Jeanne Moreau — RIP

Yielding to the demands of biology, male film critics can’t resist encomia to actresses. I understand — the camera is supposed to capture the allure of figures who become less human because a screen divides us. From the start Jeanne Moreau mesmerized audiences with a worldliness that made her whole in a way most screenContinue reading “Jeanne Moreau — RIP”

I’ll do what you want me to do: the best of Tina Turner

For the most spectacular comeback of my lifetime, Tina Turner copped not an inch to the Madonna market. She sang Terry Britten and Graham Lyle’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” from the point of view of a middle aged woman who has seen enough bullshit from young songwriters and producers, many of whomContinue reading “I’ll do what you want me to do: the best of Tina Turner”

Singles 7/28

The year’s strongest week produced several songs likely to make The Singles Jukebox’s top ten; even I found five songs worth rewarding, although I’d downgrade the Kesha song this morning. I keep forgetting Trent Reznor, creator of yet another indelible song after fifteen years of them (“Came Back Haunted,” “Only,” “The Hand That Feeds”). ClickContinue reading “Singles 7/28”

I’m paying the price: the best of Yoko Ono

The most maligned woman in rock history, Evelyn McDonnell called her, and it’s not hyperbole if you have the stomach to visit Reddit threads. Yet for studiocraft, smarts, and adventurousness Fly, Feeling the Space and especially Approximately Infinite Universe deserve the scrutiny that her husband’s desultory Nixon-era albums get from Beatlephiles (she pushes her husbandContinue reading “I’m paying the price: the best of Yoko Ono”

The power of an alarmed citizenry

“Yes, Mr. Soto?” the woman on the phone says, in the manner of a restaurant hostess acknowledging a demanding regular. She also sounds like one of my great aunts. Three mornings a week since late January I will call the Miami-Dade office of the Plankton with a Hairpiece, aka Marco Rubio, and lodge a protest.Continue reading “The power of an alarmed citizenry”

A gigolo is the only way to go: the best of Cheap Trick

In love in 1988, I gave “The Flame” more attention than it deserved. But Robin Zander sings the hell out of this make-or-break ballad, and Rick Nielsen’s mandocello is front and center. Thus began the most reviled period of Cheap Trick’s history, during which Zander recorded a duet with a Wilson sister not even asContinue reading “A gigolo is the only way to go: the best of Cheap Trick”

‘Landline’ sends a loud, insistent busy signal

Why Landline is set in the nineties is a question that Gillian Robespierre leaves unanswered as the end credits roll. Nostalgia for eyebrow rings, the Breeders, phone booths, and Macintoshes that look like tool boxes couldn’t have been it. Perhaps she recognized the dawn  of a new kind of forthright woman in American pictures, equalContinue reading “‘Landline’ sends a loud, insistent busy signal”

Charlie Worsham and Lana del Rey

Charlie Worsham – The Beginning of Things Young, adept at playing several instruments, this Jackson native can sing well and write better. Although the credits on his sophomore album feature Nashville standbys Shane McAnally and Ryan Tyndell, the most important name is Frank Liddell, producer of Miranda Lambert’s last two albums and wife Lee AnnContinue reading “Charlie Worsham and Lana del Rey”

Don’t trust Trump, part XVIII

Chronicling the degeneration of Donald Trump’s attitudes toward the queer community shows the perils of relying on the whims of plutocrats: After completing a 2005 boardroom scene for “The Apprentice,” Trump told the show’s first openly gay competitor that he saw advantages in hiring gays in his business. “I love having gay people work forContinue reading “Don’t trust Trump, part XVIII”

A body without a heart: the best of Massive Attack

Searching for progenitors, Americans might have stopped at Neneh Cherry’s “Manchild,” in which a lulling, dazed beat refuses to so much as shudder as strings rumble and crack. But it took hearing “Protection” at an Edinburgh pub in the summer of 1997 to start my walk backward. So did an excellent Finsbury Park performance aContinue reading “A body without a heart: the best of Massive Attack”

The president’s contempt for human dignity

In the last forty-eight hours, Donald J. Trump’s contempt for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has led to wags speculating that he hopes to push the attorney general close enough to the window so that Sessions jumps. Yesterday the National Review, speaking for most conservatives, condemned the president’s rashness. Increasing deportation of undocumetned or illegal immigrantsContinue reading “The president’s contempt for human dignity”