Thomas Anderson/Craig Finn
Thomas Anderson: The Moon in Transit (Four-Track Demos, 1996-2009) (Out There)
By electing to expend his Dutch East India advance on a fancy tape recorder instead of the Velvet Underground reunion, this Austin singer-songwriter acquired the means to preserve his songs in analog form, and here's the fruit. There were two good albums and then three marginal ones over two decades, so who'd expect a grab bag to be his best? Yet it is. With all four tracks laid down DIY, it's even squarer rhythmically than his norm, and his calm drawl verges on the spectral. But it also verges on the hypnotic, and the guy can write stories and work up tunes. After a brief fanfare, there's an opener about the Donner Party so gruesome and precise I sometimes skip to the merely spooky "Heckling Houdini." Also featured are a 33-year-old groupie-turned-granny, a cross-dressing uncle, Ubangi-stomping Warren Smith, a painfully slow lunch with Nefertiti a few years or millennia too late, driving till you're dizzy in a dumbshit town, and the one about lost love and "Antihistamines": "Chlorpheniramine, Diphenhydramine,/Doxylamine, Phenindamine,/ Tripolidine and Pheniramine,/I can't cure my pain with antihistamines." A MINUS
Craig Finn: Clear Heart Full Eyes (Vagrant)
On a wittingly laid-back solo debut where the declamatory Hold Steady frontman knows he can't bring off the country vocals his best songs deserve, he nails three flat-out anyway: "Terrified Eyes" (couple destroyed by their hospital bills), "When No One's Watching" (snazzy scuzzball seeks needy women), and "Balcony" (she does with her new man what she did with her old man back when he was new). The rest tend more, how to say it, evocative. But at least they evoke specifics‑-Middle American dramatis personae as marginal as Wussy's. B PLUS
Hatful of Hollow may finally get its A minus? Johnny Marr never thought Morrissey would live to see the day.How about Singles getting an A?
I haven't yet seen the clip, only read about it from you all while I was working. But that's....illuminating. And extremely sad.
I think it actually is rather nefarious. That's a few too many glowing references to "traditional" values in a segment about gay rights for me.
Well, he's still Bill O'Reilly. But he's in a better position to affect public opinion on this than practically anybody else - he's planting a seed that you can treat gays as equals (and think McCarthyism was bad!) while still being a Fox News-loving "real American" with "traditional values" - sounds like progress to me! If his views on gay equality and his ways of discussing them fell in line with more left-wing ones, he wouldn't be on Fox in the first place, and even if he was, he would have zero credibility, and therefore zero impact, with their viewership.
When he notes early on in the segment that his employer, Fox News, has "made a tremendous contribution to the country by respecting traditional opinion," midway through mentions attacks on himself by "far-left loons" because he "stands up for traditional values," and ends the sequence by agreeing that homosexuality "may be a serious problem in our culture," I think it actually is rather nefarious. That's a few too many glowing references to "traditional" values in a segment about gay rights for me. I haven't yet seen the clip, only read about it from you all while I was working. But that's....illuminating. And extremely sad.
But I'm glad he said what little he said, and I'll stop complaining.
their taste in music is specifically bound up with their sense of themselves, rather than negotiating that additional sense of 'music' as a field of human endeavor
Duke, I'm not sure I understand. In practice, what would be the difference between the listening habits of someone whose taste is bound with their sense of themselves vs someone who conceives of music primarily as a field of human endeavor? How do you tell between one and the other? Can you separate the two that neatly?
Not terribly nefarious, that.
Bill O'Reilly defends Ellen DeGeneres
Bill O'Reilly defends Ellen DeGeneres, compares organized homophobia to McCarthyism. I can't believe it.I'm surprised he actually cited McCarthyism as a bad thing -- what will Ann Coulter think?
Bill O'Reilly defends Ellen DeGeneres, compares organized homophobia to McCarthyism. I can't believe it.
Well, if there is an apocalypse that's surely got to be a sign of it!
P.S. Friend and I decided to go spend money at JC Penny even though we don't need to and saying 'Thank you for keeping Ellen.'
also, upon recommendation by N.F. and J.G., got Cloud Nothing's new record, which yes is awesome. and J.G. nailed it's allure.
2. "I enjoy listening to albums just fine, but I also love the idea of them serving as raw material for playlists." There's no doubt that this has been one of the fundamental relationships between myself and music in the course of my life. It's part of why I'm so sensitive to Milo's quite 'venerable' track listings: having made mixes almost my whole musical life has made me an opinionated if not exactly vocal exegete of proper tune placement. Here's a recent example of my quarreling with contingency:
When you get a chance can you post the information on how and where I can catch your radio show?
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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