Odds and Ends 008
Rock After 55: Wise Maybe, Weary Definitely
Lee Scratch Perry: Rise Again (MOD Technologies)
Surrounded by such coequals as Tunde Adebimpe, Sly Dunbar, and Hamid Drake, he‑-uh-oh‑-behaves himself ("Orthodox," "House of God") ***
Wanda Jackson: The Party Ain't Over (Nonesuch/Third Man)
Jack White hits the geriatric Christian hottie with songs and horns that remind us what a weirdo she must be ("Thunder on the Mountain," "Shakin' All Over") **
John Hiatt: Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (New West)
Decades past his last outright keeper and 60 this year, he continues to roll out listenable collections like he'll never stop ("Don't Wanna Leave You Now," "Damn This Town," "Detroit Town") **
Bonnie Raitt: Slipstream (Redwing)
Bartholin's glands don't fail me now ("Used to Rule the World," "Million Miles") **
Dr. John: Locked Down (Nonesuch)
"For my next trick I will shuck my jive and generalize indignantly over a declarative rock beat" ("Big Shot," "Locked Down") **
Rick Berlin: Paper Airplane (Hi-N-Dry)
"And Sean looked grim and said, `Suicide'" ("Sean Penn on Charlie Rose," "If I Wasn't Such a Bum") **
Steve Earle: I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (New West)
There'll never be too many songs about death or George W. Bush ("Little Emperor," "Waitin' on the Sky") *
Marshall Chapman: Big Lonesome (Tall Girl)
Breakup album about a musician who up and died on her ("Big Lonesome," "I Love Everybody") *
One activity I've also taken up is going up the highest point in each state. In some states you drive your car and walk 10 feet or so, but some are all-day hikes. So far, I've stood atop 35 states, plus DC. I will not go up some state high points - too dangerous, or too long. (I count 6 of these.) So only 9 more to go.
I don't know why, but I never listen to music when I hike - it just doesn't seem right for some reason......
Sadly the campaign is not very musical... (although a clip from the green party had a remix from Final Fantasy X, odd choice if I may say so)
Levon Helm: The Band's version of "Atlantic City." It's a beautiful performance.
Just bought it. Am I morbid to put it on a playlist right before "Danko/Manuel"?
Quite frankly, I think there's a built-in ceiling to how many people this forum can attract - the potential audience for music criticism of any type, let alone a thoughtful kind that covers so much musical ground and tosses out so many of the purist assumptions that many indie and classic-rock fans cling to like their lives depend on it just isn't that big. And that's neither your fault nor mine nor Xgau's nor MSN's. We should consider ourselves damn lucky that we've had to deal with so few trolls and random Googlers and YouTube-style commenters.
Does anyone here aside from Milo really dig Gloss Drop by the Battles?
I enjoy it a lot! I wish more indie bands did something interesting with rhythms and made it sound lively, as opposed to sounding like Tortoise.
Mitt Romney under fire over Ted Nugent's Obama comment
Like most things in American public life these days, I can't decide if this is absolutely hilarious or deeply frightening.
Mostly I'm trying to imagine an earlier headline, "Humphrey in trouble over Country Joe's Nixon comment".
If the point of going to a concert isn't to see the artist in question, but instead to feel a rush that can only be experienced when many other people are feeling the exact same way, is there anything wrong with having holograms or dancers or past projections of a performer serve as the headlining act? (Cover bands and karaoke DJs probably have their own answers to this question, but the scale involved with putting on a pop production makes the question loom larger as well.) This, of course, also brings up the economics—namely, will people be more likely to pay for, say, a revue honoring the best songs by Madonna where the Material Girl is only present in spectral form or as a dancing BOY TOY belt, than they will for a set by a bunch of flesh-and-blood musicians wailing away on their instruments? (And which outing will be more expensive?)
Edit: I wasn't being sarcastic, you silly billies!
I spent four days hiking the Connecticut stretch of the Appalachian Trail
I think John Anderson studied this one, because he later did the song too with the amended line "and I'm South of the line" instead of "don't get caught on the wrong side of the line."
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.