Monthly Archives: July 2011

Happy Sunday

Someday Robert Plant’s solo albums will get the reassessment they deserve; hell, maybe I’ll attempt it. To his immense credit, his peripatetic spirit welcomed spacious, wet keyboard arabesques like “Big Log” and “Ship of Fools.” When he felt like it … Continue reading

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Uneasy prophets: Jonah

The Book of J, Harold Bloom’s most rewarding book, posits an Old Testament god as petulant and erratic as any Olympian. Yahweh isn’t a god you worship: he’s a god you collude with or outsmart. Along those lines, I liked … Continue reading

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Singles 7/29

An odd week, punctuated by the death Martin Skidmore, one our longest serving and best writers. Such an odd week, actually, that Gililan Welch beat Beyonc√©. All scores based on a ten-point scale. Click on links for full reviews. Gillian … Continue reading

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That naughty “fiscally responsible” centrism

The first paragraph of Elizabeth Drew’s article in the current The New York Review of Books clears the rubble: Someday people will look back and wonder, What were they thinking? Why, in the midst of a stalled recovery, with the … Continue reading

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Ground control to Major Jake: Source Code

Source Code is shorter, fleeter, and better acted than Inception, but still boasts an absurd time-warp plot that mixes Groundhog Day, Donnie Darko, and Philip K. Dick, which counts for creativity these days. Darko darkling Jake Gyllenhaal plays a soldier … Continue reading

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Martin Skidmore – R.I.P.

The most dependable of Jukebox writers, dead of esophageal cancer after a brutal diagnosis in March. William Swygart put it best: “straight, honest, and with clarity and wit that too often went unappreciated.”

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The perils of social media stardom: Amy Winehouse

The best Amy Winehouse tribute of the lot: solid overview, judicious criticism.

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Working class heroes: Potiche

With hues and costumes as colorful as a box of Crayola 64’s, Potiche appropriates the language of camp and parody to deepen a narrative whose consequences are as contemporary as the phony battle over the debt ceiling. The film’s only … Continue reading

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Happy Sunday

Her best ballad is her most concise.  All this woman needed was one that coaxed out her lived-in warmth.

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Amy Winehouse R.I.P.

The late Amy Winehouse had one of those voices from which I recoil: the British showbiz voice that’s brassy, unafraid of histrionics; the kind of voice that requires illustrative hand gestures while singing. The descendants of the Shirley Bassey school … Continue reading

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Singles 7/22

The best single is by Mr. Miranda Lambert, and it’s not as good as her best — or even “Who Are You When I’m Not Lookin’,” released earlier this year. Blake Shelton – Honey Bee (7) Florrie – I Took … Continue reading

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The Hitchens Problem

The Awl publishes a long, truculent, loving analysis of The Christopher Hitchens Problem. Maria Bustillos identifies what makes Hitchens crusade — I mean this literally — against religion such a bore, even to those of us who embrace the instinct … Continue reading

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