Category: New Discoveries

Kira Hooks

The Los Angeles-based Filipino-American singer-songwriter Kira Hooks has a beautiful life ahead of her. Based on her debut recording, “Elephant Heart,” twelve well-produced original songs that defy strict genre categorization — think “jazz and soul-inflected pop” — almost anything’s possible for this extravagantly talented musician. Hooks is a good writer, and a good instrumentalist. But...

Richmond Confidential

The nice folks at Chevron are attempting to buy another election in Northern California, spending millions to defeat a Proposition that would limit the amount of damage Big Oil can do to the environment. Illuminating coverage of the underhanded shenanigans can be found not in any of the area’s large newspapers but in a maverick...

“Revolutionary Words”

“Revolutionary Words” is a new Social Justice Open Mic curated by yours truly under my stage persona, MK Punky. The event will feature poets and prophets in a kind and nurturing space, Elderberries Community Justice Café, where some sensational spoken word artists seen often at Da Poetry Lounge will demonstrate that the Consciousness Revolution is well...

Grand Budapest Hotel

Discouraged by some sniffy reviews from folks we trust, we missed Wes Anderson’s film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” during its theatrical release. A long international flight rescued us from our apathy. Now, we’re certain we’ll be watching TGBH again. It’s a masterpiece. Set in the early 20th Century in a fictionalized region of Europe, the...

Rob Greenfield’s “Goodfluence”

Rob Greenfield, 27, grew up in Northern Wisconsin planning to be a millionaire. He reasoned that having buckets of money bought one freedom. Eventually, he learned that the truth is precisely the opposite: money, acquisitiveness, and conspicuous consumption enslave us. Now, Greenfield lives a nearly moneyless life. His main food source? Dumpster diving. He’s dined...

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

It seems impossible today. But from 1973-1977, before corporate control of America became nearly absolute, the Portland Mavericks, a Class A minor league baseball franchise, played independently, without any Major League Baseball affiliation. Competing against future Yankees and Dodgers (and the giant organizations that bankroll them), the Mavs improbably ruled the competitive Pacific League, fielding...

Century of the Self

Originally released in 2002, Adam Curtis’s “Century of the Self” was a four-part series on the BBC that examined how Sigmund Freud’s theories of human psychology have been employed (and refined) by the rich and powerful to control the dangerous impulses of the masses. Much of this dazzlingly entertaining yarn focuses on Freud’s nephew Edward...

Andasibe Hotel

When you’re thousands of miles away from the civilization to which you’re accustomed, a 3-star lodge in the middle of the jungle can feel like 13-stars — especially when your bungalow is tucked into the forest, where howling Indri-Indri lemurs issue “wake up calls” at dawn. The Andasibe Hotel, about four hours by car from Antananarivo,...

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Slovene philosopher Slavoj Zizek is a charming public intellectual whose accented-English, absentminded nose-wiping, and obvious enthusiasm for Ideas make him a kind of ambassador of deep thinking. In the 2012 documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” directed by Sophie Fiennes, Zizek delivers dazzling deconstructions of many popular films, showing how they function as instruments of...

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

What happens when one of the best series ever to appear on American television is remade with 2014 CGI technology? A cheering glimpse of What’s Possible — on television, in our brief lives, out there in the distant ether. We’re exposed to one compelling version of The Truth. “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey,” recently broadcast on...