City of Stars

City of Stars

5

Feb

2017

La La Land has, as I write this, been nominated for an astounding 14 Academy Awards, and it is very likely going to win most, or even all, of them.  It has a chance of becoming the most decorated film in motion picture history, and if you follow the absurd metric that Oscars are indicative of quality, the best movie ever m ...
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Revolutionary Theory

Revolutionary Theory

19

Jan

2017

My origin story with hip-hop still burns in my brain like it happened yesterday.  Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell had just been released, and for me -- a white suburban kid who'd been raised an only child in a house full of outlaw country and 'beautiful music' -- it seemed like something being beamed at me from a different plan ...
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Put Me In, Coachella – Part III

Put Me In, Coachella – Part III

10

Jan

2017

I don't really care for outdoor music festivals.  For one thing, I am a hundred and seventeen years old, and it is something that young people do, like smart drugs, the Banana Sprite Challenge, and being a well-dressed neo-Nazi.  It also robs being outdoors of its major appeal (peace and tranquility), and robs noisy rock ...
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Put Me In, Coachella – Part II

Put Me In, Coachella – Part II

6

Jan

2017

The Coachella Music Festival has been in the news lately, partly because it's just that time of year and there's never enough content to go around so somehow an overpriced outdoor concert is transformed into 'news', but mostly because of allegations that Philip Anschutz (the owner of AEG, the entertainment conglomerate that ...
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Put Me In, Coachella

Put Me In, Coachella

5

Jan

2017

Recently, a meme was going around that your real age is 100 minus the number of bands playing at the Coachella music festival that you've actually heard of before.  In my case, this turned out to be 63 -- a good number, placing me (as in real life) right at that sweet spot where you're basically old enough to retire, but a ...
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Wild as the Wind

Wild as the Wind

3

Jan

2017

Nina Simone was such a singular and remarkable talent that the story of her success seemed almost inevitable.  The scientist Stephen Jay Gould once remarked that there was less to interest him in the folds of Einstein's brain than there was in the near certainty that people just as brilliant spent their lives toiling in ob ...
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20 for 2016

20 for 2016

12

Dec

2016

I don't really listen to much new music anymore.  Partly this is because no one pays me to do it anymore, and partly it's because I have other things to do, but mostly it's just because I'm old, and nobody needs another white guy in his mid-40s telling them what to listen to.  And yet, here we are, and I need content!  S ...
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These Are The Breaks

These Are The Breaks

16

Aug

2016

Some people prefer fiction, they will tell you, because it is infinitely malleable.  While history must only tell us what is known, fiction can tell us what is merely imagined, and it can do it in any order; only fiction, some have argued, can tell a truly complete story, because it can tell us the secrets, the dreams, and ...
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The Special Man

The Special Man

11

Jan

2016

Well, the news in this corner of the world -- a world that seems less strange and charming without David Bowie in it -- is the same as it is all over. He had one last shock in him, and he kept us guessing until the end; I wish like anything it hadn't happened, but there's something so fitting about the way he went out. Ther ...
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Springtime for Satire

Springtime for Satire

12

Nov

2015

Let's talk about Hitler for a little bit.No, no, not about going back in time and killing the baby version of him.  We can all agree that this is nice clean fun, and in terms of using it to retroactively secure our national security, Jeb Bush (pardon me, Jeb! Bush) seems to have the situation well in hand.  What I'm talk ...
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A Problem That’s Not a Problem

A Problem That’s Not a Problem

29

Oct

2015

 "Little things that just don't matter," goes a Quasi lyric often quoted by my partner, "still could get me mad as a hatter".  Yes, folks, we've been putting it off for a long time, and I'm not any happier about it than you are, but it's time we finally had a talk about the intersection of cultural criticism and soci ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Heart of a Dog

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Heart of a Dog</i>

19

Oct

2015

Laurie Anderson has had a lot to deal with over the last few years.Since 2013, she was faced with, in rapid succession, the death of her mother Mary Louise, her husband Lou Reed, and her beloved dog, Lolabelle.  Never one to let such matters overwhelm her, though, she dealt with these potentially crippling losses with the ...
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Drowning the Document

Drowning the Document

2

Oct

2015

It happened while my partner was watching Keith Richards:  Under the Influence.  "This isn't bad," she said, "but it seems so much like an advertisement for his book."  I couldn't help but agree; taken all in all, Under the Influence, Life, and Crosseyed Heart seem less like disparate threads in one man's artistic tap ...
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Eighties Eighties Eighties

Eighties Eighties Eighties

29

Aug

2015

Pitchfork, the music website that everybody loves to hate, has just released a list of the alleged 200 best singles of the 1980s.  Response on the internet has been, well, response on the internet:  discussion of the merits of the songs included is vastly outweighed by outrage at the absence of the songs excluded; the pur ...
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Who Owns Culture?

Who Owns Culture?

24

Aug

2015

Straight Outta Compton is in theaters as I write this, and like just about everything the former Andre Romelle Young touches, from subpar headphones to white dingbats from Detroit, it has turned to gold, raking in over $100 million at the box office so far.  What exactly this means for society is a bit unclear, which hasn' ...
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