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Song of the Day (12/24/09) December 24, 2009

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It’s more than a little cliché, but for me this will always be one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.  It’s sentimental without being maudlin, and captures the spirit of the holiday in exemplary fashion.  Here’s The Pogues, with “Fairytale of New York.”

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Intermission December 24, 2009

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All apologies for disappearing without a trace for the last ten – or so – days.  After the semester ended, and I survived the blizzard of portfolios and final assignments that needed to be graded, I decided to take a little break, which I’m still currently enjoying.  At the moment I’m in the wilds of rural Ohio, being coddled by my parents and enjoying a little snow and holiday cheer.

Three Seconds of Dead Air will return to full capacity sometime next week.  When that happens you can look forward to my fifth Stephen King review (John Carpenter’s Christine), catch-up reviews of a few other flicks (Up in the Air and The Road, maybe, and probably Avatar, too), and the list of my Top 50 albums of the decade.  Among other things.  Until then, have a happy holiday (yes, I am waging a war on Christmas).

Current listening:

Sigur Ros – ( ) (2002)

Current reading:

T.C. Boyle – Talk Talk (2006)

Last movie seen:

The Road (2009; John Hillcoat, dir.)

Song of the Day (12/13/09) December 13, 2009

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In the mid-80’s, The Waterboys played music that was so stirring and anthemic that they temporarily gave U2 a run for their money.  Frontman and principal songwriter Mike Scott made it his mission to play something he called “The Big Music”: soaring, majestic tunes that didn’t stint on ambition.  The band has gone through several permutations since then, taking in rustic Gaelic tunes and a vaguely creepy born-again vibe on later albums.  Scott is the only constant in the band’s history, and while his recent music doesn’t pack quite the punch as his earlier songs, the band had a pretty stellar three-album run (This Is the Sea; Fisherman’s Blues; Room to Roam) that I still return to frequently.  To make up for the recent lack of Songs of the Day (and I realize if the frequency of these particular posts continues to slow, I’ll have to give them another name), here are two of the standout songs from their 1985 album, This Is the Sea. The first is called “The Whole of the Moon”; the second is the album’s title track.  Both are amazing.

Cinema Sunday (12/13/09) December 13, 2009

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The highest praise I can bestow on Lee Daniels’ amazing and heartbreaking film Precious is that it made me take seriously as artists both Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey.  A movie that doesn’t have a plot as much as it simply traces the living hell of its title character, Precious could have gone wrong in any number of ways.  It could have been a tedious slog through an urban Dante’s Inferno – a way for guilty white people to get a glimpse of inner-city strife.  On the other hand, the movie could have come across as the phoniest of bolognas.  In an effort to make the brutality of Precious’ life palatable for mainstream audiences, director Daniels and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher could have downplayed the violence and turned it into a sort of Wayans-esque depiction of squalor.  Against all odds, though, Daniels has made a movie that’s brutal, uncomprising, and ultimately uplifting.

A lion’s share of the credit has to go to the cast, which is uniformly excellent.  Gabby Sidibe plays Clarice “Precious” Jones, an obese, sixteen-year-old 8th grader who was serially raped by her father.  These attacks have given her one child already (a daughter with Down’s Syndrome), and as the movie opens, Precious discovers she’s pregnant with a second.  Comedian Mo’Nique plays Precious’ mother, Mary, a woman who only leaves the apartment to play the lottery, and spends the rest of the time in front of the TV.  After Precious is expelled from school, she is allowed to attend an alternative school.  Here she meets Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), the teacher who makes all of her students write regularly, and in doing so, take control of the narrative of their lives.

These three actors are amazing, but most of the accolades are justifiably going to the two main characters. As Precious, Sidibe seethes quietly, and through her we see how living in a domestic war zone affects a child.  She’s been taught – by her mother who beats her and verbally abuses her, her father who rapes her, the school which neglects her – that she means nothing, that she is nothing, and this is personified in the slump of Precious’ shoulders, in the way she mumbles and keeps her eyes downcast, in her refusal to share anything about herself at the first class in her new school.  The movie is personal, to be sure, but it’s also a scathing indictment of the system that has allowed Precious to become this way.

