Barack Obama, master synthesist

maxresdefault

Drone wars. The killing of a “radicalized” American-born cleric without due process of law. The deportation of illegal immigrants. Daring to think he could treat with John Boehner. The hilarity of hiring former Wall Street people to run the economic recovery in 2009 when eighty years ago Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a worldwide depression on his hands and wouldn’t even let Andrew Mellon onto the South Lawn. I can enumerate the ways in which Barack Hussein Obama reminds me of every egomaniac who’s run for the presidency. That his much vaunted cool allows him to put Malia and Sasha to bed at night while signing off on who gets vaporized by a drone strikes me as sociopathic or psychopathic is the kind of passing judgment I’ll leave to the Robert Dallecks and Jon Meachams.

But the speech he delivered at the Democratic National Convention last night ranked with his best works: a reminder that as the child of mixed race and a lover of literature he has the talent and the ego to situate himself as the person on whom the audience projects its grandest aspirations. Obama’s self-regard and his constituency’s desire for self-realization are indivisible: as he acknowledged, he wouldn’t be on that stage without their faith in him; he wouldn’t be president without the audience defining him. Aware of his role as a synthesist, he dared the audience to disagree: “That’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own.” The cords that bound him and them gave the speech’s most stirring bit its pathos:

We’re not a fragile people. We’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that We the People, can form a more perfect union. That’s who we are. That’s our birthright—the capacity to shape our own destiny

Charles Pierce, the white writer who has come closet to divining Obama’s mystery, shakes his head in wonderment:

If he has done nothing else, and he has done a great deal, Barack Obama has developed an aesthetic of cool that is his alone. It expands and extends from the way he does his job; the video prior to his appearance emphasized how he always was the calm presence in the middle of heated policy debates. It also includes the way he has carried himself in office, and the way he has carried the office itself—lightly, in its ceremonial aspects, but carefully and reverently in those parts of the job that belong most importantly to the rest of us.

He remains a graceful, cosmopolitan democrat, not unlike Thomas Jefferson, not unlike Langston Hughes, not unlike Albert Murray. His patriotism is wide and generous. It has no definite frontiers. And that’s what was born in Louisiana, in the streets and the clubs and the brothels. It came from there and it fought racism to at least a draw. It came from there and it conquered the world.

His legacy I’ll leave to the historians, but as personage he defines his historical moment as much as Bowie did his musical one.

Roisin Murphy and Nice as Fuck

Roisin Murphy – Take Her Up to Monto

Seven years separated Overworked and last year’s Hookless Tunes – uh, Hairless Toys. Now that the Irish singer’s on the assembly line it’s time to face facts. To her credit, she has no interest in recording a dance pop classic as febrile and playable as Overpowered, but quasi ballads with exquisite latticework aren’t her strength. I fooled myself into admiring Hairless Toys and still listen to “House of Glass,” but Take Her up to Monto can’t shake itself out of its mid tempo rut. As a headphone experience, though, it’s a trip. After a brisk start with “Mastermind,” in which Murphy vocoders a stream of consciousness monologue over “I Feel Love” sequencers, the orchestral swells, synth string pizzicatos, marimba, and theremin-like whistles of “Pretty Gardens” buttress a performance of beguiling divahood; Murphy excels at playing the grand dame, treating her scratched contralto as a pair of green fingernails, as a feather boa tossed over a shoulder. Solo George Clinton is not an inapposite comparison. The “Girl From Ipanema”-inspired “Lip Service” is pretty – they’re all pretty, all appropriate changes of pace on a dance pop album. Take Her up to Monto has nine of them.

Nice as Fuck – Nice as Fuck

Well, they’re right. Also boring as fuck. Au Revoir Simone’s Erika Forster and the Like’s Tennessee Thomas join Jenny Lewis for the post punk heebie jeebies: the oddest of detours for Lewis, who solo and in Rilo Kiley has mastered the southern California singer-songwriter ethos of wrapping a stiletto in a handkerchief. Imagine Lewis singing over Joy Division bass pokes and drum accompaniment and Seventeen Seconds-era Cure grimacing through the affected gloom and with enough echo to give the impression that she’s singing from the basement of a Manchester steel plant. Of course you can’t: imagine Linda Ronstadt fronting Wire. An estimable one-off if the songs had been any good. “Home Run” sounds like Blondie’s “Rapture” taken seriously. “Cookie Lips” wants to be libidinous but finds no hook worthy of its title or sampled screech. As project, this 25-minute album is innocuous. As a piece of trolling, it’s expert.

