by Lydia Howell
Rejecting the seasonal escalated consumerism of Wal-Mart sweatshop-made stuff doesn’t mean becoming a principled Grinch. More ideas are within most themes in the Alternative Guide. I like finding gifts that “give (at least) twice” — to the recipient and to support something positive: local artists, community based endeavors, good causes.
Ancestor Energy, the jazz-synergy band of poet Louis Alamayhu and pianist/composer
Carei Thomas. Their mystical power ignite spirits in any season.
Southern In My Soul, the latest from bluesman Big George Jackson —
stripped-down (mostly) originals, renders true ‘roots.’
Marry Me with Ain’t No Mountain High Enough re-mix to RuPaul
singing “Love is Love,” a romantic pop-rock-folk sampler of multiple
artists. Benefits the ACLU’s efforts for gay marriage. ACLU.org/GetEqual
Sophia Shorai debut album of TC jazz ingenue with smoky sweetness, heard
every Wednesday at the Dakota now in downtown Minneapolis.
of Mars,” Minneapolis glam-rock band All The Pretty Horses’
lead singer, Venus (aka Stephen Grandell) & his wife, writer Lynette Reine-Grandell.
A journey into gender-bending identity and a love story. VenusOfMars.com
“My People Are My Home,” a lyrical tribute to Minnesota’s
“prairie socialist” / poet-activist MERIDEL LESUREUR. Made by the
Twin Cities Women’s Film Collective.1976. Newly available. DVD/video
Other films available from St.Paul’s Center for International Education:
“I’m Sorry I Was Right” about 1968 presidential candidate,
MN Senator Eugene McCarthy; PEACEWORKS, an anthology of shorts; and “No
Reservations” about Native-American poet/playwright Vietnam Vet Jim Northrup.
For complete catalogue: CIE.org 651-227-2240
Christopher Loch, Twin Cities activist-artist T-shirts. Bush with sign “Will
Kill for Oil” sure bet. Many stark graphics in the punk mode. CONTEMPL8.com
Finally, someone points out rightwing Christian hypocrisies, with provocative
questions about war, greed and pollution. ThinkAboutItShirts.com
“The Impossible Will Take A Little Longer,” an anthology
of today’s most visionary progressives, collected by Paul Loeb. His last
book, “Soul of a Citizen” tells of ordinary people’s political
“The Good Fight:” Ralph Nader’s memoir of fiery battles
to make real the promise of American democracy, from 1950s to now.
Rodriguez takes 21 years working in a Detroit auto plant and creates a luminous
collection of characters in “Autopsy of an Engine.” Mark
Nowak’s SHUT UP SHUT DOWN are labor poems of dispossession and
defiance. The Twin Cities independent Coffee House Press produces quality originals.
“Walk With The Devil.” Michael Quinn, a 23-year veteran
of Minneapolis cop, combines drama and crucial insights to do real “community
From Sierra Club to the War Resisters League, there’s practical inspiration
that supports causes—social justice, peace, the environment.
AmnestyUSA.org. Tibetan mandala T-shirt, famous calendar of global faces, more.
Supports human rights.
KFAI Community Radio mug, 612-341-3144, and a pound of free trade coffee from
a co-op: pleasurable gifts supporting THREE positive things! ||