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Reviews published during 2001.
2001 That's Not What I Heard
Steven Rubio
The Gossip have made an early name for themselves thanks to their infectious live performances. If this band had a motto, the word 'dance' would be the key...
2001 Putting the Morr back in Morrissey: A Morr Music Compilation
John Brady
As one of the more significant events in popular music, the flowering of global electronic music -- birth child of cheap, accessible digital technology, the end of the Cold War, and the relative exhaustion of rock 'n roll as a source cultural innovation -- never fails to leave me ambivalent.
2001 Bass and Superstructure
Aaron Shuman
For my tastes, Aphasic isn't far enough removed from Alec Empire's digital hardcore and the punk crust on it. Rather than explode rock's verse/chorus/solo format, Aphasic too often settles into it...
2001 Amped: Notes From a Go-Nowhere Punk Band
Bill Mithoefer
I really wanted to hate Jon Resh's entry into the fray, a rather sophomoric romp through the adventures of his band Spoke in the early nineties. But Resh has written a rather entertaining, if somewhat self-righteous romp through punk rock's total codification as a rite of passage during this period.
2001 Naming the Enemy: Anti-Corporate Movements Confront Globalization
Scott Schaeffer
Before the events of September 11 and the ensuing 'war against terrorism,' the biggest subject of debate on the left in the US had to do with anti-globalization protests, particularly those in Genoa.
2001 News Dissector: Passions, Pieces and Polemics: 1960-2000
Bill Mithoefer
For the past 40 years, leftist rennaissance man Danny Schecter has skillfuly reported, analyzed and criticized the facts that fall between the cracks.
2001 Secrets of Silicon Valley
Joe Lockard
Secrets of Silicon Valley, by husband and wife team Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, is a documentary film addressing the human labor that goes into producing Silicon Valley's electronic economy. This is not the high-paid labor from geeks working on a good mushroom pallor from their cubicle mazes, but from a factory floor workforce composed largely of women of color.
2001 Little Tenement On The Volga
Bill Mithoefer
Anyone suspicious of neoliberal proclamations about the failure of communism in the former Soviet Union during the nineteen eighties should read Little Tenement.
2001 Dawn of Decades
Mike Mosher
Beyond the strange vocalizations, there is garage-band bedrock to be found here.
2001 In Search of the World's Worst Writers
Joe Lockard
James Grainger was one of the most insensitive of poets, of the eighteenth century or any other. Once, while preoccupied with readings in Caribbean literature, I took a teacher's suggestion and read Grainger's awful four-book epic poem of Caribbean plantation agriculture, The Sugar Cane.
2001 Moving Forward: Program for a Participatory Economy
Jonathan Sterne
Any left movement worth its name needs to present a compelling alternative to existing ways of life. If we have a sense of what's wrong with our society, it is incumbent upon us to try and come up with a better alternative. Though this position seems commonsensical, it has been immensely difficult for leftists to agree on a concrete agenda...
2001 Days of War, Nights of Love
Zack Furness
As a person who is sympathetic to anarchist principles, I am frequently disappointed by the oversimplifications, underdeveloped theories, and hypocrisy that often disguises itself as anarchist literature.
2001 Tape Op: The Book About Creative Music Recording
Jonathan Sterne
Some time ago, I reviewed Tape Op, a magazine dedicated to creative, do-it-yourself audio recording edited by the well-regarded Portland studio owner and hipster engineer, Larry Crane. Since then, the first twelve issues of Tape Op have gone out of print and the magazine has gained an increasingly large following...
2001 White Power, White Pride: The White Separatist Movement In The United States
Bill Mithoefer
White Power traces the development of racist, anti-semitic American hate groups...
2001 Evasion
Zack Furness
Evasion is a collection of zines that have been compiled for the first time by the good folks at the CrimethInc. collective. While the book is focused upon the life of the author, it is more acutely focused upon the politics of living and the ability for people anywhere to drastically change the ways in which they live.
2001 RE/Search: Real Conversations #1
Robert Soza
How do Rollins, Biafra, Ferlinghetti and Childish remain independent in a corporate world? That's the question posed on the back cover or RE/Search: Real Conversations #1.
2001 Rumors of the Faithful
Charlie Bertsch
I returned to this record recently after putting it aside in September. Surprisingly, it sounded like an old friend.
2001 Rock Til You Drop
Bill Mithoefer
Pouring through the confrontational pages of Rock Til You Drop persuaded me that not every baby boomer is sickeningly reactionary.
