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") *
So far we've had a fine time here. Trying to go upscale a little, my great and modestly priced motel cut out the free breakfast and invited us to buy breakfast in their restaurant. Instead Carola and I went to the supermarket and bought fixings, including half a pound of butter, an excellent roll and a less excellent croissant, and some good jam. Usually I am a Smart Balance guy, and like it fine--it's a good product that has reduced my just marginally high cholesterol. But man, did that butter taste good. Next week I'll behave myself.
Which reminds me--given what he's revealed of his dietary practices, what does Cardiologist Cam believe about cholesterol?
--Instituted and monitored the Village Voice’s first dress code in 1975 (knit golf shirts and cleanly pressed slacks for the men, floral skirts and white blouses for the ladies)
--Refused to change the grade for Iggy Pop’s Party despite a tearful appeal from Iggy’s mom (he did briefly consider giving the thing an Incomplete)
--Bought Richard Meltzer his first beer
--Organized and directed the Occupy Boise movement entirely by postcard and fax machine
--Was the first person ever to say to Lester Bangs “That’s a bad cough; have you tried Romilar?”
--Curb-stomped James Chance in front of all of James’ friends
--Suggested to John Lennon that it “might be fun” if he inserted a couple of lines from “You Can’t Catch Me” into “Come Together”
--Danced on Jean-Baptiste Isabey’s grave at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (he meant to dance on Jim Morrison’s grave but was misdirected)
--Pimp-slapped and pistol-whipped James Chance at a Chance family reunion
--Threw a copy of Ellen Willis’s Beginning to See The Light at a pie-maker who was monopolizing Greil Marcus’ time
--Signed my copy of Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough at his 60th birthday party at EMP in Seattle (Thanks, Bob!)
--Decided his own Bill Laswell-produced debut album was a low B Minus, refused to release it
--Threw Ellen Willis at Greil Marcus to get an extra piece of pie
--Heckled James Chance to tears at James’ wedding
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.
And also to the point: it's kinda cute that Milo diagnosed Patrick's listomania (albeit with gruesome fast-and-loose language about addiction) on the same day he contributed a sweet list of faux-Beatles tunes himself! I just asked my shrink- brother for help on diagnosing this and he told me I should read up on the "narcissism of minor differences."
That plucky lad Alex Wilson needs no defending, certainly not by me. But I sure do get the heebie-jeebies when (insert-gender-neutral-term-for-graybeards) go too hard at young folks. There's just something, I don't know...sad about the kill your sons vibe. There's a great multigenerational conversation that goes on here at EW and I know it wouldn't work if there were rules of comportment. But, Milo, there are hierarchies of power that develop in virtual communities, as in the real world, and being older (not to mention being a widely-read and respected print and radio critic) brings with it special responsibility I think. Sometimes we old folks just have to bite our tongues, even when we think that the young people are dumb and full of whatever fluid it was they were talking about last thread.
Is this a practical matter (i.e., easier to get people to take statins) or is he perhaps overemphasizing the health benefits of diet and exercise?
When I think of Levon Helm I see the picture of him in mid-song, at his drum kit, singing. In love with American music if anybody has ever been in love with anything. You can hear it; every roll, every off beat, every whoop and holler.
given what he's revealed of his dietary practices, what does Cardiologist Cam believe about cholesterol?
You have improved our lives and we are thankful.
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know we're so alone
And life is brief..."
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.