‘Nico, 1988’ presents the last days of an icon

Until the moment of her 1988 death in the most banal of accidents, Nico had earned her distance from the Velvet Underground material that turned the model into a camp and often transfixing chanteur in the seventies: like any star, would-be and real, the costumes that the poor girl wore and the hand-me-down dresses fromContinue reading “‘Nico, 1988’ presents the last days of an icon”

Ranking Michael Jackson albums

He still (moon)walks among us. His best songs here. 1. Off the Wall (1979) Forget the singles for a moment. “I Can’t Help It” and “Get On the Floor” are marvels of delicacy and boogie fever, a boon to anyone to whom he would’ve donated them. The groove of “Workin’ Day and Night” shows noContinue reading “Ranking Michael Jackson albums”

What happened in Florida?!

Watching MSBC’s Steve Kornacki fly out of his sneakers yesterday as he read the results from Florida counted as one of the few moments of unalloyed pleasure since we Americans elected a white supremacist as president. I voted for Andrew Gillum two Saturdays ago expecting Gwen Graham or Jeff Greene to deliver a victory speech.Continue reading “What happened in Florida?!”

‘Perhaps in Iowa. Perhaps in fields of grain.’

Yesterday, Splinter News published Paul Blest, who wrote the best John McCain obit I’ve read to date. This afternoon, Splinter News published Peggy Noonan’s latest slash fiction: a masterpiece of unintended comedy, failed poesy, tolerance for sexism, and self-pity. Classic Noonan, but more. This is, after all, the writer who praised the beauty of RonaldContinue reading “‘Perhaps in Iowa. Perhaps in fields of grain.’”

‘What does it matter what you say about people?’

The teacher never told you anything but white lies But you never see the lies And you believe –Elvis Costello, “New Lace Sleeves.” John McCain died on Elvis Costello’s birthday, so a quote is appropriate. After exposing myself to the radioactive fallout of the obits, I realized with some comfort that mission accomplished: I despisedContinue reading “‘What does it matter what you say about people?’”

John McCain — RIP

The senior senator from Arizona’s career has been a long con game convincing the media that he opposed what they most wanted: a bipartisan don’t-criticize-the-prez foreign policy, concern for the economic effects of the political class’ policies on the poor and working class, and a conviction that there is no division that you couldn’t settleContinue reading “John McCain — RIP”

Ranking Pavement albums

The delicious part of my recent exercises in ranking albums, as I recuperate from nearly ten months of writing about the worst songs ever, is how this minor project forces me to reconsider acts I don’t play much. I couldn’t have said so about Pavement twenty years ago when Stephen Malkmus was my beau idealContinue reading “Ranking Pavement albums”