August 4, 2005
AS THE GREASY bass line dropped, the smoked-out backbeat kicked in and the guitars started twanging and moaning, I knew I'd be all right. Then Jaguar Wright's earthy alto fell in, ripping into "The What Ifs," the first cut off her 2002 debut, Denials, Delusions and Decisions. I knew I'd be safe. See, I got all the right questions / And you've got all the wrong answers / And I got all of the sadness / And you end up with all the laughter ... She took me home. I hadn't heard realness like that in a while -- a rainbow voice ornate with the blues.
December 13, 2002
Mike Leigh's All or Nothing is an exhilarating movie about sadness and renewal, set in a London housing project. It's an unlikely follow-up to Leigh's brilliant Gilbert and Sullivan extravaganza, Topsy Turvy. But in its own way All or Nothing is piercingly musical, too, from the first shot of a girl pushing a mop through the hall of an old-age home while an elderly woman advances toward her slowly, with a cane, resisting help. In lesser hands the material would be dreary. Mike Leigh, both a superb filmmaker and a humanist, grasps the rhythmic beauty of the scene and turns it into a poem on the duty of the young character and the determination of the older one. Leigh has a way of depicting force of habit that accentuates the positive even when what's happening is negative.
September 7, 1997
They wanted to say goodbye to someone they felt they knew.Thousands of people left messages and a field of flowers at Kensington Palace, Princess Diana's London home; stood in line for hours to sign a book of condolences at St. James's Palace, where her body lay before the funeral; performed the equivalent task by signing a guest book on the Internet; or wrote a few brief words at British embassies and consulates around the world.One wreath of white flowers outside the consulate in New York stood 7 feet high.
March 12, 1999
The bittersweet lilt of a clarinet ushered a stream of students and teachers into the Woodlawn High School gymnasium. Here, in the roll-out bleachers that are "Warrior Country," scores of somber teen-agers gathered yesterday to reflect upon the life and death of one of their own.They hung their heads, then smiled. They gazed mournfully into the distance, then laughed. Finally, they clapped their hands -- a round of applause for the friend with the unforgettable smile.They came together to remember Hae Min Lee, 18, a senior whose body was found Feb. 9 in a shallow grave in Leakin Park.
September 8, 2011
O, say can you see relief (pitchers) in the future of professional baseball in Maryland? The losing team's fan's simultaneous lament and cry of hope that there's always next season has grown a little more poignant as the years have gone by. The Baltimore Orioles have been in a slump that will soon be measurable in decades rather than years. The bright star of Cal Ripken Jr. and his exemplary work ethic kept fans interested locally even as the Orioles organization closed up shop before the start of the postseason year after year.
March 31, 1991
It was never a matter of memorizing dead spots on the parquet or the way the lip of the south rim bent ever so slightly. The lighting? Nothing out of the ordinary, Andrew Toney reports. In fact, said the former Philadelphia 76ers guard, the only thing special about the creaky court on 150 Causeway Street was that it served as the stage for his most famous role: the Boston Strangler."My first step out of the locker room, I was in range," Toney says. "It was easy. I have no explanation for it. It was just easy for me to score at Boston Garden."
May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 27, was an extremely sad day for the United States of America. That a sitting president should feel the need to release his birth certificate in order to quell nasty rumors about his eligibility to hold office was shocking, but then to hear even that did not wholly satisfy the doubters, some of whom are now questioning his college records, is almost unbelievable. I cannot help but think this is a result of prejudice. Because he is biracial? Has an unusual name? I had been hopeful that we Americans had progressed beyond that.
July 14, 1994
They had gathered at a West Baltimore rowhouse wearing black tuxedos and fancy dresses, preparing to mourn a 79-year-old family leader who died Sunday and was to be buried this morning.Instead, they pulled up to the Edgewood Street house to find firefighters digging through debris, pulling out a stack of charred Bibles that were part of a family collection, and ambulances whisking the deceased man's widow and daughter to the hospital.The wife, Georgia Hamlin, 77, and daughter, Joyce Black, 59, were dressing for the funeral when an air conditioner on the second floor overheated and ignited, fire officials said.
September 11, 1994
If only for a few hours, the turmoil of a country hundreds of miles away did not dominate Walter Rolton. Amid the strains of reggae and calypso music at the 13th annual Caribbean Festival, he almost forgot the unrest in Haiti.But concern for his homeland and the strife among his fellow Haitians is never far from his mind."Yes, I do think of there much, very much," Mr. Rolton said yesterday as he sat against a tree at Druid Hill Park and watched thousands of festival-goers. "Sometimes you think about it too -- much and you do nothing else.
January 18, 1991
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When three Navy officers in dress uniform knocked on the door of Michael Scott Speicher's Jacksonville home at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, his wife, Joanne, knew why they were there -- to tell her that her husband had been shot down in the Persian Gulf."