2001 Promises of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties
Bill Mithoefer
In Promises Of A Dream, Sheila Rowbotham begins as a lower middle class Leeds sixteen-year old in 1960, taking us with her through the protest movements of this over-hyped decade, and emerges in the burgeoning women's movement in London in 1969.
2001 O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Jeremy Russell
Clearly the Coens, who are far from mainstream directors and don't even work in conventional genres, have tapped into something essential in their audiences. O Brother exemplifies, even allegorizes, the essential dynamic which has made the Coen Brothers the kings of cult film.
2001 Grand Illusion, DVD Re-release
Steven Rubio
Grand Illusion is a movie about class that doesn't hate anyone. How often does that happen?
2001 Fortunate Son: George Bush and the Making of an American President
Nathan Keene
The suppression of Hatfield's book is chilling alone, but what makes it really remarkable is that it was carried out by the original publishers themselves, after the book had already become a New York Times best seller.
2001 Pinochet and Me
Nathan Keene
Surely few tasks are harder than the one Marc Cooper undertakes in his 'anti-memoir', Pinochet and Me: to commemorate a tragedy that never had a chance to be forgotten because it was never acknowledged by those who suffered it
2001 Andexelt
Charlie Bertsch
You know how some people have a thing for girls with naturally curly red hair or boys who wax their body with wood glue? I feel the same way about Finland.
2001 Traffic
Arturo Aldama
The message that all Mexicans and state apparatuses of the US and Mexico work for competing drug cartels locates the corruption of America in the South and denies how the addiction patterns of the North are central to the juridical, disciplinary and funding apparatus of the State.
2001 From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World
Mike Mosher
First of all there's that atrocious subtitle. Are we to believe that the 1990s were 'Post-Punk'? I don't.
2001 Love Rejoices
Lindsey Eck
This collection transcends the ideas that gave it birth and, irrespective of its claims upon the culture of the 20th century, stands on its own as an example of tenor virtuosity complemented by luxurious piano, and as a set of intriguing compositions by an innovative American composer.
2001 Vatos
Charlie Bertsch
The message is clear. No matter whether you go to mass or not, go to college or not, speak Spanish or not, you belong among your people.
2001 Communities Directory: A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living 2000 Edition
Mike Mosher
Over thirty essays on topics like starting communites and day-to-day managerial issues, advice for visitors' etiquette, provide a clear definition of cults vs. communities, the etiquette of visiting, the distinctions between ecovillages, cohousing, student co-ops, and income sharing project.
2001 Standards
Bill Mithoefer
In the technical miasma of these times, with computer programmers jabbering endlessly and often unintelligibly about PGP, RSP, SSL, DSL, etc., and a ceaseless stream of information at our fingertips, Tortoise has managed to create a positively beautiful record which sublimates some of this modern language into a product of products, a critique that engages while it disappears.
2001 Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War
Nathan Keene
Clouds of dust whirled up as the little clutch of protestors huddled beside the highway amid the wilderness of outlet malls just off of I-80 near Sacramento.
2001 Live at Chicago's Riviera Theatre, February 23rd
Micah Holmquist
Steve Earle concerts are an interesting phenomenon.
2001 The Caveman's Valentine
Samuel Jackson
"I'm not homeless. I live in a case." Romulus Ledbetter, a.k.a. Caveman (Samuel L. Jackson), says this so much in The Caveman's Valentine that it becomes his calling card. It's his line, like 007 telling people he's "Bond...James Bond."
2001 Moving Parts
Bill Mithoefer
No, I wouldn't call this music, but I wouldn't call it noise either. Hypnotic rhythms always reemerge through a maelstrom of aural anarchy.
2001 Force Continuum
Robert Soza
Force Continuum, a play by Kia Corthron, is a story of an African-American family living in New York City. What sets this apart from Good Times and The Cosby Show is its overt interest in the racial politics of being African-American in one of the most diverse cities in the world.
2001 Turned On: A Biography of Henry Rollins
Nathan Keene
I never could get into Henry Rollins all that much when I was younger. The fact that he stayed away from intoxicants of any kind was vaguely unsettling to me.
2001 You Can't Win
Nathan Keene
Long before William Burroughs was a gleam in anybody's eye, Jack Black was hooked on opium and gave himself the cure. Long before Kerouac wandered the continent in search of defiant thrills, Black had mastered the art of travelling for free and companioning with burglars, safecrackers, confidence men and bums.
