Archives for March 2002


Succulent beef wraps itself in lemongrass and water chestnuts; rich bites of chicken mingle with spicy peppers and peapods; the fried rice is savory, the egg rolls zesty. But it’s the tofu that’s truly extraordinary. You must try the tofu. In this rainbow of wonderful flavor the tofu falls like a cloud into a hot […]

Neal Pollack

Given the choice between self-proclaimed “Greatest Living American Writer” Neal Pollack and self-proclaimed “Best Band in the World” Tenacious D, we’re inclined to go with the latter. Not only does Jack Black do a better job of keeping his chest hair under control, but rock stars are a hell of a lot more fun to […]

In the Middle of Everywhere, by Mary Pipher

(Harcourt) Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher’s groundbreaking classic on the not-so-pretty realities facing adolescent girls, spent almost three years on the New York Times bestseller list. Since then, just about every word Pipher has written has turned to gold. Her last two books, Another Country and The Shelter of Each Other, explored the demands of caring […]

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

Magicians occupy a peculiar place in American pop culture. Logically, they should be an anachronism, an antiquated relic of a time when simpletons were easily duped by non-digitally enhanced sleight-of-hand, a time when minstrel shows and vaudeville competed for ye olde American’s hard-earned entertainment dollar. After all, who could possibly be duped by an old-fashioned […]

The Fish’s Eye, by Ian Frazier

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Ian Frazier has been popping off funny and insightful little essays for what seems like a hundred years. He’s one of those annoying writers who basically gets to write anything he wants, for whomever he wants, and probably gets edited with a feather duster. Such are the perks of being, well, […]

Michael Frayn

After nine novels (and 13 plays) in his native Britain, Frayn finally garnered an American cult with Headlong, an engaging meditation on art, ambition, and the value of things cast in the form of a screwball caper story worthy of Charles Portis. His new novel, Spies, goes to quieter places. As an old man Stephen […]


Chank has a dream. Minneapolis fontographer, painter, and illustrator Chank Diesel is attempting to beat Picasso’s Guiness world record for producing more than a million pieces of work in his lifetime (he’s at 8,985 and counting). We at The Rake, however, value quality over quantity, and Chank indeed seems to have both. While the limousine […]

Charles Meryon Etchings, Mnpls Institute of Arts

Unless you take a somewhat scholarly shine to period Parisian architecture or 19th century European etchings, don’t kick yourself for not knowing much about the French printmaker Charles Meryon. Viewed from a distance, his short life (1821-1868) bears all the marks of a tortured artist: troubled childhood, lingering depression, persistent poverty, time served in a […]

Thinking in Captions

Since entering into a hellish and utterly surreal divorce almost two years ago (for starters, think accusations of adultery and public humiliation, job threats, slashed tires, rumor-mongering, a bitter and protracted custody dispute, an order for protection when things got really scary, $40,000 in legal fees on a teaching salary of $30,000, and a small, […]

Dave Matthews Band

Everyday is both the title of DMB’s most recent blockbuster disc and the frequency with which you’re likely to hear the band’s music, regardless of whether you actually want to. Let’s be honest, though. There’s lots to cherish about Matthews and his groove-heavy, love-hungry pop. Die-hard fans tend to get hung up on a recent […]