Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Holding out hope.

Jim Sleeper at TPM cafe says what I've wanted to say but haven't been able to articulate.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Sasha Frere Jones controversy

It is interesting to consider the ways in which the Brooklyn Philharmonic's choices of "independently-minded musicians" to work with represent a minor unfurling of some of the implications of Sasha Frere-Jones's argument-starting polemic on whiteness in indie rock.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Century of Cycling

This is a rare move for me, recommending something like this. I'm recommending that you read (at least some of (or even just watch the video embedded in)) Ian Brown's "The Boy in the Moon". It's about his son, and his relationship with his son, and things like that. Also: fucked up genes, the arbitrary nature of this godless world, the place of love in such a world, etc. It's neither the sentimental 'life will test you' liteness of daytime television, nor is it so grandiose, so removed from the cliche it isn't, as to obscure its own purpose.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Music in 2007

I'm pretty sure I sat down and listened to maybe like 4 2007 albums in 2007. I heard lots of 2007 songs in 2007 in various kinds of contexts (the store, the radio, the computer, my friend's house, the cellphone in the hand of the dude sitting next to me on the bus, the headphones in the ears of the dude sitting next to the dude sitting next to me, etc.). I am very bad at having favorites, and furthermore, in 2007 I have done almost nothing to cultivate anything like a position of authority on the subject of what's been good in 2007. So in lieu of my opinions, I link to this:

because what I want to read is an article by someone who finds occasion to be expansive and critical and interesting without saying some bullshit like "everything sucked about music in 2007." Because people do say things like that. And years are fairly arbitrary markers anyway.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I love that people do things like this. It suggests to me a kind of unbounded intimacy with that which is most alien, most disturbing: immersion in an environment that can kill your blood. Granted, body suits of vulcanized rubber do add a clear degree of insulation- I guess you've got to draw the line at actually accepting the infection, simply as a matter of self-preservation. Of course, the whale had no wetsuit:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Carl Wilson on Celine Dion

Here's a nice interview with Carl Wilson- not, that is, the Beach Boy, but rather the author of the most worthwhile response that I came across to that recent Sasha Frere Jones New Yorker article on whiteness in indie rock that so predictably caused such a stir. Wilson's newly-published book on Celine Dion is the subject of the above interview, and it sounds like a very thoughtful articulation of matters I spend a lot of quiet time dwelling on, so I just bumped it to the top of my reading list.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tariq Ramadan

No secret revealed here, just a very interesting and pleasantly level-headed times magazine article from back towards the beginning of the year that I only just now read:

Ian Buruma on Tariq Ramadan:

In American terms, he is a Noam Chomsky on foreign policy and a Jerry Falwell on social affairs.