Elevate Difference

Reviews by Patricia Ethelwyn Lang


When I listened to Necima I was reminded of how humans have always wanted to be birds, to spiral up into the clouds and dash across the landscape without touching the ground. A bird’s voice is the most true instrument of music. They can send shivers down our spines without effort because they are natural singers.

Brown Bagazine (Issue Four, Spring 2008)

Why do we read poetry and poetic prose? Some people like the unique language. Others recognize the “ordinary” described in a new way. We read poetry, ideally, to change, inside. Gypsy Daughter is a poetry chapbook and literary magazine publishing company. Their intention is to create an attractive physical venue for poets to reach their audience. Brown Bagazine, Gypsy Daughter’s quarterly literary magazine, is such a venue. I laughed with pleasure, when I first saw Brown Bagazine. What a clever idea, this is!


Sound aficionados who venture forth on the Fabric path will discover music that is progressive, exciting, and out of this world. If you’re not a fan of drum n bass, break beats, and electronic music, you have to make the commitment to listen, but if you love sound and the evolution of human creative expression, that commitment is not hard to make. Noisia is the Dutch trio of Nik Roos, Martijn Van Sonderen, and Thijs de Vlieger. They have been involved in the drum n bass music scene since 1998, and own two record labels: Vision and Division.


Underpass is a fifteen-minute film about a Cambodian family (survivors of the “Killing Fields”) trying to survive in the USA while also assisting an illegal immigrant, possibly from Mexico. It is about trying to stay sane in a violent world. It is about trying to play by the rules, and still be humane. It is about living with your nightmares. There is a brilliant colorful thread, which runs throughout this story – the art of the main character, Sann. His art is illegal. He paints pictures under a bridge, hence the title Underpass. What he paints is both beautiful and horrible.

What Living’s All About

All would-be writers who have studied how to write know the rule: "show me don’t tell me." Visual artists find this advice easy to do and musicians are, perhaps, the same way. When the creative instrument does not rely solely on words, showing is not too difficult. Alicia Bay Laurel wrote Living on the Earth, a cult classic and the first paperback on the New York Times Bestseller List (spring 1971), which has sold over 350,000 copies. She has also written five other books. Laurel is a talented, trained musician.

The Films of Su Friedrich, Vol. 1: The Ties That Bind

When I read what The Ties That Bind was about, I knew I had to see it. Su Friedrich interviews her mother, Lore, about what it was like living in Germany during World War II. It is a brilliantly woven film tapestry - a mixture of story-telling, historical film footage, current newspaper articles/titles, current war protests and dozens of modern “political mailings.” I recommend it to everyone.

M’Bem di Fora

If you wish to fully appreciate this album, I would recommend that you read about the artist and the music first. I was lucky in that I received a press release with the album. I listened to the music, which varies from slow, ethereal songs to finger-snapping, toe-tapping beats. Then I read about Lura, and the background of each song. I was able to go back and listen, again, for real.

NACLA Report on the Americas (Mar/Apr 2007)

Free thinkers must support the independent, alternative publications in this country as a protest against mainstream media’s skewed priorities. Inevitably, news is slanted. With an independent publication, the chance of reading the unvarnished truth is enhanced. If you wish to embrace diversity and heighten your understanding of our neighbors “South of the border,” read the NACLA Report on the Americas.

Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

When I started to listen to Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, I thought “Oh, folk rock, how… er… nice.” Not that I have anything against folk rock, but… Then the beat kicked in. Forty minutes later, I was still dancing in my seat. This music rocks! The lyrics are good poetry about love, sex and strong women. There are some out of the ordinary instruments used on this album, such as a glockenspiel. I like different; it makes my senses perk up.