March 29, 2013 |
One day in 2003, Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner walked into a music store in Cambridge, Mass., and happened upon a VHS tape offering to teach him "How to Play Hindustani Slide Guitar. " "It had a picture of an Indian gentleman playing this way-out-looking thing," says the Philadelphia guitarist and bandleader, who was then on tour with the roots-rock band Marah. "I asked the guys in the store, 'What is this?' They had no idea. " When he got home and popped it in his VCR, Brenner recalled over lunch at a University City Indian restaurant this week, he heard "the most amazing sound.
October 4, 2012
The world's cuisine is shaped by immigrants - migrations large and small. Jose Garces showcases the influence of Chinese settlers on Peruvian fare at his Chifa. Munish Narula has added an Indo-Chinese menu to the original location of Tiffin. Chinese immigrants in cities such as Calcutta and Mumbai adapted Indian cooking styles and ingredients such as cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric. Most of the menu is a spice lover's dream - the green chiles in the manchow soup, the red chiles in the kung pao dishes.
February 7, 2012
LOOKING FOR another worthy role model, Philly musicians? Mike Brenner has reinvented himself . . . yet again. A rootsy, experimental instrumentalist/singer/composer, Brenner first grabbed our attention with the Americana acoustic folk and alt-country of the Low Road and John Train. More recently, Brenner opened eyes and ears with his dobro blues/hip-hop fusion as Slo-Mo featuring rapper Mic Wrecka, from whence sprang the hit "My Buzz Comes Back. " Now he's crossed overinto yet another dimension, the entrancing world of dreamy Indian ragas, playing a 22-string Indian lap guitar called the chaturangui as frontman for the Kolkata Slide Guitar Project.
July 18, 2011 |
Veerasamy S. Naiken, 83, a pathologist at the Southern Division of Albert Einstein Medical Center at Fifth and Reed Streets from 1957 until he retired in 1987, died Friday, June 24, at the St. Ignatius Nursing Home in West Philadelphia of complications from a stroke. On Feb. 14, St. Ignatius was holding a naming dedication for its Dr. V.S. Naiken Dining Room. When he failed to appear, he was found in his apartment at the nursing home, having suffered the stroke. In biographical notes, Dr. Naiken stated that he was born on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius and that after graduating from the Cambridge School, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade school in Calcutta, India, he won a scholarship to the University of Leeds School of Medicine in England and qualified as a physician in 1955.
September 5, 2007 |
IN 1976, I covered a press conference at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia that featured Mother Teresa. Just a few reporters were there, asking respectful questions, except for one gadfly. He challenged the diminutive nun on why she didn't speak out against the Indian government's huge expenditures on a nuclear bomb when its people were starving. She smiled and said she didn't get involved in "politics. " Then the reporter asked her to comment about an Indian government proposal on birth control.
March 16, 2007 |
Mira Nair's The Namesake is a celebration of real family values - of the love between father and son, between husband and wife, mother and daughter. It's about cultural heritage and personal legacy, about the things that change across generations, and the things that stay the same. It's a tearjerker, sometimes, and sweetly funny at other moments. It's near perfect. Adapted from the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake begins in Calcutta in the 1970s, when Ashoke (Irrfan Khan), a young Bengali intellectual who a few years earlier survived a devastating train accident, enters into an arranged marriage with Ashima (the Bollywood star Tabu)
April 5, 2006 |
The end has come. For real. The world is ending, and not with a bang, or a whimper, but a film: Indian director T. Rajeevnath wants to cast celebutante Paris Hilton in a biopic about Mother Teresa. I'm not being some grubby pulpit moralist guy outraged that the star of a home sex tape might portray the nun who worked among Calcutta's poor, though that's ghastly enough. I'm talking dialectics: Philosopher dudes through the ages have said the cosmic journey will end once all dualities are resolved.
February 25, 2005 |
Outcasts from birth, the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's red light zone are trapped. The girls, invariably, go into the same line of work as their mothers and grandmothers before them; the boys, with little or no schooling, become idle hangers-on, errand runners, petty thieves. Born Into Brothels, nominated for a documentary Oscar in this Sunday's Academy Awards, offers a rare look into the cloistered precincts of Indian whoredom. But it also offers more than a glimmer of hope for a few of its youngest inhabitants.
August 8, 2003 |
ARNOLD Schwarzenegger or . . . "Arnold Jackson"? You remember "Arnold Jackson," he was the character played by Gary Coleman on the '70s sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes. " Well, now Arnold, uh, Gary, wants to be governor of California. According to msnbc.com, the 4-foot-8 actor has paid the $3,500 entrance fee (courtesy of the East Bay Express alternative newspaper) and submitted his 65 needed signatures. "Under the rules of the recall election," wrote the Express, "any jerk can run for governor.