Oh well

For the Things Don’t Change file: Charles Dickens describing the House of Representatives in American Notes: I saw in them, the wheels that move the meanest perversion of virtuous Political Machinery that the worst tools ever wrought. Despicable trickery at elections; under-handed tamperings with public officers; cowardly attacks upon opponents, with scurrilous newspapers for shields,… More Oh well

Rather pokey in spots, its score obtrusive, tentatively pessimistic ending patting itself on the bank; yet The Lookout is blessed with three of this year’s best performances: by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, and Matthew Goode. Earlier this year I cited a Slate article that delineated the subtle ways in which Gordon-Levitt uses silence and stillness… More

Rather pokey in spots, its score obtrusive, tentatively pessimistic ending patting itself on the bank; yet The Lookout is blessed with three of this year’s best performances: by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, and Matthew Goode. Earlier this year I cited a Slate article that delineated the subtle ways in which Gordon-Levitt uses silence and stillness… More

No, the problem with M.I.A.’s Kala is simpler than most of the reasons proffered here: wondrous first half, poor second half, and only two songs sound like sonic and lyrical expansions: the Bollywood neo-disco of “Jimmy” and the somber “Paper Planes,” which relies on a beautiful interpolation of The Clash’s “Straight To Hell.” I’ve warmed… More

No, the problem with M.I.A.’s Kala is simpler than most of the reasons proffered here: wondrous first half, poor second half, and only two songs sound like sonic and lyrical expansions: the Bollywood neo-disco of “Jimmy” and the somber “Paper Planes,” which relies on a beautiful interpolation of The Clash’s “Straight To Hell.” I’ve warmed… More

A perfect example of an avant-garde band whose most subversive work (to these ears) adapted pop principles is Pere Ubu. Cloudland, my favorite album of theirs, was remastered with bonus tracks a few months ago, after being out of print since the early nineties. Singer David Thomas, gargling and spitting atop producer Stephen Hague’s glistening… More

A perfect example of an avant-garde band whose most subversive work (to these ears) adapted pop principles is Pere Ubu. Cloudland, my favorite album of theirs, was remastered with bonus tracks a few months ago, after being out of print since the early nineties. Singer David Thomas, gargling and spitting atop producer Stephen Hague’s glistening… More

It depresses me when I agree with Stephen Thomas Erlewine, but he’s right about the underwhelming Garbage compilation. Leading with a minor hit single whose first words are a catchy non sequitur, the collection avoids as much context as possible for their souped-up gothic/Catholic melodrama. And Garbage did/do not exist without context. Song for song… More

It depresses me when I agree with Stephen Thomas Erlewine, but he’s right about the underwhelming Garbage compilation. Leading with a minor hit single whose first words are a catchy non sequitur, the collection avoids as much context as possible for their souped-up gothic/Catholic melodrama. And Garbage did/do not exist without context. Song for song… More

"Night Runner"

Entertainment Weekly is allowing visitors to stream the new Duran Duran-Timbo-Justin collaboration “Night Runner.” The first fifteen seconds – with the clicks, woodblock percussion, and synth-chime melody – sound like Rich Harrison producing TKA, while the bridge turns into robo-Gibb (as in Barry, Maurice, and Robin). It’s spare, hooky, and insinuating (I can’t wait to… More "Night Runner"

"Night Runner"

Entertainment Weekly is allowing visitors to stream the new Duran Duran-Timbo-Justin collaboration “Night Runner.” The first fifteen seconds – with the clicks, woodblock percussion, and synth-chime melody – sound like Rich Harrison producing TKA, while the bridge turns into robo-Gibb (as in Barry, Maurice, and Robin). It’s spare, hooky, and insinuating (I can’t wait to… More "Night Runner"

Simon’s mini review of the Anton Corbijn’s Control has got me very excited, although I worry about a Joy Division that’s “grimly verite and gloriously aestheticized.” I suppose indie’s version of the Jim Morrison myth (the myth, I stress, not the man) deserves its own gloriously aestheticized rendition. Joy Division’s music wasn’t truth or life;… More