Monthly Archives: August 2008

In a career of autograph hound hysteria and enthusiastic bootlicking, this sentence by Kathryn Jean-Lopez is breathtaking in how badly it missed the point, in response to Barack Obama’s claim, during his acceptance speech, that “we are a better country … Continue reading

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Marcello Carlin’s new blog examines, with his typical daft scrupulousness, every number one album on the UK chart. I pick up on his distillation of the appeal of Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!, one of the man’s many triumphs … Continue reading

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On my iPod, I’ve got Wire’s “One of Us” and David Byrne-Brian Eno’s “Strange Overtones” back to back, unintentionally. The Byrne-Eno track is obviously about the act of creating music; the Wire song is too. Opening with a bass hook … Continue reading

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From Woody Allen’s Spanish diary: JULY 3 Scarlett came to me today with one of those questions actors ask, “What’s my motivation?” I shot back, “Your salary.” She said fine but that she needed a lot more motivation to continue. … Continue reading

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Enjoying, after fitful attempts, the copy of Bonnie Raitt’s Luck of the Draw that I bought in April for just over 12 cents, I wondered why it’s taken me so long. She’s made a couple of classic albums that show … Continue reading

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Dennis Perrin’s dyspepsia is where I’m at these days: My inbox fills with liberal “alerts” and related wailing about the pro-McCain media, how unfairly Obama’s being treated, and yappity yap yap yap. Jesus, I swear on what little honor I … Continue reading

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The false dichotomy between European hedonism and American psychotherapy aside, Vicky Cristina Barcelona really does live up to the hype as Woody Allen’s best movie since at least Sweet & Lowdown, and the best use of a big-name cast since … Continue reading

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How to disappear completely

Not an official release, of course, but this version of “Ceremony” by Our Heroes is exactly the kind of simulacrum of despair for which they still receive too much credit.

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Since it’s Florida…

…it must be hurricane season. The latest is Tropical Storm Fay. This one is a rainmaker and an annoyance, not a disaster like Hurricanes Katrina or Wilma. I’ll read, listen to Lindsey Buckingham’s Law and Order, prepare pork chops and … Continue reading

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How on earth do you explain this oddly defensive review of James Wood’s How Fiction Works? If Walter Kirn hasn’t read Henry James or Homer, maybe he shouldn’t use the anti-intellectual tropes of mainstream politicos. I mean — Wood “flashes … Continue reading

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R.I.P. – Jerry Wexler.

Thanks for Patti Page, “In The Midnight Hour,” “Respect,” among many others (although not Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody”).

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In accordance with this meme, here’s my pick for the worst alt-rock classic of the nineties. Maybe it’s no classic, but The Cranberries’ “Zombie” was Number One for several weeks on the college charts in the fall of 1994, and … Continue reading

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