Gimme all your jazz: Ranking Psychedelic Furs albums

Until “Heartbreak Beat” skirted the edges of the American top thirty, Psychedelic Furs thrived in the limbo state between just beyond college radio cult status and the wider mainstream embrace of The Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, etc. “I never understood why Psychedelic Furs didn’t sell more records,” AllMusic quotes Paul Weller saying once. The heapsContinue reading “Gimme all your jazz: Ranking Psychedelic Furs albums”

The state with the prettiest name: October update

“We’ve lost our self-respect,” said the woman to the Publix cashier on Sunday in Cuban Spanish. “Sooner rather than later we’re going to deal with socialism.” Who “we” was is unclear: Floridians? Cubans? Americans? All of them, like as not. The robust paranoia of the Cuban exile mind specializes in the collapsing of referents. 

Ranking the five best New Pornographers albums

I wonder if A.C. Newman does any ghost writing for acts in need: a middle eight here, a place for a harmony there. Certainly he’d make an ace producer for hire. The band for which he writes most of its songs has recorded more than their share of good albums, but I won’t listen toContinue reading “Ranking the five best New Pornographers albums”

Brazil — what happened?

Four days ago Caetano Veloso, who knows about imprisonment and repressive regimes, nailed what he sensed might happen in Brazil tonight: Many artists, musicians, filmmakers and thinkers saw themselves in an environment where reactionary ideologues, who — through books, websites and news articles — have been denigrating any attempt to overcome inequality by linking sociallyContinue reading “Brazil — what happened?”

Ranking Eurythmics albums

The most popular of the eighties synth pop duos — a global operation at their 1985-1986 peak — Eurythmics get condescending press in England, which hasn’t forgiven them for the Tourists and David A. Stewart’s gauche American crossover moves. Yet it’s impossible to weave a narrative about that decade without accounting for the degree toContinue reading “Ranking Eurythmics albums”

‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’

Decapitated Barbie dolls, dirty laundry, and a van whose interior smelled like thirteen rotting possums. And Sayoc, the Trumpist nut, was an asshole homophobe too. His former boss at a Fort Lauderdale pizza restaurant said Sayoc, who worked there as a delivery driver during the graveyard shift, would openly mock her for her sexuality andContinue reading “‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’”

Ranking Talk Talk albums

Acts I like (Jenny Hval, Amen Dunes), and acts I don’t (Panda Bear, Shearwater, Radiohead) have spent albums pilfering the aural and compositional experiments of Talk Talk’s later work, but they miss the goofball let’s-try-anything-once attitude of their early work; Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock aren’t the breaks you think.