Archive for the 'Popular Culture' Category

Drinking Our Way Around the World at the Blackbird Bar

Published on June 21, 2013

For a “what’s local in Speyside” experience (previewed by a “what’s local in Jalisco” experience), Dibs headed for the Blackbird Bar in San Francisco two days ago. And no, Dibs did not arrive at the Blackbird to find Ewan McGregor eating haggis and scones while reading Robert Burns poems and dancing to the Bay City [...]

Poet Who Was Wife, Mother of Famous Actors Dies

Published on February 23, 2009

Oldtimers remember the late actor Lloyd Bridges, star of the TV show “Sea Hunt,” which ran from 1958 to 1961. His widow, Dorothy Bridges — mother of the actors Jeff and Beau Bridges, died Monday in Los Angeles at age 93. This least-famous member of the Bridges clan was a poet for five decades, according to [...]

BBC’s Twist Anti-Semitic?

Published on February 19, 2009

Some are calling the BBC’s new adaptation of Oliver Twist anti-Semitic because its co-star Timothy Spall portrays the thief-impresario Fagin as unmistakably, over-the-top Jewish. “I must have missed a few subtle literary points in college when I was taking a Charles Dickens seminar. I missed the spot where Fagin, in Oliver Twist, is wearing a gigondo yarmulke,” [...]

Why Are Those Words All Wiggly?

Published on January 4, 2009

Lou Reed is a legend in his own time. One of the 20th century’s most remarkable songwriters, the author of such ’60s classics as “Heroin” and “Walk on the Wild Side” — a Brooklyn native who underwent electroshock therapy to “cure” his homosexuality as a boy — rose to fame with the Velvet Underground and, [...]

(Baylor University Press, $19.95; release date October, 2006)

Published on June 8, 2006

Intellectuals — ya gotta love ‘em. Who would have thought to write an academic treatise linking the ouevre of zombie-film maestro George Romero with classic themes of hell and death from literature and religion? Well, who better but a professor of religious studies whose previous books include The Truth Is Out There: Christian Faith and [...]

HERE IS TIJUANA!, by Fiamma Montezemolo, et al.
(Black Dog Publishing, $29.95; release date May 31, 2006)

Published on May 31, 2006

This hyper-intellectualized assessment of Tijuana succeeds in spite of itself. Burdened by an academic, postmodern sensibility, Here is Tijuana! over-analyzes the elusive significance of the city’s “urban space” and cultural milieu. But if you cast aside the nagging impression that the books’ editors are trying to prove some kind of esoteric political point, you can [...]

(Backbeat Books, $16.95; release date June 3, 2006)

Published on May 29, 2006

This collection of essays from the legendary Rolling Stone journalist — forever immortalized as a character in the 2000 film Almost Famous — spans decades and musical genres, from Janis Joplin to Sheryl Crow, Frank Sinatra to Al Green. Fong-Torres fans might be disappointed to see far too many essays from the ’80s and ’00s, [...]