Somebody’s watching me

Through the haze of a news cycle in which Democratic supporters used the word “treason” to describe Donald Trump’s encouragement of Russian eavesdropping, this story first reported by Buzzfeed a few weeks ago looks more interesting:

At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff….

…The managing director of Mar-a-Lago, Bernd Lembcke, did not respond to emails. Reached by phone, he said he referred the email query to Trump’s headquarters and said, “I have no knowledge of what you wrote.”

At the 126-room Mar-a-Lago mansion, Trump keeps an apartment set aside for himself and his family, and rents the rest out to guests and members.

BuzzFeed News spoke with six former employees familiar with the phone system at the estate.

Four of them — speaking on condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements — said that Trump listened in on phone calls at the club during the mid-2000s. They did not know if he eavesdropped more recently.

They said he listened in on calls between club employees or, in some cases, between staff and guests. None of them knew of Trump eavesdropping on guests or members talking on private calls with people who were not employees of Mar-a-Lago. They also said that Trump could eavesdrop only on calls made on the club’s landlines and not on calls made from guests’ cell phones.

Each of these four sources said they personally saw the telephone console, which some referred to as a switchboard, in Trump’s bedroom.

None of the four supports Trump’s bid for president. All said they enjoyed their time working at Mar-a-Lago.

Visitors of Walt Disney World know that paper or card tickets don’t exist; guests get “Magic Bands,” which not only have the magical power to store tickets, hotel and dining reservations, and hotel room access, but magically act as remote GPS units tracking guests around the park. I imagine WDW’s IT headquarters rivals the NSA. Which is to say that this creepiness is legal. But the story if true adduces his Nixonian tendencies. Just stop using landlines, okay?

(h/t Digby)

DNC, Day 3: No more war edition

ap_dnc_divided_delegates_ps_160726_12x5_1600

11:59. Good night!

11:45. As tactics, a masterful speech, moving into the center that the GOP thinks it has occupied. As rhetoric, it meshed his gift for the demotic with the phrasemaking, the latter not often among his strongest suits. I suspect “homegrown demagogues” and “We don’t look to be ruled” will be alluded to for many years.

11:38. “You are the best organizers on the planet, and I appreciate the change you made possible.”

11:26. Magnaminous salute to #feeltheBern.

11 p.m. “Our promise doesn’t come from a self-proclaimed savior; we don’t look to be ruled….America has never been what one person can do for us. It’s what we can achieve together.”

10:55. I will never escape — we will never escape — “City of Blinding Lights.”

10:46. The pundits aren’t wrong: Barack Obama’s hair has greyed damn fast.

10:40. Conor Friedersdorf

I just figured out the Tim Kaine pick: he is too bland and indistinct for any conceivable Donald Trump insult nickname to stick.

10:35. Presidents Jefferson and Wilson will not comment on the use of their Christian names.

10:31. Guys, he’s cutting of his g’s, it’s serious.

10:26. The crowd loves Kaine’s awful Trump impersonation. He looks like he tries to cop a a feel after a sip of Icehouse. But I think of Gandalf: “A fool. But an honest fool.”

10:19: “Can I tell ya a funny thing about the Senate?” Tell us one funny thing, please.

10:18. Ohhhhh…I’m sure he regretted that well-intentioned Bernie remark.

10:16. “Tough times don’t last; tough people do” — I’m bored of this muscle flexing.

10:15. I can’t imagine Tim Kaine getting mad at a shoe that won’t fit.

10:11. man do I pick on my straight Jesuit-trained friends for “Men for others.” Campaign slogan?

10:07. SEMPER FI! Trump’s remarks earlier today called for the flag-waving.

10:06. I dunno about that tie and shirt combination on Kaine: red, black, and grey-striped tie against slate grey shirt.

