photography by Elizabeth Lavin
County Commissioner John Wiley Price, on his own web site, says he is a seeker of truth, a warrior for justice, and “Our Man Downtown.” And Our Man Downtown doesn’t have time for “playin’,” as the kids say. This is why author Vincent L. Hall gives front-cover props to Price as inspiration for his moving self-help book, The Very Best of Quit Playin’. The author’s thoughtful ruminations on race in chapters such as “George Shoots and I Rack” and “Big D, Little a, Double L-A-S!!” force the reader to look beyond color, creed, and even the accepted rules of punctuation to focus on the bigger picture. Take “The Music Makes Me Black, Not Blue.” In it, Hall posits, “It ain’t what’s on yo’ head, it’s what’s in it.” For those too busy to read it all, the back cover summarizes well Hall’s erudition: “They’ll never respect you as a Warrior—as long as you keep actin’ like Buckwheat!!” As true today as it ever was.

Norah Jones’ third album, Not Too Late, is scheduled to drop January 30. Her label, Blue Note Records, hasn’t distributed review copies to the press, but advance word has it that the Dallas native gets experimental on several tracks. This will be the first Jones disc on which she has written or co-written every song. She says it will reflect her humor. Growth, for an artist, is great, but so was Come Away With Me. We’re hoping she doesn’t stray too far from her Texas roots and dances with what brung her.

photography by Elizabeth Lavin

A bit of a shameless plug, because Misty Keasler has shot for D Magazine, but the Dallasite’s new book of photography is out this month. Love Hotels chronicles the Japanese subculture of the same name: places where couples pay by the hour for amorous liaisons, the rooms decorated to any taste, from subway-car eroticism to space-age bondage. Still, it isn’t as freaky as you might imagine. But it is funny.