Elevate Difference

Reviews by Ailecia Ruscin

Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland

As we enter the final countdown to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, we will hear political pundits talk in red- and blue-state terms. The shorthand goes like this: blue states are progressive and urban, while red states are conservative and rural. And those purple states? Well, forget about those states; they're the bisexuals of electoral politics. We just don't know what to do with them. (wink) As someone who has spent most of her life participating in radical social movements in the red states I call home, I was hoping Joshua Frank and Jeffrey St.

New Moon

In my Alabama high school, our English teacher had us select writers to do a report on. She carefully went down the list announcing a name with a short one-line bio to quickly introduce the writer to the class. My hand shot up to claim Sylvia Plath when I learned she committed suicide in her thirties; I was morbidly intrigued. In preparation for that school report I remember sitting in the library with headphones on listening to a BBC recording Plath made of her poem "Lady Lazarus." I can still hear the tone in her voice when she announces: "I have done it again.

Barfing Girl Tote

I've been collecting tote bags for years, long before they were available in bright patterns at Old Navy and Urban Outfitters. As with many accessories, there are those of us who wear belts to keep our pants up, and those of us who wear belts to show that we're aware of the latest trend. I am of the utilitarian camp, and so, I expect a tote-bag to be strong and durable. I want to take it to the Farmer's Market and stuff it full of greens, peppers and a bottle of water for the road. I, then, want to visit a garage sale and know that I can stretch the tote bag to squeeze in a new hoodie.

Golden Sun

The Winter Blanket: a perfect name for this band, one that describes the feelings this band evokes: soft, comfortable and warm. This 6-song EP is sure to leave many listeners eager to hear more from this Minnesota band. When asked why the band delivered an EP, rather than a full-length record, the band reports: “We took the cream of the crop, no filler and put it on the EP.” And we thank them because this EP is solid from beginning to end.

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography

I jumped at the opportunity to review Becky Goldberg’s 37-minute documentary, Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography. I thought that perhaps I had found the perfect documentary to show in my intro to Women’s Studies course. Instead, I am disappointed because topics like safety for sex workers, unionization in the sex industry and issues of inclusion for people of varying body types, ethnicities, genders and sexualities is mentioned, but mostly glossed over.

Sister Spit: The Next Generation (4/18/2007)

Some of you may have heard about the original Sister Spit tours in the mid- and late-1990’s. The tours were organized punk-rock band-style: a shoddy van with nights spent sleeping on floors of anarchist collectives and punk houses, but instead of music these tattoo-clad queer folks delivered words from their newly published books.


_“I can’t believe that I have to go back to high school. I saw a whole bunch of ‘cool kids’ at the movie theatre today. They looked at me like I was a freak and then acted like jerks by yelling and throwing food all the way through the whole movie. This is what they think rebellion is. They also think it’s rebellious to take tons of drugs, have unsafe sex, and go to secret parties in farmer’s fields.

Outer Space

This 10-song album is the first full-length recording for DC hardcore band, Mass Movement of the Moth. Post-apocalyptic lyrics about civilization crumbling amongst all its technology, this band offers music that is simultaneously melodic and chaotic, beautiful and messy. Layered and complex, this album presents classic hardcore with a dance-y keyboard edge that makes the band seem like they are doing something new with a genre that can get a bit tired.

Continental 62

More listenable than Cat Power, but with some of the quirkiness of Joanna Newsom and Björk, Christina Rosenvinge’s super smooth and sweet voice delivers an indie rock sound that is just listenable enough to share with my mother. Madrid-born, Danish-descended Rosenvinge chooses to pay homage to her transnational roots and routes by naming the album Continental 62, after the flight she regularly takes between Newark and Madrid.