie from now on.
Picked by last week’s chosen authors:
From Michael J. West:
Religion, commerce, and public image are possibly the great troika of American ideas. And in his satire A Godless Nation Saved by the National Day of Prayer!, Dave Nalle demonstrates just how closely related those things really are. I can’t remember reading a humor piece on BC that used Biblical quotes so effectively.
From Stephen V. Funk:
CD Review: Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Brotherman in the Fatherland by Larry Sakin
A great overview of this new album of prime live material from an underrated genius of jazz, made even more poignant by the inclusion of a personal memory from the author.
From Chris Evans:
Movie Review: Friends With Money by A. Horbal
It’s an in depth and honest look at Nicole Holofcener’s estrogen-driven dramedy, and he accurately highlights the complexity of the film, while also playing up the talents of the four main actresses.