Category Archive for 'Cultural events'

The Critical Mass

Live at SXSW: On line with the homeless You bump into all kinds of interesting people at the South by Southwest Music Conference, in Austin Texas. Yesterday, it was Thomas Dolby. Dolby…? Dolby…? Yes, the fellow with the huge ’80s MTV hit “She Blinded Me With Science.” I had just stepped out of a club […]

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The Critical Mass

The land of reality-show bottom feeders I’m plunging into total news blackout for the next eight days. As is always the case with any detoxification program, there will be a period of decompression from the unrelenting media stimulus. Like yesterday. We’re sitting with a handful of Boston firemen and cops in a tiki bar on […]

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The Critical Mass

If the choice was high school reunion or holding my hand on a hot grill for a minute… An e-mail arrived a few weeks ago. My 35th high school reunion is coming up. Nordonia High School, a suburb of Cleveland. I will not be attending; The folk singer Peter Case is playing at a friend’s […]

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The Critical Mass

Live from SXSW No. 1: Human trafficking, right beneath the bomb-sniffing dog nose of Homeland Security With one salmonella outbreak in the chicken enchiladas, a huge piece of the popular music industry could be wiped out. The South by Southwest Music Festival begins Wednesday in Austin, Texas, with an estimated 1,800 acts officially playing, and […]

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I read The Sunday Times, so you don’t have to: Feb. 21 Friends have pointed out that in these weekly synopses of The Times, my liberal leanings seem overly obvious. I can’t apologize for that, I come by it honestly: Every time I visit my parents in Ohio, they have the TV tuned into Fox […]

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The Critical Mass

Tiny, tiny turds that can easily be kicked into the gutter Yet another overly manicured dog is the 2010 Best in Show of the Westminster Kennel Club. A Scotch terrier. Oh, excuse me. Scottish terrier. I’m the Scotch terrier. Anyway, the night’s winner, Sadie, is perky, lovable and completely useless. She couldn’t hold a tennis […]

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I read The Sunday New York Times, so you don’t have to: Feb. 14 This morning’s first music: the indie psychedelic-folk rock band Vetiver’s haunting Tight Knit. It is Valentine’s Day, I must remember to call my parents…. 1, As is too often the case in tragedies, the death of a Georgian luger during a […]

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The Critical Mass

If nothing else, Barack Obama has elevated the presidential iPod. Bob Dylan and a handful of decades-encrusted troubadours, including the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Mellencamp and Smokey Robinson, as well as youngsters such as John Legend and Jennifer Hudson, have been invited to be a part of In Performance at the White House: A […]

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The downward spiral that was this week As the downward spiral that was this week came to a merciful end on Friday, I spotted this item on one of the news web sites: REPORT: U.S. DOING LITTLE ABOUT ASTEROIDS Yikes! What can we do? According to astronomers, an object 50 to 75 meters in size […]

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‘And Away We Go,’ the true story, sorta, of Jackie Gleason, Carl Sagan, Richard Nixon and UFOs It’s long been known that the late entertainer Jackie Gleason was an enthusiastic reader on all things paranormal. UFOs in particular fascinated him. So I’ve taken this aspect of Gleason, as well as his interests in romantic music and an unusual […]

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