Latest Articles


Q&A: Harry Belafonte on a narcissistic America

Singer Harry Belafonte, now 85, has engaged in a social activism of extraordinary breadth.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 01, 2013

The Last Middle Class American(1)

On the run from the Recession.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  December 21, 2012

Dan Deacon is coming to America

In 2007, Dan Deacon experienced startling cultural self-awareness.

By REYAN ALI  |  November 09, 2012


Amid the white noise of the election, sometimes the most pressing — but least headline-grabbing — issues fade into the hubbub. One such issue: the "fiscal cliff," the standoff over which says as much about the poisonous state of politics as it does abou
One Cent's Worth
By MARC MEWSHAW  |  October 27, 2012

Review: Head Games

Legendary documentarian Steve James ( Hoop Dreams ) again turns his camera on the dark side of America's obsession with sports, this time looking at the rash of suicides and dementia linked to concussions.

By JAKE MULLIGAN  |  October 05, 2012

Ain't that America

The bad news of this season is that the sharp-eyed folks behind R.K. Projects will be closing up shop in November after their fall exhibits, which include a group of Providence psychedelics and site-specific installations in Pawtucket (461 Main St from O
Sassy signs, obsessive patterns, and more
By GREG COOK  |  September 14, 2012


Dan Deacon | America

America as a country is rarely celebrated by its off-the-radar and off-kilter musicians.
By REYAN ALI  |  August 24, 2012
Tom Araya and Slayer

The 30-year metal reign of Tom Araya and Slayer

Suicide, serial killers, Satan worship, demonic possession, hatred, violence, and depravity: succeeding as a heavy-metal band through the '80s and early '90s meant being able to withstand a gauntlet of accusations as the cause of all of society's ills.
Coolest of the heavies
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 03, 2012
Film: The Queen of Versailles

Review: The Queen of Versailles

You couldn’t invent a better metaphor for America’s economic injustice and insanity.

By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 27, 2012
ShortTake: The Whole World Waiting

Review: The Whole World Waiting

They thought America was a glittering land of wealth and fame . . . they were wrong. Fifteen immigrant and refugee teenagers tell their stories of coming to New England and share their perspectives in The Whole World Waiting , a compilation of document
Fifteen immigrant and refugee teenagers tell their stories
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 01, 2012

Solid, authentic, unmanufactured American clips

Whether you've heard his name or not, Alan Lomax is one of the most prominent cultural influences in US history.
The real YouTube
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  April 06, 2012

Hello Helios opera

Helios Early Opera's Charpentier; plus, the BSO's Mendelssohn Lobgesang

There's a new group in town doing Baroque opera — not an easy ambition.
Hello, Helios!
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 03, 2012
Short Take: Into the Abyss

Review: Into the Abyss

From the abyss of time in Cave of Forgotten Dreams , Werner Herzog turns to the abyss of capital punishment in today's America.
Werner Herzog turns to the abyss of capital punishment
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 11, 2011

Occupy Providence on the march

It's 11:30 am on Day 3 of Occupy Providence and a small group of activists has gathered at the foot of a statue in Burnside Park to plot a march on Bank of America's Kennedy Plaza branch.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 21, 2011
short takes black power mixtape

Review: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

In the era when the Black Panther Party was its most powerful and off-the-pig-threatening and separatist, there was little interest in even conversing with whitey, unless whitey was from somewhere other than the ultra-racist USA.
A collage of privileged documentary moments
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 30, 2011

We the People don't like Washington

If you can't quite figure out where Brian Crowley and his buddies stand on the issues, neither can they. All they know is that they love America, the First Amendment, and public access television.
The Tube
By DANIEL MCGOWAN  |  September 09, 2011

habibi 6

In his new graphic novel, Craig Thompson wins an argument with God

This book is a gorgeous object; to make it, Thompson apparently covered himself in honey and rolled around in a thousand years of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art, and the result is breathtaking — the amount of ink expended on one resplendent panel aft
Illuminated manuscript
By S.I. ROSENBAUM  |  September 02, 2011
ART takes on Porgy and Bess 2

Reimagining Porgy and Bess

In the new production at the American Repertory Theater, directed by Diane Paulus, Messrs. Heyward and Gershwin have been reworked by two actual African-Americans: two-time Obie Award winner Diedre L. Murray and Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-Americ
The A.R.T. takes on the Gershwins' classic and prep it for Broadway
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 12, 2011

Running in the Family

As a kid, I always knew I had been adopted. It was no big deal, but being adopted meant I had no information about my biological family's medical history, which is a double-edged sword.
Balls, Pucks, and Monster Trucks
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  August 12, 2011
Thomas Cole works 4

Painting – and video – of the American landscape

"Painting the American Vision" — 45 rapturous paintings from the New York Historical Society — surveys the Hudson River School painters, dubbed for the upstate New York river where they spent their summers prospecting for sights to transform into ravish
Manifest destiny
By GREG COOK  |  August 05, 2011
busy monsters, gillian

Busy Monsters

STUNNED BY LOVE and some would say stupid from too much sex, I decided I had to drive down South to kill a man.
Chapter 1, excerpted from the novel by William Giraldi
By WILLIAM GIRALDI  |  July 22, 2011

the great depression and republican Bolsheviks

There is no mystery to the debt crisis. Plus: Scott Brown, and the Boston Foundation

Understanding the debate about raising the debt ceiling, and imagining the economic crisis that will follow if Congress fails to do so, is really very simple.
Republican Bolsheviks
By EDITORIAL  |  July 22, 2011

Review: Happy Days at the Courthouse Center

Every period has a Golden Age, whether it's Greeks looking back upon the justice goddess Astraea or Americans looking back upon the glories of rock 'n' roll.
Yesterday once more
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 08, 2011
Ungerer is back

The return of Tomi Ungerer

Last week, the children's book artist Tomi Ungerer returned to America for the first time in over a decade.
Moon man
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  June 24, 2011

Happy Flag Day

Betsy Ross has some new ideas for promoting the flag.
By DAVID KISH  |  June 10, 2011

Review: My Perestroika

Socialism might be a dirty word in America, but for Russians during the Soviet era, it was the way things were.
Transitioning to capitalism
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 08, 2011


The Royally Screwed Tenenbaum

After more than seven years and dozens of petitions, motions, and court appearances, the title fight over the future of music washed up on the South Boston waterfront this week.
Sharing is caring
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 08, 2011

Cambridge author Caleb Neelon traces graffiti's hidden history

'TAKI 183' SPAWNS PEN PALS, announced the headline in the July 21, 1971, New York Times .
It was written
By GREG COOK  |  April 01, 2011

The last middle class American

The last middle class American, on the run from the recession.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  March 25, 2011

Review: Cactus Grille

Longevity for a non-ethnic Mexican restaurant around here sometimes has less to do with quality than with the Americanization of tastes.
Mexican with an American accent
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 25, 2011