April 24, 2013
LAST FRIDAY, a few dozen people suddenly started following me on Twitter. "Cool," I thought. "All this writing is finally paying off. " I puffed my chest out, grateful that my eight novels and countless columns were earning me recognition where it counts - on Twitter. While silently thumbing my nose at those haughty book reviewers and the elitist snobs who run the New York Times best-sellers list, I began typing a tweet to thank the little people. "At long last, after years of hard work and sacrifice, I've arrived among the giants in my craft.
May 9, 2012 |
‘I'm a child of the Sixties," says acclaimed British screenwriter Paula Milne (The Politician's Wife, Night Watch), whose latest drama, White Heat, opens in that strange, turbulent, mythic decade. "There was between the 1950s and 1960s this huge, seismic change ... and I was a part of that," says Milne, 64. A six-episode ensemble piece premiering Wednesday on BBC America, White Heat is a bold, fabulously written (if at times overbearing) chronicle of the political and social changes which sweep through Britain beginning in the mid-1960s and which shaped — and in some cases, radically misshaped — a generation.
September 23, 2011
Frank Driggs, 81, a music historian and producer who amassed a world-class archive of more than 100,000 jazz-related images, was found dead of natural causes at his Manhattan home Tuesday. A 1952 Princeton University graduate, Mr. Driggs became enamored with jazz and swing while listening to late-night broadcasts in the 1930s. He later joined Marshall Stearns, founder of the Rutgers University-based Institute of Jazz Studies, and began documenting jazz history. Mr. Driggs produced numerous recordings, including Columbia Records' Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings . He received a Grammy for it in 1991.
March 18, 2010 |
Neil Young is one of those musicians whom people either love or hate, for pretty much the same reasons. (At least they're never neutral about him!) His voice is a baleful wail that goes well with his pining, often surrealistically wrought Americana rock songs about need and want, missteps and new directions. And, oh, does he like to shift gears as a guitar player, between a campfire-intimate, rustic-acoustic folk style and a ragged, howling at the winds, cranking and stomping electric approach that ebbs and flows like a stormy sea. If all that sounds good to you, may I draw your attention to "Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes from a Concert," the latest in a long line of film portraits of the artist which he's again co-produced as one Bernard Shakey.
March 22, 2007 |
Confession is good for the soul - even in Washington. How do I know? Because many there confess, albeit in the circuitous style of the Beltway. We all know of cases in which the malefactor just blurts out his guilt years after the crime; that seems to be what's happening, in stages, to O.J. Simpson. But Washingtonians, who excel in the sneaky arts of manipulation, confess in their own Machiavellian manner, with one eye on the camera and the other on the history books. The very obviousness of such confessions, paper or electronic, forces one to conclude that there's method in this self-incriminating madness.
August 25, 2000 |
Next to the white heat generated by a 14-year-old girl, the temperature of Rachmaninoff's passion feels kind of tepid. A comic look at two teen groupies who idolize an eccentric concert pianist, The World of Henry Orient (1964) stars Peter Sellers as the musician/playboy desired by all the females in New York. The teenagers are played by Tippy Walker, tossing the best haircut in Hollywood history, and Merrie Spaeth, a tightly curled blonde who catches on quicker than her pal that a teen crush is sometimes displaced feelings for one's own father.
July 28, 2000
How is the Philadelphia sports scene like a night when the fog rolls in? Suddenly, you look up and the stars have disappeared. Over there, isn't that where Curt Schilling, the talented, talkative, if not always huggable pitcher, used to throw white heat for the Phillies? Now, he's gone - off to shine in the desert sky over Phoenix for a team called the Diamondbacks that didn't exist four years ago. Bitter it tastes, but the arriviste D-Backs, not the venerable Phils, are now the kind of winning, well-heeled outfit that Mr. Schilling has so volubly yearned to join.
May 14, 2000 |
So what comes first? The idea for a nightspot that celebrates films from the 1930s and '40s, or finding a location that is almost a secret? Sometimes the best places hide in plain sight. Bar Noir, right smack in the middle of Center City, is tucked away like a memory, on 18th Street between Chestnut and Sansom. The facade is set back from the sidewalk, and to enter, one needs to descend a flight of stairs. David Carroll, co-owner and impresario of Bar Noir (along with Philadelphia lawyer Larry Berk)
December 27, 1999 |
I used to call it like this: stun gun, flamethrower, harpoon, maimer. Whatever the charge, the scarred heart followed; I loved like an army at the brink of war - all battle plans and camouflage, shoot to kill, seizures. The romance: first tear gas, then morphine, nights of white heat, sutures, slash and burn, shock. But then, right at the end of the 20th century, in the year of the hostage, as if dropped by chopper, a bomb that didn't explode - you, conscientious objector, accident, rapture, and me, auto-aim and rapid-fire.
July 25, 1999 |
Forget Woodstock. This is Disneyland, a rock-and-roll theme park. To survive it, you need a map and a plan. There are 70 bands playing on stages that are 20 minutes apart, a trek through a heat-scorched midway of mud, dope, flesh, and $4 bottled water by Ogden, that company responsible for food at the Vet. Tuned out? There are 40 movies screening 24 hours a day, an extreme-sports park, nightly raves, and booths to play video games, get your e-mail, tattoo your triceps, or paint your breasts.