Tagged: Michael Konik

How to Grow a Band

The documentary How to Grow a Band is simultaneously an intimate examination of artists (visions, egos, eccentricities, the whole thing) and a brilliant advertisement for the film’s subject. That would be the Punch Brothers, an all-star modern bluegrass band formed around the charismatic mandolin virtuoso and singer Chris Thile. The band’s sublime and sensational music is...

Sanitary Mafias

Opportunistic petty criminals, the kind that go after old lady pocketbooks and unattended bicycles, generally aren’t very organized. They don’t have thorough long-range plans and an extensive network of colleagues to help coordinate their heists. Most unsuccessful criminals are desperate loners, independent contractors of malfeasance who can never stay one step ahead of The Man....

Poem: The Sexiest Thing a Woman Can Do

Your furled brow and pursed lips declare “all is not quite right.” You’re losing private battles between foes called Dark and Light.   A poker face is good for gambling, good for fooling foes, but tabula rasa is a start for art, not how friendship grows. Unpinch the nose, remove the sneer, put pleasure where...

The Dictator

Like us, you may have tired of the extravagantly talented comedian Sacha Baron Cohen shooting fish in barrels. Borat, Bruno — these characters exploited backwards and stupid folk for cheap laughs. That’s why it took us so long to see “The Dictator.” His latest harkens back to Cohen’s early days as the inscrutable hip-hop interviewer...

Litter in Runyon Canyon: An Update

One year ago we began picking up litter in Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood streets near it. For three-days-a-week, for more than 52 weeks, we’ve collected anything we see (and can reach) that doesn’t belong on the ground — or in a tree or on a bush. SINCE PUBLISHING THE ORIGINAL ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000...

Hindi Zahra

A French-Moroccan chanteuse who sings in English, French and Berber, Hindi Zahra sounds exactly like herself — which is to say unlike anyone else. Backed by as few instruments as she can get away with — a guitar, some bongos — Hindi fills the soundscape with her peculiarly seductive voice, a thin airy tone that suggests...

More People in Metal Cages = A Better America

EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts (Eggy Press, 2016) The new rankings just came out. We win again! Of all the nations on Earth, the United States of America incarcerates the largest percentage of its population. Out of every 100,000 people, we put 716 in some kind of jail. No other civilized...

Demoting a Hero

This is no joke. This is an outrage. One of our real American heroes, Sgt. Robert W. Richards, a Marine sniper, pleaded guilty to “dereliction of duty” and “conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.” He was demoted to corporal. Lower pay. Fewer stripes. At least he was permitted to keep his retirement health benefits....

The Todd Glass Show

Since every creative person in America has a podcast, it’s difficult keeping up with the overwhelming output. So many personal revelations, so many jokes. So much repetitive blathering. The best podcasts, like The Todd Glass Show, don’t require regular listening to understand what’s going on. Dive in anywhere — more than 100 shows in the...

The Freedomaire

We’re taught that freedom is a concept worth fighting and dying for. We’re taught that freedom is what makes the United States of America the greatest country on Earth. Freedom, we’re taught, is man’s divine state; to abridge or steal it is a kind of crime against Nature. Yet most of us abdicate whatever freedom...