What To Read

AS A LAST RESORT, HERE ARE SOME BLOG POSTS:

His Nation’s Saving Face

So, where’s the best place to read about Mark E. Smith’s politics? Like, where did he stand on Brexit, for instance? What was that “obliguh-tree (n-word)” line all about? Have to admit, I’ve always been curious — But I’ve also always been either too lazy or too maybe-don’t-really-wanna-know to research it. I mean, I do…

Birds and Bees in the 1970s

Yesterday Rob Tannenbaum asked his facebook friends (of which I am one) the following: “A question for people who are roughly the same age as me, and had parents who were desperate to avoid discussing how babies are made: do you remember a small, hardcover book called something like The Miracle of Birth, that was…

The Capitol, Unguarded?

No doubt some of this is just veteran-of-Active-Duty chauvinism about N.G.’s, but the sight of all those unlucky weekend warriors splayed out across the floor of the Capitol — almost half of them 25 or younger, many maybe not at 100% readiness after whatever training got interrupted through the past plague year, almost all of…

150 Best Albums of 2012

So hey, were you aware all sorts of new sorts of music came out of nowhere in 2012? I sure wasn’t, but turns out that in The Wire that December a very helpful person named David Wilcox catalogued and explained and/or debunked a whole bunch of them for those of us happily out of the…

McCarthy Gives Away the House

“The full extent of concessions [Kevin] McCarthy had made to appease the hard-right rebels was not yet fully known, ” reported this morning’s New York Times , four days after he officially earned the right to cosplay as Speaker of the House of Representative on a first-time-since-the-Civil War-era 15th vote. “Some lawmakers expressed doubt that…

Non-Metal Reviews, 2012

Bhi Bhiman, Bhiman This super-idiosyncratic Sri Lankan from St. Louis sings soul-folk through a congested nose; his rhythms absorb Paul Simon’s Afro-Caribbean influence less clinically than, say, Vampire Weekend’s do. But his high-IQ verbosity is where it’s at: Brecht-to-hillbilly-to-talking-blues-infused songs about hopping trains, fuzzy-math accounting, broken atlatls (look it up), murder from O.J.’s perspective, kimchee…

Banging in the New Year

I don’t remember ever hearing New Year’s Eve (much less Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve Eve) firecrackers while growing up in suburban Detroit, where I’m pretty sure such booming was strictly a 4th of July thing. Not until I moved in the ’90s to live among apparent kin of Philadelphia mummers, belsnicklers and calithumpians…

Devil’s Cigars in My Backyard

Texas star mushrooms, or devil’s cigars, or Chorioactis geaster– named Texas’s first-ever state fungus in June 2021 — are a species that has so far been discovered growing only in select parts of southern Japan (in the Myazaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu and then in 2006 in a Nara prefecture forest on main…

40+ Best Country Singles of 2022

From what I’ve read, 2022 is supposed to be the year that neo-traditionalism (i.e., singers trying to sound like Travis and Strait and McEntire trying to sound like Haggard and Jones and Wynette) returned to country radio while everybody showed how much they missed to the ’90s (i.e., Twain and Brooks and Brooks & Dunn.)…

Every Day I’m Shuffling

How much of the music you listen to digitally do you listen to on shuffle, random play, whatever? For me, give or take work necessities, it’s close to 100%. I only stream, never download, and almost never listen to albums all the way through on line. But my supposed extreme anti-rockist (he actually calls himself…

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