2001 Freedom's Web: Student Activism in an Age of Cultural Diversity
Aaron Shuman
To hear some folks tell it, the American Left these days is hopelessly fragmented. On one side, there's a younger student Left that's got its head up identity politics and single-issue crusades. On the other, there's an older labor Left that believes you ain't got a thing 'til the union boss sings.
2001 Music is Revolution
Mike Mosher
It's dicey and questionable whether those raised on the theatrical spoken word CDs of Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins will appreciate 72 minutes of former white radicals from the Midwest sitting around in a cloud of reefer smoke talking "revolutionary politics, revolutionary culture and the Revolution"...
2001 Tracto Flirt
Joe Lockard
One argument concerning laptop rock has concerned its supposed privileging of individualism. When a musician is no longer part of a group, goes this argument, then a crucial vitality disappears...
2001 Red Star Sister: Between Madness and Utopia
Mike Mosher
Brody tells of her stint as a teenage member of the White Panther Party, living in its communes. She perceptively recounts personal and sexual dynamics in a Chicago White Panther household, and her experiments in their manipulation in order to find her own place.
2001 California Rhinoplasty and A Chance to Cut is A Chance to Cure
Joe Lockard
When I had my first endoscopy it was televised. I was half-conscious from the mild anesthesia, but remember being fascinated with the sight of a broadcast from a miniature camera far up my ass.
2001 Hip Hopera: Carmen
Lindsey Eck
Drawn in by the seeming absurdity of recasting Bizet's classic opera of Spain as a vehicle for commercial hiphop set in the 'hood, I was prepared to watch just long enough to get a good laugh...
2001 Bob Kerrey and Vietnam Memory
Ted Allen
Marxist cock suckers! Dilettante courtesans of the left never change.
2001 Pearl Harbor
Joe Lockard
The US conquest of Hawaii and other Pacific territories was never an act of innocence, whereas the film's preferred imagery concerns innocent and well-meaning Americans drawn abroad by foreign evildoers.
2001 Los
Megan Prelinger
The images themselves are an assembly of labor, structure, nature, infrastructure, and to a lesser extent, social space. Los is a constant reminder of how anthropocentric many films are, because of the extent to which it is dominated by unpopulated spaces, or spaces populated by people who are tucked inside of cars or trucks.
2001 J.S. Bach's Passion According to St. John
Lindsey Eck
In the St. John Passion we are presented with a horror story in which an innocent is tortured and slain according to the bloodthirsty principles we speciously call 'justice.' In a time when even Texans are starting to question the righteousness of wholesale lethal injections, this performance offered its audience a most uncomfortable allegory.
2001 Anarchy! An Anthology of Emma Goldman's Mother Earth
Bill Mithoefer
Peter Glassgold's timely compendium of articles from Emma Goldman's Mother Earth directly addresses the concerns of the post-Seattle left.
2001 The Accused
Joe Lockard
Good human rights reporting, such as The Accused, can do little to stop those intent on pursuing hatred through violence but it can put them on notice that witness and justice will not remain quiet.
2001 The Ralph Nader Reader
Aaron Shuman
The Nader Reader has a dated quality, with an ethic that owes more to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington than the New Left.
2001 Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong
Jonathan Sterne
Loewen takes aim at monuments and historical sites, which together with museums are coming to be called "public history" -- as in history that the public actually encounters and contemplates.
2001 The Sorrow and the Pity - DVD Re-release
Steven Rubio
The subject matter of The Sorrow and the Pity is simple: life during the Occupation, focusing on the small city of Clermont-Ferrand. The resultant film is transcendent.
2001 Imagine: A Socialist Vision for the 21st Century
Joe Lockard
The argument of Imagine begins with the larger picture of socialism and consciousness of the wrongs of wealth, together with occasionally brief and lucid excursions into theory. There is a quality of shine and passion to their vision...
2001 In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela
Heather Rogers
There is a huge social experiment underway in Venezuela and few on the American left seem to be paying attention.
2001 P.S. I Love You
Aaron Shuman
Providing deconstruction you can dance to (which ought to be a standard of music writing as well), P.S. I Love You is a love letter to the world of music and its simultaneous negation.
2001 The Legend of Rita
Anne Marie Brady
Although Rita, a committed West German leftist, is the film's focus, she represents something much larger--the fate of communism in East Germany.
2001 The West Wing and Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager
Jonathan Sterne
Review after review touts The West Wing as a kind of wish fulfillment, where the people at the top of the executive branch actually believe in what they're doing and work on principle.
