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James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover which looks like it was thought up by a couple of drug-addled on-line kids -- and with a title from a B-grade movie -- comes the latest album by one of the great ignored/overlooked/wayward talents from the South. This is a man for whom a never-recorded, whiskey-soaked Sun session overseen by a voodoo priestess with Mick'n'Keith (c...

NIXONLAND: THE RISE OF A PRESIDENT AND THE FRACTURING OF AMERICA by RICK PERLSTEIN reviewed (2008)

NIXONLAND: THE RISE OF A PRESIDENT AND THE FRACTURING OF AMERICA by RICK PERLSTEIN reviewed (2008)

If there is a sense of deja-vu about the current political landscape in the United States it is perhaps less Barack Obama being hailed as the inheritor of the mantle bequeathed by those golden martyrs John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King than it is in the presidency itself. This Bush (“Omega Bush” as some critics call him, as...

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Drive through America's southern states tuned to country music radio stations and you'll hear it; Letters from Home by John Michael Montgomery. It's real catchy, was still in the top 20 of the country charts after six months, and you can guess what it's about. But in case you miss the sentimental message the video is even more literal:...

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas: Don't Forget to Remember

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas: Don't Forget to Remember

A hot Monday morning and I'm sitting outside of what remains of the old Alamo in the centre of San Antonio, Texas. From here the Crockett Hotel looms above the old mission, and street cars and taxis rumble across land which was once splattered with the blood of hundreds. Tourists, few of them international if the visitors book can be...

Austin, Texas: The dream deferred

Austin, Texas: The dream deferred

For a sensitive, gay New York Jew he sure picked a helluva place to live: Texas, the home of rednecks, Stetsons, and chicken-fried steak, that peculiar delicacy which is a perfectly good piece of steak deep fried in thick batter. But Austin in Texas is where David now calls home, and where he runs Summit House, his tastefully decorated,...

Lubbock, Texas: Lubbock or leave it

Lubbock, Texas: Lubbock or leave it

There comes a time when anyone who travels becomes Blanche Du Bois, the woman in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire who famously said, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers". We might not always be as needy as that faded southern belle -- but when you need help strangers are often the ones you depend on....

Dallas, Texas: The shots heard around the world

Dallas, Texas: The shots heard around the world

A simple wrong turn and the pressure of traffic forced us to carry on down the road, looking for an exit. But then, through a set of traffic lights, we were there. "This it," I shouted. "Look. This is it." I drove on as slowly as the urgent traffic would allow but we looked around at the slow dip and curve of the...

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