Worst Songs Ever: Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’

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: Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’”

Songs of faith and devotion

“I’m not religious, but I feel so moved,” Madonna once sang, and on Passion Weekend that’s how these holy days unfurl for this former Catholic. The following prayers, laments, and supplications move me beyond measure. 1. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Khena Ghalat Ghalat To Chhupana Sahi Sahi 2. Al Green – Jesus is WaitingContinue reading “Songs of faith and devotion”

A pair of Hong Sang-soo films show his wise, delicate touch

Delighted by revision as a narrative method, the Korean director Hong Sang-soo makes films that force audiences to judge the present based on the steady encroachment of the past. Populating these films with movie directors would open him up to charges of preciousness if Hong didn’t value a certain kind of drollery; his characters, theContinue reading “A pair of Hong Sang-soo films show his wise, delicate touch”

‘Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?’

The ritual abandoned but the romance still exerting a pull, Good Friday has a stillness that attracts me years after I abandoned faith. Gerard Manley Hopkins, never one to take things easy, let alone still-y, has a sonnet for the occasion. No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooledContinue reading “‘Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?’”

Worst Songs Ever: Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville”

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: Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville””

Figuring it out: Toni Braxton, Yo La Tengo, and The Breeders

Toni Braxton – Sex & Cigarettes On a bonus cut on her last album, Toni Braxton played a woman having casual sex for the last time with the husband whom she’ll miss for the rest of her life. Four years later, romance hasn’t gotten any easier: she’s dating a man who crawls into her bedContinue reading “Figuring it out: Toni Braxton, Yo La Tengo, and The Breeders”

Worst Songs Ever: Mr. Big’s “To Be With You”

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: Mr. Big’s “To Be With You””

Worst Songs Ever: Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’

                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 byContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’”

Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ all too (in)credible

Every time we praise Steven Soderbergh for making his small scale genre pieces like Haywire and Side Effects, we forget we have to deal with the results, often middling at best. The pitches are more interesting. 2017’s Logan Lucky was an okay Southern fried heist picture; a mere seven months later, Unmade is schlock boobyContinue reading “Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ all too (in)credible”

John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

The retired John Paul Stevens, ninety-seven, published a column in today’s NYT in which the following words appeared: But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate statesContinue reading “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment”

Worst Songs Ever: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink – ‘Lady Marmalade”

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: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink – ‘Lady Marmalade””

‘Even the mysteries/It’s all me’

With deep respect to Dusty in Memphis, my Supremes comp, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Exile in Guyville, these albums I submitted to NPR’s Turning the Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women survey. The first album will get enough mentions but if I were being honest myself I couldn’t ignore it. The otherContinue reading “‘Even the mysteries/It’s all me’”