Singles 8/31

To say that a leaked track from Jessie Ware’s marvelous Devotion triumphed is like saying the English did okay against the French in the Battle of Agincourt. The high showing of the frequently insufferable Antony Hegarty was the week’s only surprise. Jessie Ware – Sweet Talk (7) Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen (6) CherylContinue reading “Singles 8/31”

The archipelago man

Butterflies in the stomach time: Here’s how Romney would go about “liberating” a company: A private equity firm like Bain typically seeks out floundering businesses with good cash flows. It then puts down a relatively small amount of its own money and runs to a big bank like Goldman Sachs or Citigroup for the restContinue reading “The archipelago man”

Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pool (Drank)”

Although the leap from from ruminative growls in the intro verses to the simulation of drunken abandon in the chorus is well done — I hear early Nas in the way in which he projects gravity without being a motormouth — the Slim Shady voice signifying his conscience is corny, in part because the beatsContinue reading “Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pool (Drank)””

Social versus economic — the difference is…?

A liberatarian friend wondered why we we waste time arguing about same sex marriage and abortion when we could be discussing “international bond markets and derivatives” or debating what “free market” and “deregulation” mean. The kind of taxonomy that creates impermeable, discrete categories can’t see the economic implications of this news from Jan Brewer’s Arizona:Continue reading “Social versus economic — the difference is…?”

We are the dead: Cosmopolis

Sterile. Clinical. Walking dead. The critical line on David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Cosmopolis has used one or more of those words and their synonyms in various combinations, usually in disapproval. But since the eighties Cronenberg films have relied on the oversaturated images and well lit proscenia to create the sense of faint dread akin toContinue reading “We are the dead: Cosmopolis”

Singles 8/24

So the Taylor Swift battles continue. Hitting #1 hasn’t changed things a whit: “We Are Never X 2 Ever Getting Back Together” is crap. But it generated superb comments. None worth mentioning, I’m afraid, for the Pussy Riot single. My Swift blurb was an early draft of a better one. Click on links for fullContinue reading “Singles 8/24”

Unfinished sympathy: Jessie Ware

She had me in February with “Running,” biting her lip until the point at which she’s ready to lose it all. Leaked tracks “110%” and “Wildest Moments” further deepened Jessie Ware’s commitment to a certain kind of British performer-based soul in which the vocalist’s restraint found its match in arrangements, their antithesis in the luridContinue reading “Unfinished sympathy: Jessie Ware”

Smalltown boys: Bernie

Watching Bernie, I couldn’t stop thinking of I Love You, Phillip Morris, the ramshackle but vibrant true crime story about a felon who also fools people whom the screenwriters think deserve fooling. As the title character, Jack Black is cute and says his lines slowly like Ernest Borgnine in Marty; he insists on his banalityContinue reading “Smalltown boys: Bernie”

Mt Rushmore – Part Three

I’ll take this one literally: four top Prince songs, as in “four Prince songs you should check out.” 1. “The Morning Papers” (Love Symbol, 1992). A lovely horn section, crunchy solo, and the lyric “IF they pour his heart into a glass and offered it like wine” adorn this midtempo rocker that sounds exactly likeContinue reading “Mt Rushmore – Part Three”

Mt. Rushmore – Part Two

Four top drinks: 1. Macallan 12. The late Christopher Hitchens was right: a taste for single malt scotch is dangerous because it spoils you for anything else. 2. Hendrick’s martini with a twist. Suitable only before dinner or a nightcap. The lemon cuts into the barest hint of sweet in my favorite gin. For aContinue reading “Mt. Rushmore – Part Two”

Mt Rushmore – Part One

I thank Eric Harvey for this ideal late afternoon bored-at-work exercise. Four top Jam-Lewis productions 1. The S.O.S. Band – “Just Be Good to Me.” As much for allowing Mary Davis to simmer, caught between lust and masochism. 2. (tie) Alexander O’Neal – “Sunshine”; Human League – “Human”; Janet Jackson – “Come Back To Me”;Continue reading “Mt Rushmore – Part One”