October 10, 2012 |
He might be the most droll songwriter in indie-pop, and on songs like "Waiting for Kirsten" from last year's EP An Argument With Myself or "I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots" from his new album I Know What Love Isn't , the Swedish singer can be a veritable laugh riot. But don't get the idea that Jens Lekman is not a serious man. "I like telling stories with a sense of humor," says Lekman, who will play a show with his band at Union Transfer on Thursday night. "But humor can also distance you from the subject you're writing about.
October 7, 2012
Through Oct. 17, Philly.com/health and The Inquirer will mark breast cancer awareness month by publishing a profile a day of transformative moments reported by patients. The series culminates in a special Philly.com/Inquirer/Daily News section on Oct. 18, and can be viewed at www.philly.com/breastcancer . A Sept. 21 entry from Ann Silberman's blog, www.butdoctorIhatepink.com : Home phone rings: Private number. I ignore it. Cell rings: Blocked number.
August 24, 2012
POLITICIANS running for president often borrow the tunes of famous musicians to spark the crowd's energy at campaign events. But how many bands get their names included in the title of a Super PAC, the political-action committees now allowed to raise unlimited funds? Meet Hall and Oates Fans for America, a new Super PAC registered by Atlanta waiter William Hansmann with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. Hansmann tells us that the Super PAC started as a joke among a handful of friends.
August 9, 2012 |
PAUL F. TOMPKINS doesn't like performing in comedy clubs, which should make his job tough considering that he's a comedian. His reasons are pragmatic. "Comedy clubs aren't really in the comedy business," Tompkins said from his home in Los Angeles. "They're in the bar-and-restaurant business. " He wants to put on a show; they want to sell overpriced, watered-down drinks and chicken wings. How can he form a connection with his audience if they have got a waitress asking if they want another lager before the end of the set?
July 1, 2012 |
When I finally met Nora Ephron six years ago, I did something I had never done before in a few thousand interviews and I haven't done since. I told her I loved her. I have always loved her, since first reading her Esquire pieces in the 1970s. Of course, her admirers are legion. We love her extraordinary wit, her inimitable style, her appetite for risk and change. Her actual appetite, for butter, pate, steak, pie, and her rejection of the egg-white omelet, of which she noted, "People who eat them think they're doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed.
May 18, 2012 |
The black SUV that transported Gov. Christie got a flat tire as he was on his way to catching a train bound for Washington on May 4. Where was Newark Mayor Cory Booker when you needed him? Three weeks earlier, Booker had made headlines for rescuing a woman from a burning building in his hometown. A new Twitter meme sprouted: Booker was so tough he could single-handedly fight fires, intercept North Korean rockets, and end the Greek debt crisis, the joke went. Surely he could fix the governor's flat tire.
May 3, 2012 |
Jen Lancaster is up on her high horse again. Fans of the witty memoirist are delighted to see her back in the saddle. Her just-published book, Jeneration X (NAL, $25.95) is a plea for her contemporaries to stand apart from the willfully infantile generations that bracket them -- the boomers and the millenials -- by acting like adults. "We're differentiating ourselves by becoming the only grownups in the room," says Lancaster. "We're tired of seeing all these baby boomers running around talking about their feelings and these Gen Y kids that you have to constantly coddle or they'll have a meltdown.
April 8, 2012 |
Don't Talk to the Actors marks the third time playwright Tom Dudzick visits Montgomery Theater's stage. This time, he's also in the wings, as the show's director. Following 2009's Over the Tavern- the company's all-time best-seller - and last season's Hail Mary!, both of which examined the lighter side of Catholicism, Don't Talk to the Actors is a strictly secular affair. However, if theater happens to be your religion, be aware, this backstage comedy depicts some desecration in the temple.
March 27, 2012 |
Did you hear the latest joke about New Jersey? A group of investigative journalists released a report calling it the least corruptible state in the country. How did that happen? Easy. We bribed them. All kidding aside, this is a state where in 2009, three mayors, two assemblymen, and five rabbis were among 44 charged by the FBI in a single money-laundering and bribery stin. One mayor, Peter Cammarano, was from Hoboken, where I live. Five years before his arrest, another former Hoboken mayor, Anthony Russo, pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
March 25, 2012 |
The New Republic By Lionel Shriver Harper. 373 pp. $26.99 As a prefatory note from the author makes clear, Lionel Shriver's new novel, The New Republic , is not so much a new novel as a 14-year-old novel whose publication time has come. Originally completed in 1998, it suffered from both Shriver's poor sales record (as she reports - I am not carping here) and then, perhaps more important, from being a farcical take on international terrorism.