And then there’s Mo’Nique.  Playing one of the most thoroughly despicable characters in film history, the danger here is that Mary would become a one-note villain – just a variation on the mustache-twirling bad guy from the silent film era.  There are two absolutely virtuoso scenes where we see the depth of the performance, as well as the metaphorical cancer at the center of Mary’s personality.  In the first, a social worker comes to the apartment earlier than expected to see if Mary is still eligible for benefits.  Wearing a terrible wig and holding Precious’ daughter to complete the tranquil domestic scene, Mary comes across as the doting, attentive mother and grandmother.  When the social worker isn’t looking, however, Mary shoots murderous glances at Precious and is barely able to contain her rage at the squirming child on her lap.  It’s a high-wire act that’s thrilling to watch.  The second scene comes late in the movie, as Mary is interviewed by a second social worker (played by a de-glammed and frankly astounding Mariah Carey, hereby forgiven for Glitter).  In the course of the interview, Mary admits how Precious’ father began sexually abusing his daughter, why she allowed it to happen, and why she ultimately blames it on Precious.  It’s disgusting and infuriating, but it’s also heartbreaking to see how Mary is a victim of the same system that has so beaten down her daughter.  All the awards talk focusing on Mo’Nique’s performance is entirely justified.  If the Academy knows anything about acting at all, she’ll both be nominated and win in a landslide.

As I said at the top, while the movie is certainly harsh and terrifying, it’s also optimistic.  This optimism comes in the form of Ms. Rain, Precious’ teacher.  While Precious isn’t an education movie in the mold of Stand and Deliver or Dangerous Minds, it does present the thesis that education is one of the best ways for disadvantaged children to break free of the system that has held them down.  As Precious becomes more comfortable with both Ms. Rain and her peers, she becomes an avid writer, and this gives her hope that she can earn her GED and go to college.  And this is where the movie becomes more than just a tour of an inner-city hell.  Ms. Rain’s compassion, as well as her unrelenting determination that Precious not give up on herself, reminds us – especially those of us in education – that we have to help empower those less fortunate than we are.  Precious is one of the best movies of the year because it says, simply, this is what’s wrong with our system, but here’s how we fix it.

*****

Current listening:

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Respect (1993)

A Last Act of Desperate Men December 12, 2009

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There are many, many reasons to love actor Brian Cox: pioneering the role of Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter; expelling Max Fischer, as Dr. Guggenheim, in Rushmore; swallowing his pride to play Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers; spitting profanity like champ in his role as Robert McKee in Adaptation; portraying one of the best fathers in the history of cinema in 25th Hour. He’s been one of my favorites for years – but this video gives me one more reason to think he’s aces.

*****

Current listening:

The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999)

Last movie seen:

Precious (2009; Lee Daniels, dir.)

Another Version of the Truth December 11, 2009

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Of all the adaptations of Stephen King’s work, there are five films regularly – and justifiably – singled out not as just great adaptations, but as great movies: Carrie, The Shining, Stand by Me, Misery, and The Shawshank Redemption.  For my money, though, I think you could easily add David Cronenberg’s 1983 version of The Dead Zone to that list.

One need look no further than the principal figures involved with the movie to get a sense of its quality.  You have Cronenberg, who had just come off Scanners and Videodrome (two of the creepiest, most imaginative films of the early 80’s), and who was just about to make The Fly and Dead Ringers (two of the creepiest, most imaginative films of the mid to late 80’s); screenwriter Jeffery Boam would go on to write The Lost Boys and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; and Christopher Walken – long before he became a parody of himself – gives one of the most restrained, nuanced performances of his career as Johnny Smith, a man blessed, or cursed, with visions of the future.

At the start of the film, schoolteacher Johnny is happily involved with Sarah (played by Brooke Adams), one of his colleagues.  They giggle, engage in a little hallway PDA, and go on a date.  At the end of the evening, Sarah invites Johnny inside but Johnny, ever the gentleman, declines.  Driving home in the pouring rain, Johnny plows into a milk truck (one of the movie’s few bum notes), and flips his car.  He awakes from a coma five years later to discover that Sarah is married and – oh yeah – when he touches people’s hands he’ll occasionally get a flash of some future event in that person’s life (and it’s always bad – no one wins the lottery or gets a surprise promotion at work or finally scores with the hot Waffle House waitress).

