Recently Published

Where Everyone Knows You--or at Least of You
(The West Side Spirit, May 8, 2008)
"It's not quite Cheers, but Jake's Dilemma has plenty of its own charms."

LifeSavers: Guster's "Jesus on the Radio"
(PopMatters, May 7, 2008)
"There have been many bands I loved, and many more songs that defined me. But it was a YouTube clip that renewed my very connection to music."

Book Review: Mortified: Love is a Battlefield
, March 28, 2008)
"In an age of MySpace, Twitter and Facebook, what makes a collection of diary entries from the pre-Internet era so engrossing? For many, the book will no doubt evoke a sense of nostalgia for anyone who took to their own Trapper Keeper notebooks or unicorn-emblazoned diaries to hash out their angst and confusion."

East West Magazine

Comics Get Cultural: How Archie Comics Are Diversifying to Mirror Today's Reading Public
(East West Magazine, Dec. 2007/Jan. 2008)
"The adventures of red-headed Archie, frenemies Betty and Veronica, best pal Jughead and the rest of the gang are quite popular in India. So it makes sense then that the editorial brain trust behind the long-running comic book series have finally responded by introducing the first Indian (and Asian) character to Riverdale, U.S.A: Raj Patel."

Express Train to Stardom (Profile of The Darjeeling Limited's Amara Karan)
(, Oct. 2007)
"While her role as a gorgeous foreign stewardess who enchants American men could have been a one-note character, in a few short scenes Amara Karan infuses the enigmatic Rita with a compelling intelligence and vulnerability that a whole film could be built around."

Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori: Taking on the World
(East West Magazine, Aug./Sept. 2007)
"Over the past few months, the former dance student has attended star-studded events, auditioned for a hit primetime series and is set to star in a reality show. Yet, she still has an air of wonder about the myriad of ways in which her life has been transformed since winning the Miss Universe 2007 crown."

Kiran Chetry: A Ray of Light in Morning News
(East West Magazine, June/July 2007)
"“There’s something so exciting about being the first newscast on the air every day...What is special about mornings is that it’s such an honor to have people decide to wake up with you. If the first thing they do when their alarm clocks go off is they turn on the TV to see you, it’s your obligation to keep them informed.”

Desi Literary Festival Blows into Windy City
(East West Magazine, Mar/Apr 2007)
"'Kriti'" is derived from the Sanskrit word for "creation." So, it is more than fitting that this word was chosen to christen a Chicago-based South Asian literary festival, for by its very existence, the festival creates a much-needed place for local desi writers and readers to gather together in celebration of the literature they love."

TV Sweep: Asian Faces Now Showing
(East West Magazine, Jan/Feb 2007)
"Once relegated to small and often stereotypical roles with few lines, actors of Asian descent are now being interviewed by Joan Rivers on the red carpet, parlaying their TV success into burgeoning film careers and even getting recognized by the pop culture zeitgeist like “People” magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” issue. But some might wonder, despite the glitz and the media attention, how much progress has truly been made?"

Haute Chinese Cuisine at Home: A Legendary NYC Restaurateur Shares His Favorite Recipes
(East West Magazine, Jan/Feb 2007)
"Michael Tong, the owner of Shun Lee Palace and Shun Lee West, says some refer to his restaurants as institutions it's easy to see why. The New York City-based restaurants...have hosted nearly 10 million patrons during 40 years of business, and the menus have featured nearly 400 dishes to date."

Theater Reviews

Theater Review: I Google Myself
(, June 26, 2007)
"The words "I Google myself" elicit a sheepish kind of embarrassment, that out of boredom, curiosity, ego, or a combination of all three, we all at one time or another have wanted to see what a collection of URLs on the Internet says about our place in the world."

Theater Review: A Guy Adrift in the Universe
(, Apr. 22, 2007)
"Sometimes when reviewing plays, the most difficult part is trying to summarize the plot without giving too much away. But for A Guy Adrift in the Universe, it's really pretty simple: a guy is born, lives, then dies."

Theater Review: stirring
(, Mar. 16, 2007)
"The characters in stirring are wary of the online dating stigma, but they can't help logging on to look for love anyway. On the surface, their taste in music (Mogwai, Devendra Banhart), the clothes they wear (vintage Converse high-top sneakers and thrift store jackets, ballerina flats, and leggings), and their place of residence (Brooklyn's Williamsburg) advertise that they are too cool for personal ads."

Entertainment Weekly

Burning Question: Taxicab Confessions
(Entertainment Weekly, Feb. 18, 2005)
"Sure, those randy passengers on HBO's Taxicab Confessions sign releases before they stagger into the night. But how is that legal if, let's face it, most of these folks are wasted?"

