David Thomson today: He outlived his beauty, his uneasiness and his bright blue eyes, and he came into that mixture of elegy and remorse that is the lot of most old men – if they are lucky. He was absurdly popular as a young man, and then waited or endured until that had worn off, andContinue reading “Paul Newman – RIP”
The last time around, we piled up a bunch of referents and adjectives attempting to do justice to TV On the Radio’s Return of Cookie Mountain, when most of us were really trying to hide what we really thought of the album’s second half (“Peter Gabriel circa 1977 singing atop Lust for Life-esque grooves withContinue reading
Some things write themselves. The most succinct criticism I’ve ever read of Governor Sarah Palin is by political junkie/ILE denizen gabbneb, with whom I’ve disagreed often in the past: “basically, we’re dealing with a mental midget who thought she could just go as far as she could through sheer sticktoitiveness and people skills and managedContinue reading “"Foreign countries are our neighbors"”
No one can accuse the John McCain campaign of boredom. Or honor. Ned’s response to the news that McCain will have is Dwight Eisenhower I-will-go-to-Korea moment of theater (worthy of Gilbert & Sullivan) is entirely correct. In bureaucracies, as I’ve observed, subordinates appear during conversations between their bosses and colleagues to score points by “beingContinue reading
Since one of my jobs involves preparing young men and women for the world of professional journalism, the collapse of newspapers interests me. No question: it doesn’t look good for print. Unless advertisers heavily reinvest in print journalism, newspapers will go the way of the telegraph. Online journalism, however, is healthier than ever. If onlyContinue reading
A facile but spirited column on the similarities between the convulsions that have shaken our system and the nationalization with which the Land of Lafayette experimented in the eighties. We’re both victims of market forces: Even in the strongest sectors in the U.S., there’s no getting away from the French influence. Nothing is more sacredContinue reading
With three-quarters of the year over, it’s time to list my favorite albums so far. I’ve come around to the Drive-By Truckers thing, Shonna Tucker and bloat be damned; Cut Copy and No Age are slightly overrated; and I’ve made peace with Portishead’s miserabilist maunderings. 1. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part One: 4th WorldContinue reading
Chill out, dude.
Out of the Cradle may be his most conventionally solid album (it’s about death and other deep subjects), and Law and Order his most Tusk-like, but I’m afraid that Lindsey Buckingham hasn’t yet recorded the great solo record we all thought he had in him (I’ve never heard Go Insane except for its clickety-clackety titleContinue reading
The most diverse staff songwriter ever? That’s what a friend suggested when he emailed the news. From “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” to a string of ever-ambitious hits for the Temptations that are like an aural history of the post-liberal collapse. Ambition had its diminishing returns too, as his increasingly baggy mid seventies anthemsContinue reading “Norman Whitfield – RIP”
I contributed an essay to Dan Weiss’ blog: a reconsideration of Bonnie Raitt’s Luck of the Draw. Raitt’s career doesn’t need re-appraisal, but her post-Grammy career does; she’s one of those veterans Taken For Granted.
My favorite ballad of the nineties, one responsible for introducing me to so many dangerous substances: shufflebeats, Neil Tennant, Bernard Sumner lyrics, twelve-string folk flourishes in postpunk contexts.