Beltway white men know best

From the way Willie Geist and “Morning” Joe Scarborough said “identity politics” yesterday morning you’d think they’d recited a passage from Mein Kampf. Identity politics, they aver, prevent the Democratic Party from coalescing around “a single issue” or “one candidate”; instead, the party is associated with “the afflicted” and “victims.” After all, Scarborough reminded the panel,Continue reading “Beltway white men know best”

Worst Songs Ever: Rupert Holmes’ ‘Him’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Rupert Holmes’ ‘Him’”

She’s got herself a universe – ‘Ray of Light’ at twenty

Happy birthday to Ray of Light, Madonna’s shrewd attempt to position herself as an older woman whose newborn conferred Wisdom and Experience. The other day I remarked that the production – mostly by William Orbit but Marius de Vries and longtime collaborator Patrick Leonard get credits too – is the aural equivalent of the sleeve’sContinue reading “She’s got herself a universe – ‘Ray of Light’ at twenty”

Worst Songs Ever: Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’”

‘Black Panther’ a valentine to Afrofuturism

(WARNING: Spoilers included. Also, I’m unfamiliar with the comic). Although it hews closely to the expectations of the average Marvel property—secret identities, tortured villains, the scrappy sidekick, a final confrontation between the purported hero and the purported villain—Black Panther is a singular viewing experience. Its Afrofuturist sheen encompasses Grace Jones, Public Enemy, and Kendrick Lamar.Continue reading “‘Black Panther’ a valentine to Afrofuturism”

Stronger than the universe: A Bee Gees miscellany

Treating myself to a Bee Gees weekend I pretended it was spring 1979 and the party’s still going. 1. Dionne Warwick – Heartbreaker 2. Al Green – How Can You Mend a Broken Heart 3. Barbra Streisand – Woman in Love 4. Andy Gibb – I Just Want to Be Your Everything 5. Kenny RogersContinue reading “Stronger than the universe: A Bee Gees miscellany”

Singles 2/3

A strong week — lots of 7s and 8s, one given to a British duo whose single sounds like Fever Ray re-imagined by giddy adolescents. Certainly I was more disposed to like Adam and the Levines’ attempt at restraint and the otherwise blah Kali Uchis and Daniel Caesar’s Tricky-and-Martine intertwining. Click on links for fullContinue reading “Singles 2/3”

Worst Songs Ever: Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’”

I keep straining my ears to hear a sound: The best of the Bee Gees

If you were too young to own Saturday Night Fever and its attendant singles, then Mickey Mouse Disco compensated. My fifth birthday present was the first album I owned, and I can still hum “Macho Duck” and “Welcome to Rio” and remember their Fisher Price rhythm section doing that four on the floor beat.

In it for life: Superchunk and Migos

Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive Kicking off with a title track whose ironies zoom past on first listen because euphoria and irony make for strange bedfellows, the Chapel Hill quartet’s eleventh album dedicates its euphoric zoom to channeling the idealism and energy of youth into a fecund middle age. And what tempos!Continue reading “In it for life: Superchunk and Migos”