I Am the American Cool

The first time I saw Janelle Monáe was a photo in a magazine. It was 2010. “This woman,” I said, possibly out loud to the entire room, “is the coolest person in America.” A decade later, I not only stand by that assertion; I will double down on it.


Shadows: A Summer-to-Fall Soundtrack

I have my rituals. Apple cider donuts, a drive through the Hudson Valley, prepping my Samhain pre-game, long walks late at night, and of course the assembly of a suitably moody soundtrack that captures the strange spirit of this transitional season.


Hebrew Horrors

If you turn the horrific cinema lens on the rich ocean of Jewish folklore, you come up with almost nothing. Oh sure, every now and then a rabbi totters on-screen to help out a priest.

Tarot Will Teach You

Until this year, I had not touched a tarot deck since high school. That was a long time ago, and I took very few things seriously back then. I guess I take very few things seriously now, but I am at least a more dedicated researcher.

Jiving Driveling Scum

A mass of hopped-up teenagers stampede onto a dance floor, jerking and gyrating to a driving, twangy guitar rock anthem. This is not the youth of Britain as audiences were used to seeing them.


One Slow Descent Into Respectablity

Every now and then, though, a filmmaker slips one through that doesn’t kowtow to the need to have everyone punished for having sex or a nip of booze. Such is the case with The Pleasure Girls.

War of the Welles

Although I’d not heard the broadcast, even at that young age I’d heard of it. Any kid with a decent collection of monster and sci-fi books knew the legend of Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds.

How Nat Became King

Before he was “King,” he was Nathaniel Adams Coles. In the 1930, he put together a rowdy jazz trio that was a lot different than the Nat King Cole most people know.

We Travel the Spaceways

My first exposure to Sun Ra came thanks to a VHS of a film called Space is the Place, a strange amalgamation of blaxploitation, surreal Jodorowsky-esque journey, and concert film.