Arts & Culture

537 articles
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Amen! (D'Angelo's Back)

A profile of the singer as he returns to the stage for the first time in a dozen years.

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New York Is Killing Me

A profile of Gil-Scott Heron.

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Downtown Is for People

On the then-new phenomenon of dead downtowns.

It is not only for amenity but for economics that choice is so vital. Without a mixture on the streets, our downtowns would be superficially standardized, and functionally standardized as well. New construction is necessary, but it is not an unmixed blessing: its inexorable economy is fatal to hundreds of enterprises able to make out successfully in old buildings. Notice that when a new building goes up, the kind of ground-floor tenants it gets are usually the chain store and the chain restaurant. Lack of variety in age and overhead is an unavoidable defect in large new shopping centers and is one reason why even the most successful cannot incubate the unusual--a point overlooked by planners of downtown shopping-center projects.
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Fascinating Fascism

On a book of photographs shot by Leni Riefenstahl in the 1950s and 1960s depicting an African tribe.

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Why I Write

An essay on motivation.

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Fifteen Years of the Salto Mortale

On Johnny Carson, a cold man in a hot seat.

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Playboy Interview: George Carlin

“It’s the American view that everything has to keep climbing: productivity, profits, even comedy. No time for reflection. No time to contract before another expansion. No time to grow up. No time to fuck up. No time to learn from your mistakes. But that notion goes against nature, which is cyclical.”

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Papa

When James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006, he left behind a fortune worth tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars. The problem is, he also left behind fourteen children, sixteen grandchildren, eight mothers of his children, several mistresses, thirty lawyers, a former manager, an aging dancer, a longtime valet, and a sister who’s really not a sister but calls herself the Godsister of Soul anyway.

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Mystic Nights

The making of Blonde on Blonde in Nashville.

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They Came. They Sawed.

In Austin in 1973, politicos and hippies could get together and create violent, visionary horror films for $60,000. So they did. The story of how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre got made.

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The Early David Letterman 1967-1980

“Every Sunday at my house … we watched The Ed Sullivan Show…. Whether we enjoyed it or not. That was my first lesson in show business. I don’t think anybody in the house particularly enjoyed it. We just watched it. Maybe that’s the purpose of television. You just turn it on and watch it whether you want to or not.”

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Last Tango in Tahiti

Hunting Marlon Brando.