Three years gone and refreshed, Mitski returns to impress us again with a gnomic but not obscure tunelet she might’ve fit on Be the Cowboy. We greeted Adele less enthusiastically for also avoiding deviation. In his analysis of how “Easy On Me” topped the chart, Chris Molanphy notes what makes it work: Where predecessor “Hello”Continue reading “Singles 10/30”
I don’t understand candy. I didn’t eat it except for the occasional candy corn and in high school a 3 Musketeers bar (I still chew gum). I didn’t get candy, therefore I didn’t get Halloween. The fuss over costumes mystified me too, especially in college and grad school — we already go out and getContinue reading “Love songs for vampires: A Halloween playlist”
Trying to understand the mind — the pathology in many cases — of Trump voters has broken journalism since the former president descended the escalator in Trump Tower six years ago. The usual Sunday magazine cover story: reporters visit a diner in Connellsville, Pennsylvania or wherever to talk to those voters about Pfizer boosters asContinue reading “Born in a small town: ‘Holler’”
Kids, you may rightly complain about Starbucks coffee tasting like seared leather gloves, but, trust me: coffee tasted way worse when I was growing up.
A bizzer for life, Sheryl Crow was born holding a Rolodex. From Michael Jackson backup singer to multi-instrumental threat, she has often bored me, rarely impressed me, and occasionally moved me.
Fascism, according to ultimate source Wikipedia, “is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.”
Much later, Tina Turner and Missy Elliott compensated for the shameful chart position in which programmers and record stores placed Ann Peebles’ still fluid fusion of Stax and imagism. At least “I Want to Take You Higher” was a B-side. Every time I discover a Staples Singers single the world looks brighter. Ah, Mr. Garfunkel.Continue reading “Ranking #38 singles, U.S. edition: 1970-1974”
A demanding, almost avant-garde demonstration of editing, Othello ranks among Orson Welles’ finest achievements. The Criterion Channel has the 90-minute so-called American cut restored without pops and hisses, allowing us to examine this adaptation of Shakespeare with new clarity. I emphasize “adaptation.” Unlike Lawrence Olivier, Welles had no interest in filmed Shakespeare — he wantedContinue reading “Screenings #53”
In urban spaces where walking to the store can get you ogled like a street walker, people value their cars beyond logic. The not-young man who lives with his aunt in the building south of me put a Trump-Pence poster in the rear dash; he spends every Sunday polishing the Explorer to a euphoric sheen.Continue reading “Songs about cars”
Orson Welles mocked Lawrence Olivier’s tagline for his 1948 Hamlet, a film about a character “who couldn’t make up his mind.” It showed the dim, vulgar imagination of the future Lord Olivier.
I caught up on an album released last spring, embraced a recent one last week, and recoiled from a marquee effort.
Steely Dan has a line in “My Old School” I think of often when news about Florida goes national. California won’t “slide into the sea” before the state with the prettiest name does. As Jonathan Chait remarks in this handy checklist you can print and stick on your fridge with a magnet next to yourContinue reading “Florida, please slide into the sea…”