TV Watch: Lost, "Homecomings"
(, Feb. 10th, 2005)
"The series is best when it goes beyond the Jack and Kate Show and focuses on the other survivors...Take Locke's episode: Sure it was memorable because of the wheelchair shocker, but that wouldn't have made such an impact if we hadn't seen that Locke the All-Knowing Island Guru was once a pathetic, Risk-playing box-company employee."

Special Guests: EW's list of TV hangouts
(Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 3, 2004)
"The O.C.'s new club, the Bait Shop — host to gigs by Seth-approved bands like Modest Mouse and the Walkmen — is the latest in the time-honored tube tradition of hangouts that give shows the excuse to have musical guests. Here, other TV hot spots and the acts who stopped by..."

Pros and Cons: 13 Great Heist Movies
(, originally published Dec 2004, re-published June 2007)
A list of must-see heist movies

Role Call: George Clooney
(, Dec. 4, 2004)
A photo gallery retrospective of Clooney's career, from pizza delivery man to CBS News producer

DVD Review: Home Improvement, First Season
(Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 26, 2004)
"One of those 1990s shows built around comedians, this male-centric family sitcom is based on Tim Allen's macho observations about home life — the jokes punctuated by his signature ape-like grunting."

Newport Newbies: Meet the new kids coming to 'The O.C.'
(, Nov. 3, 2004)
"Four young actors are joining the cast of Fox's smart teen soap to mix things up for Ryan, Seth, Summer, and Marissa."

Caller I.D.: 'Gilmore Girls' phone number links to charity
(Entertainment Weekly, Oct. 8, 2004)
"Not all phone numbers on TV are five-five-five fake. The season premiere of The WB's Gilmore Girls saw Luke get a new cell phone number that actually works..."

Music Reviews

Better Days, Passenger
"If the songs on Passenger's Better Days EP could be described as a color, the music found here would be the deepest shade of twilight blue, the color the sky turns as it fades from daylight to darkness."

Smile, Brian Wilson
"The beauty of Wilson's Smile does not reveal itself immediately. This is not Pet Sounds Part II, where the loveliness of each individual song enthralls you upon first listen. The patchwork method in which the tracks were recorded lends the album an impressionistic quality that takes some getting used to."

i, Magnetic Fields
"The songs on i have that [Cole] Porter quality, a classic combination of witty lyrics and elegant pop music that seems like it could have been written 20 years ago or 20 years from now."

Songs in the Key of Orange Alert, Audio Fiction
"Call it either a strange coincidence or an extreme PR move: Audio Fiction released their new EP, Songs in the Key of Orange Alert, so named because the songs were recorded in New York while the city was under that terror warning, at the same time a new Orange Alert was announced not long ago."

Hello Starling, Josh Ritter
"What distinguishes Ritter from many of them is the engaging simplicity to his music; it's as if he trusts his songs to stand on their own without heavy production or ornamentation. He has a knack for winsome melodies, at turns tender and reflective, ebullient and wry, and he is the rare lyricist whose words are gorgeous enough to stand on their own as poetry."

Indeed!, Jon Gorey
"Gorey has created 12 songs of feel-good barroom rock, the kind of music that, even when heard for the first time, has an instant pleasing familiarity without seeming derivative."

Dresden Dolls, Dresden Dolls
"Theatrical, crazy, sad, disturbing, hilarious, veering from the melodramatic to the profanely exhilarating, the Dresden Dolls invite a music writer to come up with a whole host of adjectives in an attempt to capture not just their sound, but their entire act."

Avalanche, Thea Gilmore
"It would be easy to classify her as a Fiona Apple type: a smoky-eyed and smoky-voiced chanteuse who sounds wise beyond her years. But Gilmore really deserves more credit than to be classified as merely sounding like Apple, or any other female pop musician; instead she sounds like someone who majored in the Great Songwriters, absorbing the influence of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits to create an album of songs of intimate and smart-edged beauty."

Wig in a Box: Songs From and Inspired By Hedwig and the Angry Inch
"Wig in a Box finds an eclectic mix of musicians paying tribute to "Hedwig"; it's a covers album whose proceeds go to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk School, a high school for gay, lesbian and transgendered youths. Such a worthy cause has engendered an equally worthy album."

Personal Essays

Music Transforms the Unknown Into The Extraordinary
"Music is important while traveling, functioning as a soundtrack for your travels, acting as a kind of diary or reminder of everything you have seen. More than any other art form, it is the signpost of our memories, an aural map that helps us recall the memorable moments of our lives."

Is The End of the Album Near?
"Listening to Automatic for the People reminded me how an album can be an intimate piece of art, a carefully created work that's a gift from the artist to the listener." [This article was actually written during the heyday of Napster, pre-iPod]