Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), this LP sticks to classic country ballads and upbeat R&B tunes. Read More
News junkies and fans of Hanna Rosin will surely remember “The End of Men,” her 2010 Atlantic article about female success and how it relates to the simultaneous plummeting of male accomplishment. Her engrossing new book retains that provocative title and expounds on the facts she uncovered in her first go-round. Rosin focuses mostly on the shifting of familial responsibilities and career achievements between men and women by examining statistics and conducting interviews. Read More
  Known for its robotic vocals (courtesy of a vocoder), Black Moth Super Rainbow has always been difficult to understand, both literally and figuratively—see also the masks the band members wear onstage and their aversion to press. For their fifth album, though, they’ve learned to use their words, discussing the many facets of love on tracks like “Hairspray Heart” and “Like a Sundae.” Kickstarter donations from fans funded Cobra Juicy, and the moral support seems to have expanded the Pittsburgh group’s sound. Read More
While everyone in NYC was attending various CMJ shows and events last week, I was fortunate enough to be visiting Paris. Which was amazing beyond words. The city, the food, the wine, and the people: all c'est magnifique! But no cool rock shows, mes amis. One of the things that saved my evenings from CSI and Bewitched reruns dubbed in French was stand-up comic Margaret Cho, who was performing in town as part of her current tour, MOTHER.   In a little club called La Java, wearing a t-shirt that said "Yoko Ono" across the front, Ms. Read More
Your friend is cooking up a Halloween costume that involves cardboard, a yard of metal sheeting, and a dozen wire hangers; it may look cool, but there’s a good chance she won’t be able to sit down or hold her drink all night. You, on the other hand, will be sitting pretty in this simple mask, which you can make from household supplies in only an hour or two. Keep the rest of your costume minimal—and keep your hands free for holding your beer. Read More
Remember when Bridesmaids came out and the world braced itself for an onslaught of outrageous, gross-out female comedies? Well, That’s What She Said, a raunchy new film fresh from Sundance, will inevitably be counted by those taking measure of the Bridesmaids revolution. Directed by Carrie Preston—best known for her role as waitress Arlene Fowler on HBO’s True Blood—the movie is about a fraying friendship soldiering on through life’s difficulties against the backdrop of a hectic rainy day in New York City. Read More
I recently caught Beats Antique at The Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans. The all-instrumental band, comprised of David Satori (guitar, viola, and percussion), Tommy Cappel (keys, percussion), and Zoe Jakes (belly dancer, composer, and producer) fuses Middle Eastern tribal sounds with experimental world music and electronica. Lynx, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Colorado, was the opening act and wowed the crowd with her electronic folk-pop melodies, timelessly lovely voice, and intense beat-boxing skills. Read More
  A story about a man paying someone to take his virginity sounds like your typical high school sex romp, but The Sessions is the furthest thing from that.     On the surface, the film is about Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), a man who hires a sex surrogate, Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), to help him lose his virginity. He does so not because he’s just unlucky with women, but because he contracted polio when he was six and has to rely on an iron lung to survive. The film, which was based on a true story, isn’t a biopic. Read More
There have been many responses to the highly offensive (and incorrect) essay by Christopher Hitchens called “Why Women Aren’t Funny” that ran in Vanity Fair in 2007, and this oral history is the most comprehensive. We Killed chronicles the rise of female comedians ranging from the days of Mary Tyler Moore, up to the present successes of Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig. Read More
  I have been following Dame Darcy's career for several years, ever since we met on a book and music tour with Lisa Crystal Carver. Read More
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