Portrait of a Bush: Laura Bush’s memoirs

I like Laura Bush. Blame my attraction to self-possessed middle-aged women. Her fashion sense, skin tone, modesty, obvious intelligence, and gravelly tones (which sound as if they’ve been roughened by brandy and lots of cursin’) — all pluses. It’s no intellectual exercise for me to consider her the best First Lady of the last fortyContinue reading “Portrait of a Bush: Laura Bush’s memoirs”

4/21 Singles!

I wax and wane on the LCD Soundsystem single. After eight years of discussion I don’t want to hear about them anymore. In a more ecumenical state of mind I would have forgiven James Murphy’s tics as examples of how he’s “deepening” his songcraft. All songs ranked on a ten-point scale. Pill – Hear SomebodyContinue reading “4/21 Singles!”

35 Shots of Rum: Shot of Love

It took thirty minutes of watching 35 Shots of Rum to figure out that Lionel (Alex Descas) is Josephine’s (Mati Diop) father, not her lover. In the manner of the Taiwanese cinema with which she shares stylistic affinities, Claire Denis places considerable demands on the audience’s patience. What links her work with recent films byContinue reading “35 Shots of Rum: Shot of Love”

Unspooled: Don’t monkey with my business

Before I knew how Robert Christgau felt (“As public figures and maybe as people, these imperialist wimps are the most deplorable pop stars of the postpunk if not post-Presley era”), I knew how their bass lines and gauche synthesizers felt: slimy, delicious around the edges, lacking nutritive qualities. I’ve said repeatedly that my parents didn’tContinue reading “Unspooled: Don’t monkey with my business”