Almost brilliant

If you’ve never seen Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous, time’s a-wastin’. If you have, you’ve probably seen it 20 times, so you’re familiar with the scene in which a blues-rockin’ touring band named Stillwater finds its redemption in the Elton John/Bernie Taupin tune “Tiny Dancer.” However unlikely the conceit (perhaps “Ramblin’ Man”? “Tuesday’s Gone”?),… Continue reading Almost brilliant

“Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective”

Robert Rauschenberg’s credentials as one of the world’s leading contemporary visualists have never been in question, so why are the first words from the lips of so many art aficionados “He’s never been one of my favorite artists”? The question lingers in the air, despite the quality of the Texas native’s work in general and… Continue reading “Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective”

Serenity now

The TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran for seven seasons and totaled 144 episodes. I double-sourced and tripled-checked, ’cause we’re dealing with the Buffyverse, a subset of the Whedonverse, hallowed home to Joss Whedon fanatics, who have lives outside of their obsession, but not really.  I know a Buffy freak who can rattle off… Continue reading Serenity now

The postmod squad

Ego and art have always been bedfellows, whatever the medium of expression. And Trisha Brown is the acknowledged (and self-acknowledged) master of her own expressionistic realm: postmodern dance with a formalist bent. She makes no bones about it. “It’s lonely here at the top,” Brown says bluntly by phone from New York during a break… Continue reading The postmod squad

Little Photoshop of horrors

Mark Mothersbaugh lives a symmetrical life of wild extremes. Consider: • He was born and still lives in Akron, Ohio – all-American birthplace of the rubber tire, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the soap-box derby – but made his name as frontman for the band Devo, which posited that mankind was digressing as a species. • Mothersbaugh… Continue reading Little Photoshop of horrors

The pleasures and pitfalls of Prime

Two million songs. Zero ads. Whoo-hoo! Thus was I — a streaming neophyte who still listens to cassettes on a Sony Sports Walkman — seduced by the power of Amazon Prime Music and the promise of MP3s by the multi-millions. But here’s the rub (one of them). While I’ve accumulated 800-plus of my favorite tunes… Continue reading The pleasures and pitfalls of Prime

The art of craftbeer

While Texans and beer have always gone together like cowboys and beans, the state’s world-champeen suds swillers have mostly been under the thumb of foreign interests in Golden, Colorado, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sure, we kept chuggin’ those undistinguished imports ’til we couldn’t squeeze said thumb between oversized buckle and distended belly, but we didn’t have… Continue reading The art of craftbeer