Secondhand Row

Inside Bedford's culture of bootlegs, used books and junk busts At some point during the gentle morning hours, between the time when Saturday night bar goers shuffle home to sleep and when the cafes open for Sunday brunch, Bedford Avenue between North 3rd and North 8th Streets makes a quiet transformation. Women and men, some dragging pushcarts, others driving station wagons, unfold card tables and spread brightly colored blankets onto the sidewalks. Handmade t-shirts and glass pipes are…

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How to Ride a Wake

Or, the Arcade Fire puts the fun in Funeral. The short history of the Arcade Fire is fast being laid down in meteoric highs and dismal lows. During the year and a half since forming, the Montreal sextet has lived through the deaths of three family members, survived the dark chill of a Canadian winter, and worked crappy, on-the-black bakery jobs to cover expenses recording its debut LP, Funeral. So maybe it's to be expected when a scheduled interview from the road finds that they've traded…

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Everyone’s an Outlaw Now

Stomping along with other Portland old-timey acts, Power of County digs up the past. But don't call it bluegrass. Something's different about the audience at the Power of County show on a recent Friday night at Billy Ray's. Indie kids and cowboys tap shoes and boots in time to the scrap-yard rhythms from the washboard. Punks plod the floor during the murder ballads with a gleeful anger. Hippie girls sway with arms outstretched like a gospel choir to the achingly moaned love songs—right beside…

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Uncivil Union

While he's breaking the laws of country and hip-hop, Sandman hooks up with actual lawbreakers. "I'm surrounded by anarchy, but I don't know if I'm an anarchist," laughs folk rapper Chris Sand, a.k.a. Sandman. He's sitting cross-legged and sipping coffee in his Olympia home, a progressive housing collective he shares with five others. The anarchy surrounding him isn't just from his Emma Goldman-inspired housemates. It's also a part of the 32-year-old's music career: He's recently hooked up a…

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The Late Blues Invasion

Fat Possum rescues a handful of bluesmen from obscurity. Imagine if, after the Beatles first hit it big in the States, the British Invasion hadn't followed them. In this bizarro world, the Rolling Stones are still popular back home—they've been playing scummy dives along the Mersey for 40 years—but they've never had a single hit in the U.S. The Who wrote a rock opera, but you've never heard it. A few years back, hoping to make some real money, they all signed to the same unknown record label,…

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Falling Out

In light of Richard Clarke's new bombshells, two books also set their sights on Bush & Co. Call it an idée fixe. Richard Clarke does, in his exposé of President George W. Bush's wartime performance that hit shelves last week. It's an accusation that has been offered twice in three months by disgruntled officials of Bush's inner circle: The president makes his facts fit his conclusions instead of the other way round. Eric Alterman and New York politico Mark Green have released their behemoth…

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The Softer Side

Mason Jennings might not always play it serious, but that doesn't mean he plays it safe. One way or another, every folk singer channels the ghost of Woody Guthrie. Either they play from his tough, serious side (the sorrowful, spiritually acute "Bound for Glory" balladeer), or they play from his softer, sometimes schmaltzy side (the Okie politico, the "let's go a-drivin' in the car-car, brrap-brrap-brap" easy rider). If the channel's an extreme of the serious side, you might get, say, Leonard…

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HBO Watch: Iron Jawed Angels

"In oranges and women," says the state psychiatrist who's just examined suffragette leader Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) during her 1920 prison stay following a fiery protest of Woodrow Wilson, "courage is often mistaken for insanity." It's with this cryptic, downright crappy line—a response to one anti-suffrage senator's huff that comparing Paul's jail-cell hunger strike to Patrick Henry's "liberty or death" credo is comparing "apples and oranges"—that the tide of popular opinion turns to favor…

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Alone Together

The young publishers at MacAdam/Cage gamble on new writers. There's a potent, near-ferine creativity exclusive to youth, as independent publisher MacAdam/Cage is well aware. Not only is the San Francisco house a youngster itself—its fourth anniversary comes later this year—it's also made its name publishing first, often experimental, works by young and unknown authors. Following an example set by the Denver indie MacMurray & Beck, which the house acquired in 2000, MacAdam/Cage has moved in…

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