Junot Diaz’s new fiction challenges yet delights

Published in an August issue of The New Yorker, “The Cheater’s Guide to Love” is a postmodern affair that should be taken with a grain of salt.  A cheater’s guide to love? The idea is laughable, as is his titular proposition: You’re going to allow the exact antithesis of love
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The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter

America loves brothers who can sing: Kings of Leon, the Bee Gees, The Everly Brothers, Oasis.We can’t get enough. And who could possibly be better to further this national romance than those good-natured, southern, banjo-wielding Avett Brothers? Straight out of Concord, N.C., Scott and Seth Avett come with identical scruff and
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Goin’ Off: Kleening with Jupracobrah

“Buckle your seatbelts / You’re in for the ride of a lifetime.” Your wet-work specialist is here to “kleen” the rap game, or at least make it more interesting by investing in the truth. Yes, his name is Self Jupiter. And no, there’s no need for questions. He’s had a job like
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Bilingual ‘Chinglish’ lost in translation

If you give a cursory glance to the current signs on the walls of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, you might think yourself insane. In the men’s bathroom (nevermind why I was there), in lucid black ink, a framed piece of paper displays Chinese characters with the following statement beneath: “Salute
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Cat Power: Sun

It’s brutally unfair. We have been enjoying the fruits of Chan Marshall’s woe for nearly two decades now, and it has been anything but a symbiotic relationship. Plagued by family turbulence, substance abuse and a slew of highly publicized breakups, indie darling Marshall — known musically as Cat Power —
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The xx: Coexist

Following the release of The xx’s debut album, xx, the band was swarmed with critical acclaim and immense popularity, leading to seemingly endless touring and spots in high-profile music festivals across the globe. After three long years, the band returns with Coexist, a follow-up album destined to be subject to
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‘The Fisherman’s Wife’ tickles with tentacles

Imagine with me, if you will, a common scenario. There’s a man and a wife. They’ve been together for a while. The heat they once shared has all but died out. Instead of any romance, they just have rows, and in place of any affection, there’s just stale, monotonous boredom.
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This Week in Arts

Our lead critics recommend the latest and greatest in culture: VISUAL ARTS While choice in media is generally widely varied in the Bay Area, art openings next weekend seem to favor photography. Photo-related exhibits have been popping up all over, especially related to manipulating images through technology. On Thursday, the
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Atlas Genius talk roots and newfound fame

It’s been a while since the U.S. got hooked on an Australian band. There was the Jet phase — how can you still not bob your head to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” — and even Powderfinger made some noise for a while. There seems to have been a
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The Vaccines: Come of Age

It’s amazing what a group of four British boys can do with guitars. Arising from a long list of iconic British foursomes whose names begin with “the” — The Clash, The Smiths, The Libertines, to name a few — The Vaccines are the most recent to conquer the landscape of
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