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For Memphis Three, a bitter guilty plea

On Friday — after inspiring songs, award-winning documentaries, and celebrity-led protests — the West Memphis Three were suddenly freed from state custody, but only after all three pleaded guilty to the murders as part of the deal that secured their free
Prosecutorial discretion
By RICK WORMWOOD  |  August 26, 2011
Various Artists - True Soul: Deep Sounds

Various Artists | True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax

Soul hounds love deep, obscure shit — the deeper it is, the more obscure it is, the funkier it is, the more Southern it is, the better.
Now-Again (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 15, 2011
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Beth Ditto | Beth Ditto EP

Remember when Mary Beth "Ditto" Patterson was just a blues singer? The Arkansas-born belter used to wail punk blues for the Gossip - the trio who made her a star - like the second coming of Janis Joplin.
Deconstruction (2011)
By JEREMY ADAMS  |  February 04, 2011
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Review: John Brandon's Citrus County

Pre-teen creeps abound in contemporary cinema.
Creeps done well: Anti-social wonderland
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  September 17, 2010

Southern exposure

Though I grew up in northern Indiana, my mother took us to visit her large Southern family during summer and holiday breaks.
Savoring from Arkansas to Shreveport
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  July 23, 2010
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Art in the air conditioning

From Picasso to William "Shrek" Steig's cartoons, and surfer photos to a Twilight Zone toy store, New England offers art worth traveling to this summer. Here we round up the best in the region, no matter the weather or your artistic inclinations.
Local museums keep you cool — and the art's pretty good, too
By GREG COOK  |  June 18, 2010


Can the Netroots triumph in Rhode island?

Stories of State Representative David Segal’s nascent, underdog run for Congress invariably make a nod to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. And rightly so.
On the Hustings
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 21, 2010
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Still life

Nobody knew very much about Mike Disfarmer. Even his name was a fabrication.
Disfarmer at the ICA
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  May 21, 2010
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It takes an identity thief

In late April 2006, shortly before the hearing to evict his tenant Karen Keester, Lee Gersch received a phone call from Keester’s twin sister, Michelle. She had just gotten divorced, Michelle claimed, and needed to move to Boston from Arkansas for a new
How Karen Keester made off with $250,000 — and became one of Boston's most accomplished con artists
By JACLYN TROP  |  April 23, 2010
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Kid vicious

It’s not easy being a rapper from Wisconsin. Just ask 23-year-old hip-hop lifer Juiceboxxx.
Juiceboxxx cares not for your nerdcore
By LEOR GALIL  |  April 09, 2010
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Mystic muso

“America’s Pre-eminent Music Writer Dead at 52” was the headline on Robert Palmer’s obituary in Rolling Stone after his liver failed in 1997.
The erudition of Robert Palmer
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  November 06, 2009


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Art for money's sake

This weekend, hundreds of arts marketing gurus and administrators from across the nation will descend upon the Creative Capital, aka Providence, for a four-day (October 30-November 2) national gath-ering entitled “CollaborACTION!”
Marketing dept.
By RICHARD ASINOF  |  October 30, 2009
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Splendor on the screen

The arc of Elia Kazan's professional life has its origins in the Group Theatre, where he was trained as an actor and performed in the original 1930s productions of Clifford Odets's Waiting for Lefty and Golden Boy .
Elia Kazan at the HFA
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  July 31, 2009
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Felonious dunk

The Antoine Walker Era was one of the most depressing in the history of Boston sports — having to root for that guy was like having to be a groomsman at your sister's jailhouse wedding to a shoplifter with a club foot.
Antoine Walker throws up a brick. Plus, breaking and entering, Arkansas-style.
By MATT TAIBBI  |  July 24, 2009
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Bill Frisell | Disfarmer

Guitarist Frisell is one of jazz's great impressionists, and here he has the perfect subject for one of his audio mini-movies: the eccentric Arkansas portrait photographer Michael Disfarmer.
Nonesuch (2009)
By JON GARELICK  |  July 17, 2009
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Review: Brüno

Candide camera
Sacha Baron Cohen's Brüno restores bad taste to its rightful place
By A.S. HAMRAH  |  July 10, 2009


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Levon Helm | Electric Dirt

Helm's 2007 Dirt Farmer won the Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy for its acoustic arrangements of songs plucked from the Delta soil of the Band drummer and singer's rural Arkansas youth.
Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  June 26, 2009

Jim Bob Duggar

A conservative Baptist, former Arkansas state legislator, and star of TLC mini-series stinkers such as “14 Kids and Pregnant Again” and “17 Kids and Counting,” Jim Bob Duggar is a cultural carpetbagger with little regard for his wife's vagina. His 20 puk
THE SPERMINATOR
By Boston Phoenix Staff  |  March 26, 2009
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Revenge of the nerds

Barack Obama's new administration has been characterized many ways — as a return to liberalism, a Chicago Mafia, and the harbinger of a new age.
For the first time since JFK, 'the best and the brightest' are back in the White House. Will Ivy-League intellect be enough to set the country straight?
By STEVEN STARK  |  January 21, 2009
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California’s shame

The politics of division as practiced by lame-duck president George W. Bush at the connivance of his onetime Svengali Karl Rove are not dead.
Equal marriage rights suffers a setback, but there is hope. Plus, young voters.
By EDITORIAL  |  November 12, 2008

Let the rabble eat cake

Isn't it comforting to know that Dubya II McCain’s top economic advisors are Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina?
The economy is in shambles, and McCain doesn’t get it
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 24, 2008


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Rural libertarians

For something so full of personal quirks and whimsical detail, John Brandon's first novel, Arkansas, is a sober, even dignified, read.
Disorganized crime, rendered elegantly, in Arkansas
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 30, 2008
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Changing times

The changes today's presidential candidates are talking about are modest in comparison with the radical leftist politics of the first half of the last century.
Revisiting 20th-century progressivism
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 04, 2008
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Beyond the spin

The day after Barack Obama inched ahead of challenger Hillary Clinton in the superdelegate count, the indefatigable Clinton won the West Virginia primary.
Why Clinton's commanding West Virginia win is more show than substance
By PETER KADZIS  |  May 14, 2008
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Media rebels in the Internet age

Bloggers have “used a new and powerful medium and ‘crashed the gates’ to ensure that information — the most important ingredient in a democracy — would be available to anyone who wanted to write, read, or debate.”
The debate-defining posts of Rhode Island activists wield influence beyond their readership
By IAN DONNIS  |  May 01, 2008
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Cinema paradiso

Elusive animals, the mysteries of time past, peer pressure, and, inevitably, Iraq dominate what we were able to screen from the sixth annual Independent Film Festival of Boston.
The Independent Film Festival of Boston is movie heaven
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 22, 2008


Jackson's sweet dream

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 1988 issue of the Boston Phoenix.

Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign


By SCOT LEHIGH  |  March 07, 2008
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Corporate welfare state

In 2006, state lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to give away millions of tax dollars a year for decades to some of Maine’s biggest corporations.
A little change in the tax law with big consequences
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 20, 2008
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See spot run

The roughly 205,000 campaign ads that have run on American TV so far this primary season have undoubtedly played a major electoral role.
Candidates seeking the Oval Office are blitzing the airwaves with political ads. But only one seems to be making any traction.
By LESLIE SAVAN  |  February 13, 2008
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Levon Helm

If there’s still any debate over who was the soul of the Band, it ends with this album.
Dirt Farmer | Vanguard
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 12, 2008