Elevate Difference

Reviews by Eleanor Whitney

If It Ain’t Cheap, It Ain’t Punk: Fifteen Years Of Plan-It X Records

If It Ain’t Cheap, It Ain’t Punk is a sweet, well put together documentary film that captures the spirit and feel of the do-it-yourself, underground punk scene that has grown up around Plan-it X Records in Bloomington, Indiana. The film began as part of a filmmaking workshop at Plan-it X’s weeklong festival in Bloomington in 2006.

Gone Are All the Days Remix

It’s a hard to imagine releasing a 12” vinyl maxi singles in an MP3-obsessed world, but that’s what K Records have boldly done for Mirah’s remix of "Gone Are All the Days." While angel-voiced Mirah could hardly be compared to club-hit-making ladies such as Lady Gaga or Madonna, this remix tries to come close.

Le Refuge (The Refuge)

A film like Francois Ozon’s Le Refuge could only be French. It is beautifully shot, populated with complicated and not and entirely likable characters, and deals with taboo subject matters in a nuanced fashion. The film centers on Mousse (Isabelle Carré), a sharp-tongued young woman who struggles with heroin addiction. When her lover Louis (Melville Poupaud) dies from and overdose and she finds out she’s pregnant, she decides to keep the baby against the wishes of Louis’ aristocratic mother and escapes Paris for a beach-getaway in rural France.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes

While the memoir fad is nothing new, Elizabeth Bard’s new book confirms the emergence of a memoir subgenre to contend with: the memoir with recipes. In May 2009, the New York Times proclaimed these books as the brainchild of the “money-making imagination of the publishing industry.” Certainly, a spate of globe-spanning titles have followed, many born from blogs. However, the story of the American in Paris has long been a favored literary subject. It has sparked writers’ imaginations from Henry James to Anais Nin to Elaine Dundy to David Sedaris.


Anyone who follows music press would agree that Brooklyn has been a hotbed of indie creativity during the past decade. The styles run the gamut from freak-folk to experimental noise, to sugarcoated pop, to singer-songwriter confessionals, to good old fashioned rock and roll.


Ghosts is a gripping, ten song, posthumous love letter from Brooklyn’s Nakatomi Plaza. Aptly named for a record released after the band’s break up, the album comes with a booklet of liner notes filled with blurry black and white photos and reflections from each of the members about their time in the band.

Rated O

Brooklyn’s noise rockers Oneida revel in not being able to be pinned down to a definition. They also are enormously motivated, as their newest offering, the triple album Rated O, can attest. While they have been classified as psych rock or krautrock, the influences on Rated O are wide ranging.

Songs for Tuesdays

As their name implies, Australia’s Summer Cats' new full length Songs for Tuesdays is full of catchy, sweet melodies that are reminiscent of beach weather.

My Electric Family

Bachelorette is the electronic dream pop project of New Zealander Annabel Alpers.


A is for Accident, a Portland-based duo of Andrew Klaus and Julie Baird, is driven by Baird’s song writing and reverence for 1980s bands like Joy Division, Depeche Mode, and The Cure.

Detroit /Fabric 45 and Fabric 46

These two albums are the products of London’s Fabric nightclub’s monthly CD series. Fabric’s musical offerings span the electronic dance spectrum, and while they are super club with three distinct dance spaces, the sounds of Omar S on Detroit/Fabric 45 are refreshingly minimal. Referencing the famed early 1980s Detroit House scene, the album’s beats are loaded with reverb and recall the work of groups from the 1980s such as Liquid Liquid and ESG.

Lessons in Integration: Realizing the Promise of Racial Diversity in American Schools

This dense volume brings together a wealth of scholarly essays that address the topic of integration in American schools in the early twenty-first century. The book is the fruit of a collaborative research roundtable convened by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Harvard University in 2004.  2004 was also the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka that led to the end of legal segregation in American schools.

Black Male Outsider: Teaching as a Pro-Feminist Man

In this compelling, readable volume that is part memoir, part classroom case study Dr. Gary L. Lemons employs the theme of moving from silence to voice, and what this means for anti-racist, feminist pedagogy.