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Believe the Hype

When Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, it was as if it had landed from another planet. The album came frontloaded with sirens, squeals, and squawks that augmented the chaotic, collage backing tracks over which PE frontman Chuck D laid his politically and poetically radical rhymes. […]

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Paul's Picks: July 2008

It’s time to highlight a few paperbacks that are unlikely to receive much national attention. Some are published by small publishers, which can’t buy expensive lunches for the New York Times reviewers. Others have been out of print for a while and are being republished on the chance that they might find their audience on […]

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Twisted: A Balloonamentary Movie Review

Twisted: A Balloonamentary Documentary, 79 min Directed by Naomi Greenfield and Sara Taksler How much does the best-paid poet in the world make? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot less than one woman in Twisted: A Balloonamentary, who declares that she took in $1.5 million last year for twisting balloons into […]

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Home Is Where the Flood Is

On my first trip to Normandy Drive, four months ago, I marveled at the stately old trees and the modest well-kept homes that lined the wide streets. I thought it was the perfect place to buy my first home. When I drove out of my new neighborhood one night—only four weeks removed from sinking my […]

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Iowa City Weekender: July 3-7

Welcome to July and another Iowa City Weekender. We’re expanding this week’s edition to include Monday in order to highlight a Dan Bern flood benefit in Iowa City (details below). If you’re downtown this weekend, there’s no escaping the Iowa City Jazz Festival. But who would want to? It’s Christmas in July for music lovers. […]

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Paul's Picks: July 2008

It’s time to highlight a few paperbacks that are unlikely to receive much national attention. Some are published by small publishers, which can’t buy expensive lunches for the New York Times reviewers. Others have been out of print for a while and are being republished on the chance that they might find their audience on […]

Read More…