So Arlen Specter is, in the words of Jonathan Chait, an “unprincipled hack,” but in that he’s not charmless. Better an unprincipled hack than a senator with actual convictions and such (the South has senators and congressmen with plenty of those). But with news like this, I can’t imagine the modern GOP luring anyone whoContinue reading

The death of Bea Arthur has got me wondering where else to get my fill of her pert bullfrog voice and inflexible smirk besides old “Golden Girls” episodes. Pauline Kael’s review of the Lucille Ball film version of Mame (“Too terrible to be boring; you can get fixated staring at it and wondering what exactlyContinue reading

Thomas swears by the first Wendy and Lisa record — it’s one of his top ten albums, he told me once. The only post-Prince works of theirs I know is their literally unaccountable studio work (Wendy co-writing Madonna’s “Candy Perfume Girl,” fer instance). Anyway, OUT publishes the first interview (I love Barry Walters) in whichContinue reading

While Adam Lambert can’t bear the weight that Ann Powers puts on his (lovely) shoulders, she does as good a job as Tom Smucker, Peter Shapiro, and others in defining what happens on the dance floor when the spirit of communal ecstacy give us the freedom to enact roles for which we’d normally be ill-suited.Continue reading

Oh, look: Nora Ephron still thinks that Mike Nichols makes movies for Intelligent People. “One of the main things about Mike’s movies is that, with a few exceptions, they’re all really smart movies about smart people,” she avers. “They’re about something. And he’s funny. You’re certainly not going to lose a joke. And if there’sContinue reading

The latest subject of George F. Will’s ire: denim. So Tory he makes Samuel Johnson look like Clement Atlee, George the Bemused doesn’t like the faceless humanoids out there wearin’ Levis and Gap: Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy’s catechism of leveling — thou shalt not dress betterContinue reading

Playground Indie and Its Malcontents

Exile produces silence more often than cunning. After two months of not publishing a single rock review (this should change very soon) and compensating by listening to more indie than ever, I’ve left amused by the suspicion that as the market for rock writing collapses the polarization between the pop world and indie expands. It’sContinue reading “Playground Indie and Its Malcontents”