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Friday, February 1, 2013

Kim Harrison on The Hollows

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Kate ThorntonKim Harrison After nearly a decade and 11 novels in her best-selling urban fantasy series The Hollows, author Kim Harrison admits that the characters "almost seem real" to her. "I know them better than a lot of my neighbors," says Harrison in a call from a hotel in Houston on her latest book tour. The author will appear at Quail Ridge Books and Music on Saturday, Feb. 2. "I’ve spent almost 10 years with most of the characters in the books, and know what they will and won’t do—but it’s most exciting for me when they do something I...

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

UNC School of the Arts graduate Craig Zobel gets under your skin with Compliance, now out on DVD

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Photo by Ben EngebrethCraig ZobelIt’s not every Hollywood résumé that includes multiple Southern art films, a flash animation about a tiny Luchador and an award-winning feature about an interrogation in the back room of a fast-food restaurant, but UNC School of the Arts graduate Craig Zobel is not your typical filmmaker—and his latest film Compliance, which hit DVD this week, is anything but your typical film. In its premiere at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Compliance proved one of the most controversial films there, prompting multiple walkouts in its initial screening. And last month, INDY Week's Neil Morris called it...

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden talks The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Journalist Mark Bowden’s books have covered everything from D-Day to cyber war to NFL football to the intense military action of Black Hawk Down, the basis for the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Now, he’s chronicled a recent and harrowing event in international history with The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden (Atlantic Monthly Press), a chronicle of the 10-year battle to find the notorious terrorist. We spoke recently with Bowden, who appears at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh on Thursday. INDY WEEK: It’s only been a little over a year and a half since bin...

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Emma Straub talks classic Hollywood with "Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures" at Flyleaf Books tonight

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Photo by Sarah ShatzEmma Straub's decision to do a signing for her debut novel Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (Riverhead Books, $26.95) at Flyleaf Books at 7 p.m. tonight was sealed earlier this year when she casually stepped into the bookshop while in town for a show with the Magnetic Fields. “The most amazing thing happened—when I walked in the door, I saw a copy of my galley, which was brand new, on the desk," says Straub on a call from her book tour. "And then Land Arnold, one of the owners, looked up at me and said, ‘We were...

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Friday, September 28, 2012

A conversation with Joe Rogan, the podcasting, joke-thief slayer

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Photo by Brian FriedmanJOE ROGAN@Memorial Auditorium7:30 p.m. When it comes right down to it, Joe Rogan will always be a stand-up. He may have served as a electrician of the '90s cult sitcom Newsradio, a replacement host for The Man Show, a UFC commentator and, most infamously, the host of the extreme reality show Fear Factor. But the man still takes pleasure performing his wild-eyed, button-pushing brand of stand-up. And when he isn't standing up riffing and ranting, he's sitting down, still riffing and ranting, as host of the podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan, 45, talked to the Indy...

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Questions for Brian Regan, a hard-working, good-guy comic

Posted By on Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Photo by Brian Friedman BRIAN REGAN@ Durham Performing Arts Center7 p.m. Even if you’ve never heard of Brian Regan, the minute you see him perform, you immediately fall in love with the guy. A 30-year veteran of the stand-up scene, the Miami-born, Vegas-based comic is well-known for his clean but still utterly uproarious stand-up. His humor has definitely given him not just fans but famous fans, like Jerry Seinfeld (who drove him around during an episode of his Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) and Marc Maron (who had him as a guest on his WTF with Marc Maron...

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Get a Life, the surreal Chris Elliott TV series, comes to DVD

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The neologism “man-child” has in recent years come to refer to the types typically played on screen by Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn and other gentlemen aged roughly 21-40 who partake in video games, alcohol, pot-smoking and varied instances of gay panic, foul language and confusion/consternation with the opposite sex and the realities of adulthood. Those who complain about the proliferation of these types may consider themselves lucky that they never encountered 30-year-old paperboy Chris Peterson. Chris, the alter ego of actor Chris Elliott, was the star of the late, great Fox sitcom Get a Life, which ran from 1990-92 and...

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Boneshaker author Cherie Priest talks steampunk at ConTemporal in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Photo by Libby BulloffCherie PriestWhy should you head to ConTemporal, the Chapel Hill-based science fiction convention that focuses heavily on the retro-futuristic concept of steampunk? We’ll let the con’s literary guest of honor Cherie Priest tell you why. Steampunk, for those not in the know, is a branch of science fiction that postulates what would have happened if modern or futuristic technology had been created in the past, using the technology and materials available at that time, e.g. steam engines, zeppelins and the like. It’s become a particularly popular subset of science fiction fandom, with many fans creating steampunk-themed outfits...

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 ADF Season Honoree Mary Regan: The Independent Interview

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM

NC Arts Council2012 ADF Season Honoree Mary ReganThe American Dance Festival is dedicating its 2012 season to long-time supporter Mary Regan. At its opening gala on June 14, ADF Director Jodee Nimerichter noted, "Her incredible leadership of the North Carolina Arts Council transformed North Carolina into a place where art matters and thrives. Her years of innovative programming enriched North Carolina’s diverse and dynamic arts community and touched lives throughout the state and beyond." In February of this year, Regan retired after 39 years with the North Carolina Arts Council—36 of them as its executive director. On March 2, just...

