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Spoils from the Soil

Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses, It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, […]

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Movie Review: Australia

Australia Directed by Baz Luhrman Drama, 165 Minutes One of the great pleasures of the movies is seeing what a purposeful filmmaker can do with an old genre or story by attempting to remake it in her or his own image. Such was the case with Baz Luhrman’s last film, 2001’s Moulin Rouge, his hyperkinetic […]

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Tofu: The Other Holiday Meat

While traveling West on my way to can salmon in Alaska, I stopped in Tacoma, Washington, to stay the night with my aunt and uncle. My cousin had just graduated high school and the graduation party spread was available for post-driving snacks. I excitedly munched the baby carrots and dipped the cut cauliflower and broccoli […]

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On the Beat: Breaking in the new year

I want to have a commemorative plate destruction party. I was thinking about some Christmastime introduction to this column, and all I could think about was some single woman carefully setting up commemorative plates around her living room, in their little stands, and getting the lighting just right, and it was making me insane with […]

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Talking Movies: A Half-Jigger of Solace

How many children does Lady Macbeth have? That’s the kind of ridiculous question a certain strain of literature teacher will torture students with. The answer, obviously, is: Shakespeare would have told us, had it been important. Nevertheless, there are a few characters who so transcend their storylines that they really do acquire lives of their […]

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Hog Haven

As local officials responded to the threat of floods in southeastern Iowa with repeated appeals for help with sandbagging, I jumped at the chance—to bury my head in the sand, or a sandbag, whatever could be spared. The last time I volunteered during a disaster, the results were disastrous. I’d been part of a mission […]

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Prairie Pop: 12 Days…To Drown Out Holiday Muzak with Twisted X-mas Rock.

Organized religion is responsible for more bloodshed than any institution in human history, but Christmas music is its biggest sin. I hate those songs—and the hegemony they hold over the airwaves, public spaces and every nook and cranny of our subconscious in the weeks leading up to Jesus’s birthday. Nevertheless, I make an exception for […]

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The Weekender Nov 27-Nov30

Imagine that I’m telling you all these things while turkeys are getting slaughtered in the background. Or maybe not. This weekend’s entertainment pickings are a bit slimmer than usual. The Picador used to always have some sort of oddball townie one-off show on Thanksgiving, but not this year! The Mill has no entertainment, though you […]

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Eugene Chadbourne, Crackety Sax, Evan Miller 11/16/08 @ The Mill

Eugene Chadbourne is a prolific guitarist/banjo/songwriter who has produced a supremely odd, but brilliant, body of work over the last 30 years. He started out as a performer working with John Zorn, a more famous but just as brilliant an experimentalist. When Chadbourne struck out on his own, he genre-hopped with reckless abandon, from Country […]

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In Which I Highjack The Weekender NOV 27-NOV 30

Hi, Kent Williams here. I kinda sorta talked to Melody about doing a Weekender post, but we didn’t really get beyond the ‘sure why not?’ planning stage, so I’m operating here on the principle that it’s easier to apologize than ask permission. Anyhoo… The Mill Thursday: Monroe Crossing. A Bluegrass outfit that tours nationally and […]

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