In honor of his win of the National Book Critics Circle Award and Throwback Thursday, here’s my 1990 Village Voice story on Paul Beatty. We had dinner last night and I’m happy to report he’s as modest and flat-footed as ever.Paul Beatty 1990
Category Archives: Throwback Thursdays
In honor of Throwback Thursday and the upcoming Grrls on Film festival at LMU, here’s a story I wrote for The Village Voice in 1996 about a new wave of female filmmakers, including Miranda July, GB Jones, and Sadie Benning. Note the headline: “Grrrls on Film.” Certainly, this was my first use of the phrase, and, perhaps, anyone’s? I guess I’m still stuck on ideas I had 20 years ago. This also is probably the first interview with Miranda in a major newspaper. Interestingly, the story ran with a review of the grunge documentary Hype (and, typically, got bottom billing).
In light of the recent resuscitation via Twitter of Solange Knowles’s feud with Jon Caramanica, and just to point out that white male critics did not invent coverage of R&B, here, in honor of Throwback Thursday, is my interview with her in Interview magazine, circa 2003. Now if only I could find my even earlier Interview interview with her big sis Beyonce, back when she was in Destiny’s Child.
In deference to Straight Outta Compton, for today’s return of Throwback Thursday — blasts from my journalistic past — here’s my 1991 article for Musician magazine on women rappers, particularly Yo-Yo and Nikki D. I remember getting into Ice Cube’s tour bus after a show in Chicago, the bus driver stopping me for a second, then Cube giving the nod that I was “with the band.”
Since it’s quoted in today’s New York Times review of Jessica Hopper’s book, for today’s Throw-Back Thursday, I’m posting “The Feminine Critique,” the 1992 Village Voice article that became the launching pad for Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop and Rap, the collection Ann Powers and I coedited 20 years ago. Back then, the Times paid it no attention whatsoever. Today, Dwight Garner highlights it as “an excellent anthology.” Ah, the life of a pioneer. At least this work is being honored while Ann and I are still alive. Sometimes, survival is the best strategy. I’m posting the slightly rewritten version that was the intro to the book.
In my own version of Throw-Back Thursday, I’m going to start posting articles from my publishing past. In 1991 I wrote a feature story for The Village Voice about the literary renaissance that was unfolding largely in Downtown venues, particularly the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I called it guerrilla poetry. This was the first in-depth article on this scene, long before New York magazine put Edwin Torres on its cover. I still consider many of the poets and novelists I wrote about — Miguel Algarin, Tracie Morris, Mike Tyler, Paul Skiff, etc. — to be some of the most talented people I’ve had the honor to meet, let alone write about. Nuyorican Article