Thanks to my readers. I’m glad the year’s over. I can’t think of a better summary — what I’m leaving, what the next twelve months augur — than the embedded song.
The relatively sane people who don’t dedicate themselves to criticism must assume we’re born having listened to, watched, and read everything. The reality is more banal: we’re constantly playing catch-up. I don’t think we do a good enough job reminding our readers about discovering older stuff that we overlooked or for which we once hadContinue reading “A Second Thought: 2010”
This year’s singles ranked, from top to bottom. 10 Brad Paisley – American Saturday Night 9 Ciara – Ride Aeroplane – We Can’t Fly Sade – Soldier of Love Brad Paisley – Water 8 Javiera Mena – Hasta La Verdad Tim McGraw – Felt Good on My Lips Vampire Weekend – Cousins Cali Swag DistrictContinue reading “Singles”
Daryl Hall is cool again! I thought the indie world had known this since 2003.
In brief: Carlos. I should point out that I am evaluating the two and a half hour “theatrical” cut, not the five-hours-plus version. Whether the longer version fills in motivational lacunae for the revolutionary known as Carlos the Jackal (Edgar Martinez) I’ll have to wait until DVD; but Oliver Assayas, my favorite working director, mixesContinue reading “More holiday reviews: Carlos and True Grit”
Co-written and co-produced by Daryl Hall.
1. Taylor Swift – Speak Now 2. Vampire Weekend – Contra 3. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty 4. The-Dream – Love King 5. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening 6. Rick Ross – Teflon Don 7. Curren$y – Pilot Talk 2 8. Against Me! – White Crosses 9.Continue reading “The best of the rest”
#1. Taylor Swift – Speak Now. My poptimist reputation notwithstanding, I was unmoved by Speak Now‘s predecessors beyond a handful of singles. Then I played this, and for eight songs in her singing, critical eye, and arranging skill (how easy to fuck up a hook as clean as the one in “Mean”; the banjo makesContinue reading
A lovely Ta-Nehisi Coates piece on black veneration for Teena Marie.
American audiences were introduced to Colin Firth in The English Patient, in which Firth’s cuckoled husband aimed a plane at Ralph Fiennes and misses, blowing himself up. In 2003’s Love Actually Firth’s doughy hips and doleful mien blended perfectly with the dozen English thespians charged with incarnating various kinds of English suffering. He got anContinue reading ““It’s not your fault”: The King’s Speech”
If this is true, it’s a loss. Although she experienced a commerical resurgence a few years ago, it didn’t reflect how batshit her best work sounded. Thanks to Chuck Eddy, I got Emerald City several years too late, with no idea that “Lovergirl,” her biggest pop crossover, represented her safest concession to mass taste. ThisContinue reading “Teena Marie – RIP”
#2. Vampire Weekend – Contra No longer merely signifing thoughtfulness, these guys begin an album with a self-parodic ode to drinking horchata and end with a ponderous development of the title metaphor. I stand by this.