Mock & Roll

There is a rock god on stage at the Triple Rock Social Club bestriding the speakers like a colossus, his Loverboy T-shirt sacrificed to a Dionysian frenzy, his tongue out and waggling, his fingers pulsating. With a quick kick and flip, he’s down in the crowd, then up on the back bar, strutting around the […]

The Sharpie Marathon

At one table, two devils wandered through a postapocalyptic wasteland. At the other end of the room, a boy and girl passionately embraced, but tragically, she turned into a robotic killing machine and chased him all over the city. (Modern love is like that.) Across from them was another pair of lovers whose affair was […]

Getting Away to It All

Jim Stowell will literally go halfway around the world just to get a good story. A prominent force in the local theater community for thirty-five years, the actor and playwright has developed a specialty in the last decade and a half as a master monologuist. His deeply personal tales—funny, angry, politically aware, and wry—draw from […]

“Hubert Humphrey Was a Vampire!”

“So you’re telling me,” I ask the Pope of Witches, “that Hubert Humphrey was a vampire?” “Yes, he actually was. Hubert was a very interesting person.” So says Carl Llewellyn Weschcke. We are sitting in his spacious office at the St. Paul headquarters of Llewellyn Worldwide, the largest independent occult publishing house in America. At […]

Blessings in Disguise

Independent cinema is a bigger growth industry than you might think. A decade ago, there were maybe a hundred film festivals worldwide showcasing foreign films, documentaries, and low-budget fare. Now that number’s about a thousand. Here in Minnesota, the reigning king is the U Film Society’s international festival, one of the largest yearly draws of […]

Flame On!

Tom Hazelmyer may not be the first guy you’d think of as an art gallery owner. An ex-Marine and gun collector, his greatest claim to notoriety is Amphetamine Reptile Records, the Minneapolis-based punk-rock label he founded that defined the angriest and most abrasive wing of the hardcore movement of the 80s and 90s. AmRep built […]

Tony Hillerman: the Rakish Interview

New Mexican mystery novelist Tony Hillerman has been the unofficial cultural ambassador of the Navajo Nation for more than 30 years. His Indian detectives, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, have introduced thousands of white readers to the rich culture of the tribes of the American Southwest in bestsellers like A Thief of Time and Skinwalkers. […]

Cronenberg on Cronenberg

David Cronenberg is infamous for his unique style of horror filmmaking. His films–among them The Fly, Naked Lunch, and Dead Ringers–gaze with icy formalism on worlds where biology has gone mad. They’re a catalogue of physical breakdowns, sexual dysfunctions, florid mutations and hallucinations. His latest, Spider, based on Patrick McGrath’s novel, stars Ralph Fiennes as […]

Get Serious

The Rake goes inside the criminally overshadowed AV Club. If The Onion is the nation’s class clown, the AV Club—the newspaper’s unheralded entertainment section—is its thoughtful little wallflower of a brother. Originally a wacky complement to the newspaper’s celebrated satire, the section grew into its current format under editor Stephen Thompson, who fought for a […]

Nuke World Order

After the Coke bottle, the most enduring icon of the 20th century might be the mushroom cloud. Unlocking the secrets of the atom is science’s crowning achievement, equating matter with energy, and discovering a cheap and limitless source of power. On the other hand, it represents the all-too-possible destruction of life as we know it […]