10:01. Senator Tim Kaine looks like a nice, innocuous man, i.e. a traditional vice president.

9:58: Tonight’s Jay Nordlinger Watch: @jaynordlinger

It’s Lisa Bonet’s husband! Ah, Lisa … #memories

9:58: Chris Matthews on Bloomberg: the speech was a defense of “pure capitalism at its finest.”

9:54. Bryan Williams: “This could be a law firm: Kravitz, Scott, and Kaine.”

9:48. Meanwhile on Earth-3, Tucker Carlson chooses to address Nancy Pelosi’s remarks, which are “under fire” for attacking Trump supporters. Not a word about Panetta, Biden, and Bloomberg. This tells me they’re worried.

9:42. Stone cold silence when he said Democrats got in the way of education reform.

9:41. Bloomberg letting his New Yawk accent out: “I don’t understaynd!”

9:39. “I’ve often encouraged business leaders to run for office…but not all.”

9:36. Understanding the strategic imperative for having Michael Bloomberg as the spokesman for independent voters doesn’t mean I have to like his prissy-smug Joe Lieberman act.

9:26. “We lead by our power rand the power of our example” is too jingoistic a line for me to endorse, but Joe Biden is the only one whose rhetorical force can give it poignancy.

9:24. “Literally.”

9:19. “Listen to me without booing or cheering.”

9:10. I still brace when an official calls the president by name. Impossible, for example, to imagine Spiro Agnew calling Richard Nixon “Dick.” Actually, I can.

9:04. Glossy promo film prefacing Vice President Joe Biden’s address. Cool clip of the young Biden, with hair and a firm voice, berating Secretary of State George Schultz for the Reagan administration’s coddling of South Africa’s govenmen.

8:59. Hi! We’re back. Long day. The former defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta was shouted down by, reportedly, Bernie Sanders’ California delegation. Of course this offends Very Serious People. I don’t care. It’s creepy as hell to have a former defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta endorse a candidate and watch a crowd shout “USA!!!” even if I’m offended by Donald Trump’s remarks.

How political establishments decay

This Corey Robin post has made the rounds. His smugness aside (“Though I’m a political theorist, one of the things I benefited from growing up when I did was that I had incredible history teachers…”), he’s right in the abstract, and the tendency to value the social sciences over history serves the interest of corporate media; but it’s got me thinking for the hundredth time about when to distinguish a world-historic thread from a terrible but familiar one. Whether Donald Trump presents a “unique” (a word I hate in any context) threat to American democracy when Richard Nixon served five and a half years as president or is part of a lineage of bellicose ignorami is a question I can’t answer until a putative Trump administration begins next January. but I wonder if Trump is Pat Buchanan in ’92 with a presidential nomination.

I keep thinking about Reagan in ’80, and the prism through which the Beltway class viewed him as a two-term governor, near winner of the ’76 primary, and media personality. The guy’s ignorance and indifference to details – which he boasted and joked about – were legend. The difference is, Ronnie can smile and quip while Trump can only do the former. So hallowed is the ground on which he tread that evidence of his detachment and unacquaintance with many of the policy points of his own administration get adduced as evidence of his kingly acumen; I don’t even need hyperlinks. Social media aggravates nominally informed citizens. If VOX isn’t uploading a lovely chart showing how Trump exists on a continuum and our friends aren’t posting the link on Facebook, I wonder who would explain it.

An hour ago Donald Trump, according to the lead in the New York Times’ story, “essentially encourag[ed] an adversarial foreign power’s cyberspying on a secretary of state’s correspondence.” My liberal friends have asked rhetorically if it’s treason. Never mind John Marshall’s opinion when the Supreme Court heard the Aaron Burr case. Never mind English common law and the Constitution. This morning liberals were hinting that Donald J. Turmp had committed treason in the hopes of shaming their conservative relatives and friends: You’ve been calling Democrats traitors my whole life? Here’s some of your own medicine. A stupid and dangerous ploy. When liberals try to beat the right at their own game they look like fools and wannabes (e.g. recall Walter Mondale attacking Ronald Reagan for suggesting he’d meet with the Soviets) or admit to their own affinities with the right (Clinton and Ricky Ray Rector, Clinton and NAFTA, Clinton and “welfare reform,” I’ll stop). Cheap, meretricious, and shriller than the competition.