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Chris Gethard talks about weirdness, New Jersey and tonight's show at Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Wikimedia CommonsIf you have no idea who Chris Gethard is, then you obviously haven’t been watching The Chris Gethard Show, quite possibly the most quietly addictive show on the Internet. Simultaneously broadcasted on Wednesday nights on Manhattan public access and Ustream (the episodes are also archived on iTunes and Blip.tv), the show features Gethard and a peanut gallery of sidekicks, including ornery best friend Shannon O’Neill, various people in costumes, an old lady who constantly hula-hoops and Human Fish, a man who’s mainly covered in swim trunks, flippers and an unbelievable amount of body hair. With their assistance, Gethard has...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Birbiglia, Emo and Brill: Zach Ward discusses returning to North Carolina to oversee NC Comedy Arts Festival

Through Feb. 19

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

NC Comedy Arts FestivalZach Ward (right), performing with Emo Philips at last year's NCCAFZach Ward is currently making it his thing to be at two places at once. The former Chapel Hill resident and current DSI Comedy Theater owner and executive producer has been making Boston his home as of late, running the ImprovBoston theater in Cambridge, Mass. However, he’s still very much an integral, behind-the-scenes member of his pride and joy, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, which began yesterday with shows at the DSI Comedy Theater. We spoke to Ward about what to expect at this year’s festival,...

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, and "Why We Broke Up"

Posted By on Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Photo by Meredith HeuerDaniel HandlerTeen romance has been the subject of a library's worth of novels, but Daniel Handler, the novelist best known for his A Series of Unfortunate Events books as Lemony Snicket, has taken a different path with his novel Why We Broke Up (Little, Brown, $19.99). Taking place after the aforementioned breakup, the narrative takes the form of a long letter written by creative high-schooler Min to her recent ex-boyfriend Ed that accompanies a box full of mementos from their relationship, which are rendered as illustrations by Maira Kalman. With Handler and Kalman set to appear at...

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Last exit to Llanview: Michael Malone looks back at his work on "One Life to Live," which ends today

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Michael MaloneIn the end, it took very little to end the life of Viki Lord Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks. It wasn't the heart condition that had necessitated a transplant from her comatose fifth husband (the long-lost half-brother of her third, and also the third husband to leave her widowed), or either of the near-death experiences that that had sent her on two separate round trips to Heaven. Nor was it the stroke, the brain aneurysm, the killer virus, the breast cancer or the traumatic repressed memories that had resulted in her developing seven personalities and forgetting...

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In praise of nice nihilism: Alex Rosenberg discusses his new book on atheism

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Photo by Jim WallaceDoes the concept of atheism need a makeover? Is the term too negative, too focused on what one doesn’t believe? That’s one of the intriguing suggestions of Duke philosophy professor Alex Rosenberg in his new book, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions. As it happens, Rosenberg proposes “scientism” as a positive term to describe a worldview that does not contain a supernatural being. It’s a relatively minor point but it’s indicative of the focus of his book, which aims to provide a positive set of beliefs for today’s atheist. For Rosenberg, who has extensive...

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Author Kevin Wilson on The Family Fang; reading tonight in Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Photo by Leigh Ann CouchHis first novel, The Family Fang (Ecco, $23.99) only been out for a few weeks, but Kevin Wilson is already making waves as an author. The book's received rave reviews, including a full page in Time magazine and a profile of the author in the New York Times, and has appeared on that paper's bestseller list. The strange, tragic and very funny tale of two siblings coming to terms with being part of their parents' performance art experiments as children (from the boy infliltrating a beauty pageant in a dress to the parents staging a mock...

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Cybill Shepherd withdraws from North Carolina Theatre's Hello, Dolly!; our interview is here

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Courtesy of NC TheatreNorth Carolina Theatre announced this morning that Cybill Shepherd has withdrawn from its upcoming production of Hello, Dolly! after suffering an injury at her residence. [See note below.] According to Kristin Buie, spokesperson for the Raleigh-based theater company, Shepherd sustained her injury on a staircase last Wednesday morning. She soldiered on through the rest of the day, but on Thursday afternoon, a medical exam revealed that she had sustained a tibial plateau fracture and severe ankle sprain. The decision to replace her was made Friday afternoon, Buie said. Although there is an understudy for the role, NC...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Illness, privacy and reality TV: The Independent interview
with Now You See Me playwright Neal Bell

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Neal BellLate-stage lung cancer is certainly no joke. But Claire, the central character in Neil Bell’s new play, NOW YOU SEE ME, has an unexpected ally, of sorts. It’s her television—even though, a certain David Byrne lyric notwithstanding, they are not good friends.Bell’s dark comedy, whose world premiere opens Wednesday at Manbites Dog Theater, is a sharp-eyed critique from an industry insider of a medium that has proven, in its own way, to be every bit as metastatic in our culture as the carcinomas are in Claire’s body. Now You See Me asks to what lengths will a television network...

