A week before Valentine’s Day. I’m sitting in the old Zodiac which is now the Yellow Sign Theater. The new owners kept the old incredibly atmospheric astrological wall mural, which sets a mood and really opens the place up. There’s a working neon green clock in the center of a yellow sun encircled by half-naked deities. A hunky Neptune gripping his trident and a goddess wearing nipple tassels seems very fitting for the “Twisted Knickers Burlesque, Love Stinks” show tonight. Packed wall-to-wall with people-sardines the show is sold-out. A huge, humorous salmon sign on the wall inside above the entrance reads, “Fresh Fish Today.” I can hardly wait.
Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, Cat Stevens was one of the most popular recording artists of the 1970s. His string of hit singles included “Wild World,” “Moonshadow,” “Morning Has Broken,” and “Peace Train,” to mention a few. Anyone familiar with Cat Stevens of that era knows that he was an artist who was always searching, so it wasn’t all that surprising when he underwent a religious conversion to Islam, changed his name (yet again) to Yusuf, and went into retirement. Yusuf returned to the land of major labels with his 2006 album Another Cup, and followed it with 2009’s Roadslinger. On the bluesy effort, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone (Legacy), credited to Yusuf / Cat Stevens, the singer/songwriter darkens the sky with his cloudy cover of “You Are My Sunshine,” and sings the blues on “Editing Floor Blues,” “Big Boss Man,” “Gold Digger,” and the title tune. There are glimpses of beauty to be found on “Dying to Live” and “Doors.”
On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, a reception was held in the lobby of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore to celebrate and announce the 100th season of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and to unveil the BSO’s new logo. The BSO’s 2015-2016 season will feature homecomings of world-class artists who have played an important role in the BSO’s history.
I’m coming late, but not too late, to the Divergent series having only seen the first film in preparation for the press screening earlier in the week. The plot of the first film basically tells us that a post-something future which has ruined the world sees its surviving humans divided into factions which are supposed to help society rebuild with everyone in their proper place.
Jonathan Harper’s debut short story collection Daydreamers (Lethe Press, 2015) is the kind of book that you hope it would be – a fantastic introduction to a creative and original voice in fiction. The stories are populated with an arresting assortment of characters, including repo men, tattoo artists, suspension artists, role-playing gamers, friends, family and those occupying the grey area between friendship and kinship. Throughout the stories is a pulsing undercurrent of sexual tension and dilemma that keeps the pages turning. I spoke with Harper about Daydreamers in early 2015.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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