And now, according to Marcy Wheeler, Clinton has trotted out Leon Pancetta. What’s next — Sandy Berger, the expert in purloining national security documents in his pants? I expect the neocon establishment that has lined up behind her in recent weeks to fulfill its end of the bargain and defend her. There are reasons why I don’t drink at 1:45 p.m.

Best films: 1995 and 1996

1996

Satantango (Bela Tarr)
Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh)
Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener)
Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
A Summer’s Tale (Eric Rohmer)
Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion)
Flirting With Disaster (David O. Russell)
La Ceremonie (Claude Chabrol)
Looking for Richard (Al Pacino)
Trees Lounge (Steve Buscemi)

1995

Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater)
Safe (Todd Haynes)
Exotica (Atom Egoyan)
A Short Film About Killing (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Crumb (Terry Zwigoff)
Babe (Chris Noonan)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling)
Kicking and Screaming (Noah Bambach)
Devil in a Blue Dress (Carl Franklin)

DNC, Day 2: I got Jeff Nichols out of the way

President Barack Obama and his family and Vice President Joe Biden and his family celebrate their nominations as the confetti falls at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

10:59. “You people have made history,” Meryl Streep said, like Joan Baez at Live Aid, making praise sound like admonishment.

10:54. Rachel Maddow: “For those who expected a feminist convention,” listen to the first half of the speech.

10:48. “One is real; the other is made up.” Well, he got one of those right.

10:37. …and he’s made Tom De Lay human, for god’s sake. He called him “House minority leader” though.

10:32. I suspect, as usual with this guy, that we’ll sneer and the crowd will love it. That’s how it was in the ’90s.

10:24. Checking states off a list, dropping references to her work with disabled citizens and children and starting a legal aid clinic in Arkansas, wagging that finger like a conductor’s baton, grandpa chuckles — he’s weaving cornball shit and political fictions into a narrative that many Democrats and pundits will sponge up.

10:16. Fact checkers: Mona Charen @monacharenEPPC Hillary did not have blond hair in her youth. She was a brunette.

10:16. It’s corny but his rhythms are unerring.

10:10. No Fleetwood Mac = blessing.

10:10. I don’t ahve the space or energy to refute the claims these video actors are making about Bill Clinton.

10:04. I’m feeling my usual ughhhs coming on when Bill Clinton’s on the teevee.

9:56. Ladies and gentleman…Madeline Albright (Meryl Streep)!

9:48. There’s probably no bar at the Wells Fargo Center.

9:45. Meryl Streep? After Bill Clinton? Has she been promised a fourth Oscar?

9:01. No need to mention foreign policy yet — not when the RNC defined “foreign policy” as “aim Death Star at Syria.” When 9-11 victims praise Clinton for securing aid, the symbolism is more potent: here are consequences of foreign policy.

8:32. Black lives matter, the arena chants. The differences between Clinton and Sanders disappear. These are the people whose lives will matter less during a Trump administration.

8:21. In the foul remnants of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s legacy called National Review Online, several posters early last week sniffed at liberal and Beltway pundits recoiling from Patricia Smith’s indictment of Hillary Clinton. Wait till those Black Lives Matter moms start talking, a couple said (I won’t link; you can Google). Watching the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Sandra Bland praise Clinton’s fealty to Black Lives Matter, I hear no rancor, no excoriation of Donald Trump — it’s a reminder of how the Democratic Party and an essential component of its base aligning. That’s the difference, NRO. We want our minority citizens to feel “safe and respected,” says a police chief.

8:07. Tony Goldwyn is speaking. Why do I care about the guy who killed Patrick Swayze in Ghost?

8:02. I heard that the senior senator from Vermont made a motion to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton by acclamation.

8:01. Sturdy when examining the numinous in rural life in films like Take Shelter and Mud, Jeff Nichols falters when filming the numinous; his approach is too poky, like he’s in a Sundance lab. That’s Midnight Special. Back to the convention.

