I am an author, journalist, and critic living in New York City. I write about culture and the arts (especially music, movies, and books), ethnicity and race, politics, social and political theory. My well-reviewed first book , An Offer We Can’t Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America explores some of my longstanding preoccupations as a writer: cultural mythologies and their social impact; ethnic identity and stereotypes; popular culture, and especially film. My articles have appeared in The Nation, Film Comment, Newsday, Gay City News, The Advocate, Cineaste, In These Times, The Italian American Review and Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. I also am a contributor to the online publications PopMatters, The New York Journal of Books, Rootsworld, La Voce di New York and I-Italy.
Work Sample 1 Description
My interview with author Christopher Castellani about his novel Leading Men (2019), a speculative fiction about Tennessee Williams, his lover Frank Merlo, and some of the famous people in their lives. In 2020, it was announced that the novel would be adapted for a film, to be produced by noted Italian director Luca Guadagnino.
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Work Sample 2 Description
Histories of Italian American jazz musicians in New Orleans have tended to focus on a few figures, mainly Dominick “Nick” LaRocca, Louis Prima, Wingy Manone, Joseph “Sharkey” Bonano, and a few others. T his article discusses later instances of the African American and Sicilian American musical relationship in the Crescent City through three emblematic figures: the recording engineer and studio owner Cosimo Matassa, who, from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, was central to the development of the “New Orleans Sound” of rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll; Alphonse “Al” Belletto, a modern jazz saxophonist who defied aesthetic and racial barriers in the 1950s and 1960s; and Carlo Ditta, a musician, songwriter, and producer who works mainly with African American artists.
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Work Sample 3 Description
It's a late September night in Manhattan, and downtown venue Joe's Pub is presenting a quartet plus vocalist performing songs by Don Van Vliet who, under the moniker Captain Beefheart, and with a shifting roster of musicians who made up his Magic Band, created perhaps the most idiosyncratic and original body of work in what can loosely be called "rock".