Tag Archives: Lists

The best of Jeff Lynne, producer

Those of us who lived during the Poppy Bush Interzone got accustomed to the layers of overdubbed acoustic guitars, counterpoint harmonies, and incongruously layered synths of the average Jeff Lynne production, always for an artist over forty. Dave Edmunds was … Continue reading

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One of these days you’re gonna get it right: the best of Electric Light Orchestra

I knew I’d joined a special place when the first act Stylus Magazine inducted its Hall of Fame wasn’t Joy Division, Talking Heads, or Brian Eno but…ELO. Tireless enthusiasts of British pop but with progressive-rock roots, Electric Light Orchestra at … Continue reading

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The best of David Lynch

A halfhearted consumer of basic cable, I feel ashamed writing this list without having watched beyond the first episode of the new Twin Peaks. Then again, literalists would have accused me of including TV. Fuck’em. The brevity of my list … Continue reading

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Done worked a groove: the best of D’Angelo

With a slim oeuvre for which my colleagues have made grand claims, D’Angelo has used writer’s block as a kind of incubator: for thirteen years he watched as Brown Sugar and Voodoo matured into R&B touchstones, unsullied by mediocre contractual … Continue reading

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Good ol’ Lipton’s Tea: The best of Roman Polanski

His best films are funny! Rooted in a tradition of absurdist theater that was itself a reflection of a grisly reality, Roman Polanski made movies whose laughs stuck in your throat. He would’ve been the ideal adapter of Roald Dahl. … Continue reading

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The horror: the best of Francis Ford Coppola

This brief list shows the consequences of remaining tethered to Hollywood after gonzo success. I have no idea whether Francis Ford Coppola would have made better films as a John Cassavetes. I suspect not. He needed big dough from foreign … Continue reading

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I just wanna hear you say I, I, I, I, I: the best of James Brown

No way in hell will I essay my own context-building, not when exemplary profiles by Philip Gourevitch and Jonathan Lethem exist. Besides, my intro to James Brown I credit to an episode of The Cosby Show in which Rudy Huxtable … Continue reading

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The dying sound of distant drums: the best of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan

I thought this would a be a ten or fifteen-song list at most, but despite the expected lapses into passive musical accompaniment expected of strumming-addicted singer-songwriters, the solo work of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan boasts the same intelligence that … Continue reading

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What’s there is cherce: the best of George Cukor

I don’t know if Hollywood producers intended the “women’s director” as a vulgar allusion to George Cukor’s homosexuality, but they appreciate the reliable box office and mantel of Academy Awards his actors earned. A creature of the industry whose warmth … Continue reading

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The best of film noir, Pt.2

I compiled a sequel because my readers, correctly, found crucial omissions. A few of these were bound to show up anyway had I decided to extend it. 1. The Big Sleep, dir. John Huston 2. The Reckless Moment, dir. Max … Continue reading

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Best film noir

Should I even write a preface? This genre that flourished just after World War II accepted the city as a dangerous but beautiful place, demanded that women play on the same field as men so long as they were dangerous, … Continue reading

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Sorting through the best of Steven Soderbergh

Just old enough to remember the hype, I watched Sex, Lies, and Videotape enthralled. Its coolness (the terrible late eighties furniture) and precise details (drinking all that iced tea) compensated for how written in the film school sense the film … Continue reading

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