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Interviewing Kemet Jacobs of Black Poetry Theatre

Posted By on Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 3:12 PM

D.L. AndersonKemet Jacobs. Click image to enlarge.Kemet Jacobs is a member of Durham's Black Poetry Theater, a group that has fused spoken word, music and movement since 2006 into multi-media performances dedicated to creating both celebratory and healing spaces and invoking community. We spoke before the group's appearance at Performance Art Night. Black Poetry Theater performs "Letters to My Child" Sunday, Mar. 13 at 3 and 6 p.m. at Common Ground Theater. I grew up in urban upstate New York. My mom was 13 when she had me. I was in an out of foster care. My siblings were tossed...

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Performance Art Night Profiles: Tony Hughes, Dana Marks and Rus Hames

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Read our print preview here It’s a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon in Durham. As a group of artists filter into Duke University’s modest Branson Theater facility at the edge of its East Campus, I’m talking with Tony Hughes, artistic director of Very Normal Productions and founder of PERFORMANCE ART NIGHT, about the series he’s curated over the past three years, and its “10th anniversary”—the 10th collection of works—that will be presented over two nights this weekend at Common Ground Theater. (For a lineup of performances and info on an affiliated Saturday class in slapstick and clowning, go to the...

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Monday, February 21, 2011

"Half of Silicon Valley has something you'd call Asperger's": Interview with Temple Grandin

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Photo by Angus BremnerDiagnosed with autism early in her childhood, Temple Grandin’s seemingly improbable success as an animal behavior scientist and designer of livestock-handling equipment has made her a bestselling author and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2010. Later today, the 63-year-old author, scientist and advocate will speak at Duke University for the talk “My Experience with Animals.” Grandin, who received an honorary doctorate from Duke last year, spoke with us by telephone recently. “I talk a lot about visual thinking, and animal behavior, and trying to combining those things together, and how...

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Emo Philips keeps it old school at NC Comedy Arts Festival

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Photo by Andy HollingworthComedians are often friendly and thoughtful people in interviews, but rarely are they actually funny. But Emo Philips proves the exception to the rule, rambling off sometimes a dozen hilarious one-liners in the course of a single sentence. Here, for example, is his explanation as to why he’s playing the NC Comedy Arts Festival at Cat’s Cradle: “Well, about two years ago, I played Charlie Goodnight’s in Raleigh, and (festival creator) Zach Ward came up to me afterwards, and asked, ‘Would you like to play this festival?’ And I thought, ‘Boy, it’d be nice to play a...

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Bobcat Goldthwait: More than just a "Grover voice" at Goodnight's

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

For a generation of comedy fans, Bobcat Goldthwait is known as that guy with the weird, grating, man-child voice—one he used to great effect alongside Bill Murray in Scrooged, John Cusack in One Crazy Summer and multiple Police Academy films as reformed gang leader Zed. But in recent years, the once larger-than-life Goldthwait is keeping it small. He’s gone from the guy who once set The Tonight Show guest chair on fire to the acclaimed writer-director of the small-scale, ribald and pitch-black comedies Sleeping Dogs Lie and World’s Greatest Dad. Still, his wild-man reputation persists. Not that Goldthwait—whose weekend gig...

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Frasier and Spamalot star David Hyde Pierce takes spotlight at PlayMakers

Posted By on Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 7:27 AM

Photo by Joan MarcusOn the phone to discuss his receiving the PlayMakers Distinguished Achievement Award at the Carolina Inn on Saturday, Feb. 12, David Hyde Pierce shows little of the stuffy, obtuse uptightness he became famous for over 11 seasons as Niles Crane on TV’s Frasier. But the character’s fierce intelligence is on display as the four-time Emmy winner rapturously discusses his first love—the stage. Pierce, a Tony winner for 2007’s Curtains, first came to PlayMakers last year, when his longtime partner, UNC graduate Brian Hargrove (a long-time TV writer for such shows as Titus), was honored. Since Frasier ended...

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

"I’m just a black man trapped in a white woman’s body": Questions for Marshall Chapman

Posted By on Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Photo by Anthony Scarlati There may not be a harder-working woman in country music than Marshall Chapman. She's a musician, songwriter, journalist and actress. In her four decades-plus on the scene, she's played with, or had her songs performed by, or interviewed such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Joe Cocker and dozens of other leading lights. Last year, Good Ol' Girls, a musical she collaborated on with Triangle literati Jill McCorkle and Lee Smith, received a Broadway run. And she acted with Gwyneth Paltrow, in the recently released Country Strong. This weekend, she's in the Triangle for a pair...

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Durham native Heather Havrilesky discusses her new memoir and working for Rupert Murdoch

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Photo by Whitney PastorekWho doesn't feel that their quirky childhood would make a great book? But actually producing such a book takes the kind of wit and talent that Durham native and Duke graduate Heather Havrilesky has manifested into a writing career. In the introduction to her new memoir, Disaster Preparedness, Havrilesky writes: “Growing up in the ’70s, it was tough to avoid the specter of disaster. On every movie screen, airplanes plummeted to the ground, earthquakes toppled huge cities and monster sharks ripped teenagers to bloody bits. But more disturbing than the catastrophes themselves was the utter lack of...

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