A solid top three emphasizing narrative, instrumental dexterity, and star power, respectively. Click on links for full reviews. Jenny Lewis – Wasted Youth (7) Stella Donnelly – Tricks (7) Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott – Tempo (7) Dustin Lynch – Ridin’ Roads (6) Schoolboy Q – Numb Numb Juice (4) Andra – Supereroi (4) Shura –Continue reading “Singles 3/29”
Monthly Archives: March 2019
Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 2000
A new decade dawned, when as Americans we were nearer to the final conquest of rock than ever before until ‘N Sync kicked the anthill, out of which swarmed 3 Doors Down and a band named Creed, led by a lead singer with a body ready for Jesus Christ poses and a head full ofContinue reading “Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 2000”
Ranking David Lean
With a masterful eye for men interacting with their landscapes and one of the few directors to understand Dickens, David Lean assembled a body of work that vacillated from the intimate to the epic. In Lawrence of Arabia, he fused both tendencies: an epic about a beautiful enigma. I enjoy A Passage to India moreContinue reading “Ranking David Lean”
Ranking Billboard top tens, 1999
If the previous two years had hinted at a bubblegum revival, then 1999 realized it: Gloria Estefan was back.
Agnès Varda — RIP
To regard the late Agnès Varda as a painter and writer enlarges our capacity to understand how good filmmakers capture a sense of molecules in constant motion. Think of Mary Cassatt, of her portraits of arrested movement in all their embarrassment and capacity to surprise. In Varda’s debut feature Cléo from 5 to 7, theContinue reading “Agnès Varda — RIP”
Ranking Billboard top tens, 1998
At last Billboard allowed airplay-only hits to chart at the end of 1998 — too late for Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” The latter I remember as the premier pop single of 1998, and it worked in the traditional radio manner: the more airplay it got, the more I relished its poignancy.
Ranking Michael Mann films
He doesn’t show much interest in his female characters, and shaped enough scenes set to the rhythms of synthesizer music to make me doubt his narrative sense, but Michael Mann has written and directed several sharp entertainments.
In ‘Gloria Bell’ Julianne Moore shines as a woman making do
Few critics can discuss Julianne Moore without resorting to a physiognomic analysis, treating her face as the primary source for a master’s thesis. The interplay between smile and wanness, for example. In Gloria Bell, Moore gets the kind of role that actors relish. Playing a long-divorced professional woman in her fifties who has no qualmsContinue reading “In ‘Gloria Bell’ Julianne Moore shines as a woman making do”
Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 1973
Often I contexualize these years. All I will proffer in 1973 is this question: “Helen Reddy — explain her to me?” The Hague Maureen McGovern – The Morning After The Rolling Stones – Angie Dawn featuring Tony Orlando – Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose The DeFranco Family – Heartbeat – It’s aContinue reading “Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 1973”
Ranking Billboard top tens, 1997
The boy band made its pop comeback in 1997, and their songwriters proffered stronger material than, say, New Kids on the Block and Tiffany sang. A decidedly young persons’ chart, Hanson’s rewrite of Amy Grant’s “That’s What Love is For” with war horses Cynthia Weil-Barry Mann excepted. Elton John having the last cry with aContinue reading “Ranking Billboard top tens, 1997”
Ranking Best Directors, 1960s
The studio system collapse at the dawn of the decade allowed more directors of foreign films (a record) and auteurs like Kubrick to get nominations. I can’t endorse 2001: A Space Odyssey except to acknowledge its influence and impact. I just wasn’t there, and it strikes me as inert as sci-fi and bunk as myth.
A reminder: a political party needs defeating
It’s possible I have readers who remain devastated that federal marshals will not frogmarch Donald Trump and his children out of the White House. I had to talk a white male acquaintance off a Facebook ledge yesterday after he moaned that Donald Trump was good as re-elected. Put simply, I’m fucking tired of some friendsContinue reading “A reminder: a political party needs defeating”