6:14. New Jersey delegation nominated Hillary Clinton. Gonna watch Midnight Special instead.

Trump ‘insulting and offensive to the human race’

walter-mercado-05

Folks who didn’t grow up in South Florida have no idea of the cultural currency of Walter Mercado, the Liberace of Libra. For more than thirty years the flamboyant astrologer has charmed biddies with hair as pouffed and purple as his with charts and predictions. Well, should Donald J. Trump get elected in November, Mercado predicts Gog and Magog:

“I did a chart about what I see in the future and the present of this monster, this backwards person that can lead not only the United States, but the world, to total destruction,” Mercado said in Spanish. “He has no knowledge of politics and no knowledge of any type of diplomacy. He is a person that thinks money can buy anything and thinks that you can buy the conscience of all of humanity. The conscience cannot be bought with these policies that are so insulting and offensive to the human race.”

Yet:

“I am totally, completely and absolutely in favor of Hillary, and astrologically, she is the better prospect,” he said. “God willing, the stars will align so that we will have the right president.”

So listen, you Cuban Republicans: voting for Trump will upset the delicate balance of the solar system. Put your vote where your star charts are.

DNC: Day 1, no bourbon edition

I grew up in the age of Reagan, a period when Democrats sent monikers in search of governing philosophies. Many of my readers will not recognize “Atari Democrats.” If they know Gary Hart, it’s of an ugly older man finagling a younger woman on a boat. The Democratic Leadership Council is more familiar. So spooked were Democrats by Ronald Reagan that in the early eighties they decided to pursue Wall Street dough — a decision that looks more sinister in retrospect. Not a signal but a culmination, for even Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter had endorsed deregulation of airlines and banks; their younger acolytes believed Social Security needed “reform.” Exacerbating the problem was the Democrats’ vise on the House. A pair of two-year intervals aside, the Democrats controlled the House from 1930 to 1994, which mean that it considered every rotten accommodation with Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Bill Clinton, therefore, was another culmination. Buoyant and garrulous, he had the Reagan-esque optimism that pollsters dreamed of and policies to match. I’ve written enough about him. But when I matured politically Al Gore had chosen the Senate’s most concerted scold as his vice presidential running mate: the man who, in a tremulous voice as certain of its rectitude as a prison guard, condemned Clinton’s sexual appetites in the Senate. The Patriot Act and the authorization for use of military force against Iraq emitted the stale air of inevitability. If that’s what a Dem’s gotta do to get elected! Disgusted, I dropped my party affiliation in 2003.

Now I reach the point of my disquisiton. My friends endured with good cheer my public convulsions about whether to vote for John Kerry in 2004. Besotted with Paul Berman and Kenneth Pollack, I flirted with the liberal case for the Iraq War. I applauded my non-conformity. Vacillation is the sleazo’s trick — he thinks men and women will jump to convert him. But I didn’t vacillate. I voted for Kerry without a moment’s thought. John Kerry — the man who instead of pledging to exit Iraq wanted to fight a smarter war, as if war were preparing for a grammar test. Unmoved, I remained uncommitted through the GOP disasters of 2005 and 2006: Hurricane Katrina, Harriet Miers, Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson (yawn), the attorney firings (another yawn; I figured every president does it). The reports that House Majority Leader Tom Delay ran Congress as a front organization for lobbyists. The Supreme Court’s Hamdan ruling. I was relieved when the Dems retook Congress that November — relief, mind, not any sense of an affirmation of an agenda. Maybe Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid knew 2008 would be a Democratic year therefore held their fire, unlike their colleagues and descendants in the other party a decade later who think the winner, Barack Hussein Obama, is a bag of oats with a dry veto pen.

Obama’s inaugural legislative victories and subsequent executive orders reminding me that I was a liberal who had done little with my principles except act smug about them, I started to participate, tentatively, in the troublesome business of meeting people like me. In July 2016, I’m a liberal who endorsed Bernie Sanders despite being unable to vote for him in Florida’s closed primaries; I want the flawed and functional and scarred Hillary Rodham Clinton as president of the United States. It’s not even close.

