In which Carrie Brownstein reminds us why she’s cooler than you and me by giving Madonna the NPR treatment. When she tells us how she discovered music with “fewer filters and disguises, less affect, greater intensity, and most of all, substance” after the apostasy of her youth, it’s as if she never listened to her formerContinue reading

Rob Trucks’ touching interview with Robert Forster adds new wrinkles to his story, not the least of which is the revelation that he’s finished a few of his late partner Grant McLennan’s notes for songs for The Evangelist, Forster’s first solo album in 12 years (more on the album next week). As in the bestContinue reading

Letter from and to a contrarian

I recognize in Christopher Hitchens a kindred spirit – a spirit that relishes combat, embraces contrarianism, and has no problem pissing off friends. My brief flirtation with supporting the Iraq War was inspired partly by the seductive idea of supporting a president whose mediocrity, obtuseness, and messianic zealotry dovetailed with my long-brewing sense that weContinue reading “Letter from and to a contrarian”

“So Haunted” is one of my singles of the year — plaintive, insistent — and it surrenders pleasure after pleasure in ways that its host album In Ghost Colours can’t. As practioners of a post-New Order, quasi-DFA dance aesthetic just catholic enough to allow an Alan Moulder glaze on the vocals and guitar fuzz, CutContinue reading

Is David Byrne angling for new mainstream viability? I know, it’s not a “comeback,” he hasn’t gone anywhere. But first there’s this news. Then he shows up on stage yelling “You Can Call Me Al” with Paul Simon. Successfully waving aside the gnats of revisionism, despite assaults from white boys who can’t dismiss Vampire WeekendContinue reading

Is David Byrne angling for new mainstream viability? I know, it’s not a “comeback,” he hasn’t gone anywhere. But first there’s this news. Then he shows up on stage yelling “You Can Call Me Al” with Paul Simon. Successfully waving aside the gnats of revisionism, despite assaults from white boys who can’t dismiss Vampire WeekendContinue reading