Make America Drunk Again

  Not so unusual to have a madman close to running our country considering America was founded upon the abuse of alcohol. Susan Cheever’s slight but pleasing “Drinking in America” clarifies our major malfunction, beginning with the Mayflower’s decision to put in at Plymouth only because they’d run out of beer. Those Revolutionary War stories […]

Seven Ways of Thinking About "The Art of Fielding"

Chad Harbach’s Art of Fielding via My Laziness. Overused poetic trope, I know, but for book reviews? Maybe novel. 1.When amazing-hitting infielders lose their ability to throw to first, they become outfielders. See: Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Sheffield, etc. The book gives no reason why this change isn’t made. Henry Skrimshander is the best hitter on the team. […]

Last week: big for indie music geeks. And the winner is: Deerhoof – “Breakup Songs.” Short and to the boogie-woogie-point, the point being your butt. Runner-ups:Cat Power’s “Sun.” I saw Chan Marshall in concert in 1997, and I saw her on the street last year near my home. Better-looking through chemistry. Better albums? Maybe. “Sun” […]

My Arms Are Open But My Hair Is Thin

Heard myself some Arcade Fire today, and realized I hadn’t listened to them much since 2006 because they make music that lends drama to those young lives that lack any real drama of their own. And now I’m too old for drama. Thus: the music of people giving up. Like Nico’s Chelsea Girl, or any Hank […]

Ariel Pink, and Why

Ariel Pink first flashed across my radar maybe in 2003? A video on the defunct New York Noise (a tear falls): low budget, washed images of a live band, as inchoate as their impressionistic song, less a tune than pulses of noise, as if the Partridge Family had been embedded in a warped, chip-damaged Atari 2600 […]

Crying Like a Car-Struck Cat

By everything, I didn’t also mean writing. Forgive me, oh blog. My separately occurring lows (parental death, physical injury, cyclical thinking requiring chemical adjustment, etc) outnumbered my highs in 2011 and 2012. But whatever happens transforms into never-again. How about that?  The music never left. There were taste changes. There were hate changes. New loves. […]

2010: Faves and Duds

The swirling drain owned 2010: Chilton, RS Howard. None is the number. And yet, Swans & Three Mile Pilot came back from the beyond, so, hey. (not proofread. Like you care.) Singles: “Troublesome Houses” – Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang (off Wonder Show of the World) Oldham will never top this. So have […]