A few notes:

— Now the Beltway press, embracing its conception of fairness that it confuses for objectivity, is ready to treat the Democratic National Convention as if it bore any resemblance to last week’s Nuremberg.

— The emails are no scandal. DNC chairs – all chairs – are political appointees (FDR toyed w/the notion of getting Jim Farley to run in 1940 before pulling a bait and switch). I wasn’t surprised. She still beat Sanders. As a former Sanders supporter I’m not that moved by it. I’m more chilled that the evidence points to Russian intelligence hacking the servers and leaking to Wikileaks.

— Al Franken was never funny.

— Politics has nought to do with moral choices.

— My cold’s gone. I’m out of bourbon.

— I hate “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” especially so when sung by a breathless and tuneless Paul Simon. As if we needed more reminders that, to quote hippie Neil Young, the hippie dream capsized in excess/If you know what I mean.

— Cory Booker, the sort of person who uses “pay it forward,” with sincerity, delivered the kind of speech meant for the admiring ears and eyes of columnists.

— “Every day I wake up in a house that was built by slaves.” Couple that line with her delivery and Michelle Obama scored the evening’s most palpable rhetorical hit.

Best films: 1997-1999

Happy-Together-074

1997

The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan)
Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai)
Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino)
Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
Grosse Pointe Blank (George Armitage)
The Wings of the Dove (Iain Softley)
The Daytrippers (Greg Mottola)
The River (Tsai Ming-Liang)
Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman)

1998

High Art (Lisa Cholodenko)
Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh)
Happiness (Todd Solondz)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson)
Love and Death on Long Island (Richard Kwietniowski)
The General (John Boorman)
Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes)
The Apostle (Robert Duvall)
The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)

1999

The Dreamlife of Angels (Eric Zonka)
The Limey (Steven Soderbergh)
Autumn Tale (Eric Rohmer)
Rosetta (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
The Straight Story (David Lynch)
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh)
Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce)
All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar)
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze)
Three Kings (David O. Russell)

Summer’s here and the time is right: Best of 1964

The first time my memory strained so much that I had to extensively consult the records, especially for country. I didn’t want to repeat so many Dave Clark Five or Beatles records. Actually, I’d love a Spotify playlist of country songs from this era when Roger Miller and Buck Owens dominated.

1. Roy Orbison – Oh Pretty Woman
2. The Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go
3. The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night
4. Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing in the Streets
5. Dionne Warwick – Walk On By
6. The Temptations – The Way You Do the Things You Do
7. Sam Cooke – Good Times
8. Chuck Berry – Nadine
9. Mary Wells – My Guy
10. Nat King Cole – I Don’t Want to Be Hurt Anymore
11. Ray Charles – That Lucky Old Sun
12. Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto – The Girl from Ipanema
13. The Dave Clark Five – Because
14. The Beatles – Twist and Shout
15. The Miracles – I Like It Like That
16. Lefty Frizell – Saginaw, Michigan
17. Johnny Cash – Understand Your Man
18. The Animals – House of the Rising Sun
19. Bobby Bare – Four Strong Winds
20. The Kinks – You Really Got Me
21. J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers – Last Kiss
22. Skeeter Davis – He Says the Same Things to Me
24. George Jones – Your Heart Turned Left (And I Was on the Right)
25. The Rolling Stones – It’s All Over Now
26. Beach Boys – Little Honda
27. Jan and Dean – Dead Man’s Curve
28. Dusty Springfield – Wishin’ and Hopin’
29. Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me
30. Marvin Gaye – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)

Best albums 2016: second half report

I’m a little past the halfway point, but I wanted to post these for the record. In no order.

KING – We are KING
Anderson Paak – Malibu
Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude
The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
Kevin Gates – Islah
Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks in Whispers
Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
David Bowie – Blackstar
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Beyonce – Lemonade
Anohni – Hopelessness
Katy B – Honey
K Michelle – More Issues Than Vogue
Brandy Clark – Big Day in a Small Town
Maxwell – blackSUMMERSNIGHT
Maren Morris – Hero
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Shura – Nothing’s Real
Alex Anwandter – Amiga
Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger