Monthly Archives: June 2011

More than meets the eye

David Edelstein shows us how to write an uproarious review of a terrible summer blockbuster: The first hour of Dark of the Moon is tighter than Revenge of the Fallen, but it still has that self-parodic vibe. Bay has too … Continue reading

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Latinates: ugly cravats

Justice Anthony Kennedy offers advice for writing legal prose, but it applies to anyone attempting prose worth a damn: Interviewer: You have some pet peeves as a writer — among which, you don’t like adverbs, do you? Kennedy: I do … Continue reading

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The King’s Speech

Martin Amis’ introduction to the late Kingsley’s The King’s English, in which its author reminds us of the true definition of  “infamous” and the imprecision and sheer ugliness of words and phrases like eke out, brutalise, and decimate. Amis forgot … Continue reading

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Happy Sunday

Their best come on.

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Sadness without cause: Bon Iver

It had to happen: Toto, Sade, and the Blow Monkeys have gotten their due. Thanks to Ariel Pink’s Before Today, Destroyer’s Kaputt and Bon Iver’s new eponymous album, the most fervently untrodden musical paths of the eighties now boast fresh … Continue reading

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Same sex marriage: how it happened

After last night’s extraordinary legislative session in Albany, the reckoning. How did it happen? An alliance between Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, and Wall Street fat cats who, according to Michael Barbaro, saw more clearly than their Republican puppets on … Continue reading

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Singles Jukebox 6/24

In the busiest reviewing week of the year, three country singles were the best of a batch that included two “efforts” by Lil Wayne to continue sullying his legacy – and Aldean currently sits in the pop top ten. Imagine: a … Continue reading

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Weak in the presence of beauty: Frank Ocean’s “Nostalgia, Ultra”

I haven’t heard an R&B album* this year as fulsome as Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia, Ultra. This member of the Odd Future collective specializes in spare, slivery tracks in which admissions of swinish behavior and professions of love intermingle, uneasily. On … Continue reading

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“Complete nonsense”

Bruce Bartlett, domestic policy adviser in the Reagan administration and Treasury adviser to George H.W. Bush, quietly dissects GOP drivel about the regenerative effect of tax cuts. What none of Bartlett’s new liberal friends will mention — Lawrence O’Donnell included … Continue reading

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My first review for The Quietus is up: Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What.

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Money, money, money: Beyonce’s “4”

Of course Beyonce “has a voice.” She “knows how to sing.” My decade-long reluctance to embrace her sprung from skepticism of a larynx whose pyrotechnics immolated us, the song, and Beyonce herself. Blessed with the looks and talent that most … Continue reading

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RIP Clarence Clemons

More than his sax solos, which were at best memorable (think “Jungleland” and “Bobby Jean”), Clemons’ smile epitomized the generosity of the E Street Band. The moments I choose to remember are in two hits from 1985: his solo in … Continue reading

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