Monthly Archives: September 2017

Misusin’ your influence: the best of Kendrick Lamar

No other hip hop figure has ever touched Kendrick Lamar’s preeminence. Forget Chuck D, Q-Tip, Nas, Biggie Smalls, and even Jay-Z, who for a decade before 4:44 was taken for granted despite robust sales. From DAMN’s astounding performance — three … Continue reading

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Our president, part XIV

The president, prefatory to a grueling round of golf, this morning. Couple these tweets with revelations of how he spent last weekend days after Hurricane Maria vaporized what remains of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and — well, do go on.

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Or are we dancer: the best of the Killers + Brandon Flowers

Cheers to the most ridiculous and, as I learned today, “the most successful rock band to ever emerge from the state of Nevada.” One of the few heterosexual bands to get the longing and melodrama of homos like me, and … Continue reading

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The ingénue to sex temptress arc of David Brooks’ career

Sometime this week  David Brooks assembled sounds into phonemes that after hours of cogitation settled into sentence structures. Let’s look at them together: Sometimes pop culture seems completely prepackaged and professionalized, so when somebody steps out and puts on a display … Continue reading

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‘Rebel in the Rye’ clueless about writing

The picture isn’t five minutes old when a voice-over intones, “I’ve always found fiction more compelling than reality.” More goodies like this follow. In Rebel in the Rye, the author of The Catcher in the Rye and Frannie and Zooey, … Continue reading

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Bite my lip and close my eyes: the best of Green Day 1991-2004

I wish they were queerer, faster, and dumber, but I can’t deny the dozen indelible tunes produced by Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool. The Indian summer of 1994 boasted Beastie Boys and Warren G fighting for our … Continue reading

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The uses of poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry. – Mark Strand True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance. … Continue reading

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‘Cause you got a good thing going, baby: the best of Matthew Sweet

Lloyd Cole deserved the MTV play, but he was a brunette, thick of face, and often mean. Yet he played rhythm guitar on Girlfriend, a tit-for-tat move after Matthew Sweet played bass on Cole’s 1991 eponymous American breakthrough and  excellent … Continue reading

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Roy Moore vs Luther Strange: the corruption of language

Only in a system as decadent as ours can the media accept staff and lobbyist nomenclature about the fictional “establishment versus outsider” binary. Luther Strange of Alabama not only opposed same sex marriage but sued the federal government over the … Continue reading

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If the war is over I’m gonna have some fun: the best of Luna

Abandoning the statelier, graver textures of Galaxie 500 at the dawn of the nineties, singer-guitarist Dean Wareham formed Luna and discovered a need for speed. As crucially, he realized he was an heir to Lou Reed, Tom Verlaine, D. Boon … Continue reading

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Free speech as right ‘to protect businesses that wish to discriminate’

While Puerto Ricans roast, North Korean threaten war, and GOP senators duck for cover as the scraps of yet another bill designed to consign the poor and old to the rubbish heap falls in flames around them, it’s good to … Continue reading

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I wear my diamonds on skid row: the best of Lana del Rey

Say this for Elizabeth Woolridge Grant — she has a hell of a talent for the memorable title. “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems”? “Fucked My Way Up to the Top”? “Diet Mountain Dew”? My favorite: “Music to Watch Boys To.” But … Continue reading

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