2001 Mother Millett
Martha Bridegam
Kate Millett has been on a comeback since a 1999 article appeared in Salon Magazine expressing shock that Millett's feminist classic Sexual Politics had dropped out of print.
2001 Corpus Christi
Lindsey Eck
These days Austin may not be very tolerant of loud music or open green space, but it retains its gay-friendly attitude. When Corpus Christi premiered in sophisticated Manhattan, the theater was repeatedly threatened with violence; in reasonable, circumspect Indiana there were protests and litigation.
2001 Left Book Club Anthology
Joe Lockard
The story of the Left Book Club is a publisher's -- or a politician's --wet dream.
2001 Democratizing the Global Economy
Bill Mithoefer
Kevin Danaher, co-founder of San Francisco's Global Exchange, has assembled a dramatic and rather down-to-earth collection of articles in this study of the Washington, D.C. protests of April of 2000.
2001 Poets' Summit Interview Part III
Aaron Shuman
"I think the duty of the poet is to first deal with self, to transform self to that level where then they can step out and transform society."
2001 Poets' Summit Interview Part II
Aaron Shuman
I wanna represent the people who don't slam. Cuz I have never slammed. I have never in my life got up there and fuckin' slammed or competed at anything that has to do with poetry...
2001 Poets' Summit Interview Part I
Aaron Shuman
Another year, and another National Poetry Slam is complete, with Team Dallas taking the 2001 crown from host city Seattle last week. Bad Subjects marked the occasion by convening the following group discussion to talk about slam, an art form in transition from underground sensation to corporate sponsorship.
2001 The No-Nonsense Guide To Fair Trade
Bill Mithoefer
David Ransom cleverly uses the relationship between the U.S. agrarian cotton-based economy and England's cloth industry in the early part of the nineteenth century to illustrate the current global economic order.
2001 Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Panthers and Their Legacy
Aaron Shuman
The first morning I sat down to review the latest literature on the Black Panther Party, the Oakland Tribune featured a story on the latest project to emerge from the Huey P. Newton Foundation: a Panther clothing line.
2001 A Dirty War
Joe Lockard
The literature of social witness has too many continuing career opportunities for talented writers. As the artillery targets its howitzers, a correspondent with a laptop is near-sure to be within range.
2001 Stories Part Five
Joe Lockard
Part of Stilluppsteypa's positive aesthetic virtue lies in thwarting easy description or categorization. As Benjamin observed and the inapplicability of precedent and comparison emphasize, an aesthetic no longer exists and must be reinvented.
2001 Faking Literature
Tess Caiter
An introductory study of literary forgeries was long overdue. Someone had to list all those hoaxes, fictional autobiographies, fictional author personas, etc. -- in short, the whole range of literary frauds from plagiarism to poetic license, covering hundreds of years of literary practice and theory.
2001 The Trial of Henry Kissinger
Bill Mithoefer
As a record of the federal government's foreign policy in South East Asia during the Vietnam War, Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger is almost unparalleled.
2001 Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon
Aaron Shuman
This book is as an essential introduction to Nigeria as it is to the life of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the bandleader/activist whose fiery Pan-African polemics and fierce opposition to state power earned him the title 'The Black President.'
2001 Beneath the Paving Stones: Situationists and the Beach, May 1968
Charlie Bertsch
The writers of the pamphlets reprinted here would surely have avoided the perfunctory expressions of mourning. No, they would have boldly stated that the twin towers' flame-out is the perfect metaphor for a society of the spectacle being beaten at its own game.
2001 Reduce
Charlie Bertsch
"Can you dance to it?" -- no matter how much of a cliche this question has become, it remains a staple of do-it-yourself music criticism.
2001 Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals
Mike Mosher
African-American community murals had their roots in the generation of artists that flowered under the WPA's Federal Artists Program and then taught in historically black colleges.
2001 Headline News
Lindsey Eck
Like a Jenny Jones guest, CNN's Headline News received a complete makeover at the beginning of August. The result is a cheap dye job that only accents an increasingly obvious lack of substance.
2001 This is Serbia Calling: Rock 'N' Roll Radio and Belgrade's Underground Resistance
Joe Lockard
There has been a clear tendency towards celebrating the myth of a supposedly vibrant protest culture within and outside Belgrade. This book might lend support to that position, although such is not its project. When Moslems are being massacred by the thousands down the road, however, it is difficult to credit pounding techno club cellars in Belgrade as an effective location for protest.

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