School Days – Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet

Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy played with pianist/composer Thelonious Monk for four months in 1960. He’s made explorations of Monk’s music a significant part of his career and discography ever since. In 1961, Lacy formed this quartet specifically to interpret  ...

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Jazz is all about making personal statements. The introspection which earns surprised plaudits in pop is routine in jazz. A jazz performer is expected to turn each album, each tune, into a journey through his own heart and mind,  ...

Porno – Irvine Welsh

It’s possible to argue that the lifestyle depicted in Irvine Welsh’s breakout novel Trainspotting was so dead-end that a sequel could only prove depressing and, ultimately, useless. Who wants to read about a bunch of hapless, scamming junkies, ten  ...

In the Hand of Dante – Nick Tosches

This book is both literally and figuratively unreadable. First, the literal problems: many (presumably) important lines are in Italian, Hebrew or Latin. Further, Tosches bogs his narrative down to dwell, at mind-numbing length, on numerology and etymology. Second, the  ...

I.K.U.

The paradox of pornography is this: on one level it’s the most rawly functional of film genres, serving an overwhelming primary purpose, to which all other values are subordinate. It’s possible to be entertained by the dialogue or  ...

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

David Bowie has always enjoyed an inflated reputation based primarily on being there first. He anticipated, and arguably initiated, the trend toward increased theatricality in live rock performance. This made him extraordinarily successful throughout the 1970s, most notably in  ...

More Vision and the Voice (2002)

This Vader is not in any way affiliated with Darth Vader, Lucasfilm or any related entities. It's a Polish death metal band with an admittedly silly name, but that shouldn't be held against them. Vader isn't a top-tier act  ...