The rest of the film is split in half.  In the first section, Johnny struggles to come to grips with his newfound ability.  He’s enlisted by Sheriff Bannerman (Tom Skerritt, in a cool little role) to solve a string of murders that have been taking place over the last few years (and get ready to cringe at one of the most grotesque death scenes in film history).  In the second section, Johnny meets Greg Stillson (played by a wonderfully messianic Martin Sheen), a Congressional candidate who’s not above playing hardball with the local newspaper to get a negative editorial retracted (it involves, as these things often do, photographs of the publisher in flagrante dilicto with a young lady – at which point one of the bad guys predictably points to a photo and says, “I think this one is my favorite”).  At a Stillson rally, Johnny shakes hands with the candidate and receives a flash of the future – Stillson as a presidential demagogue, about to wage nuclear war on the rest of the planet.

It’s at this point that Johnny finds some of these premonitions have, as he describes it, “something missing” – a dead zone.  In these instances, Johnny realizes that the future can still be changed, and now he has to decide how to keep his vision of President Stillson from becoming a reality.  This leads to a darkly funny climactic sequence that is brilliantly executed and, more importantly, 100% satisfying.  I’ve seen too many movies that have cruised through the first 85 minutes, only to blow it in the last five.  Here, Cronenberg wraps things up exactly as he should – it’s the perfect ending.

I don’t remember enough of King’s book to make a comparison, but one of the things I admire most about Cronenberg’s movie is that, yes, it’s a thriller, but it’s also a fairly potent exploration of some heavy moral and philosophical issues.  For instance, if you could have a hand in altering the future, what level of responsibility do you have?  At first, Johnny doesn’t want anything to do with Bannerman’s police investigation, but he changes his mind when he realizes that any future victims could be partially his fault.  Later, as he wrestles with his premonition of the maniacal President Stillson, Johnny approaches his Jewish doctor with a hypothetical scenario that’s usually tired and worn-out, but which works remarkably well in this context.  If, he asks the doctor, you had met Hitler in his youth and knew what he would ultimately become, what would you do?  The doctor’s response is terrific: “I’m a man of medicine. I’m expected to save lives and ease suffering. I love people. Therefore, I would have no choice but to kill the son of a bitch.”  The movie goes beyond typically Stephen Kingian, things-that-go-bump-in-the-nightisms to delve into some darker, deeper corners.

I think there are a variety of reasons why The Dead Zone isn’t remembered as fondly as some of its peers.  It doesn’t have the striking imagery of The Shining or Carrie; it’s not as overtly suspenseful as Misery; it’s not as proudly sentimental as Stand by Me or The Shawshank Redemption. Those aren’t flaws, though.  Cronenberg’s direction and pacing are as sure-handed as ever, and Walken’s performance – while not as flashy as Jack Nicholson’s in The Shining or Kathy Bates’ in Misery – is sensitive and believable.  The Dead Zone is suspenseful and compelling, and, as is usually the case with Cronenberg’s movies, shot through with a rich vein of dark humor.  It’s an understated and effective movie that deserves to be elevated to the top tier of Stephen King adaptations.

Read my other Stephen King reviews here:

Carrie, 1976 (11/14/09)

The Shining, 1980 (11/18/09)

Creepshow, 1982 (11/24/09)

Cujo, 1983 (11/30/09)

Up next: Christine (1983)

*****

Current listening:

The Seahorses – Do it Yourself (1997)

Song of the Day (12/9/09: New Artist Double-Shot) December 9, 2009

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Goddamn, I love music.  There will always be a part of me that wished I didn’t.  Or at least not so much.  It would be so much more convenient to just lock myself into a handful of favorite bands and follow them (or reminisce about them) for the rest of my life.  But if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to constantly discover new artists.  Like Phantogram.  I don’t know anything about them – apart from the fact that it’s a guy and a girl, and their music is amazing.  Their debut album, Eyelid Movies, has been on repeat play for the last few weeks, and it’s surely going to find its way onto my year-end Top Ten list.  I know it’s not Saturday, but you’re getting two videos anyway.  It’s my blog, so deal with it.

The first song is the leadoff track from Eyelid Movies.  It’s called “Mouthful of Diamonds,” and here they perform it live for Seattle’s KEXP.

The second song is accompanied by one of those cheesy homemade videos, so close your eyes if you find it annoying and just listen to the music.  This song is called “Running from the Cops.”

The Walls Are Coming Down December 9, 2009

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It’s always sort of funny to watch this blog capture – or reflect, I guess – the zeitgeist.  I can tell what’s happening in pop culture by which of my posts are currently getting the most hits.  So far today, roughly 500 people have stumbled across my comparison of The Biggest Loser (honorable and empowering) with More to Love (whiny and gluttonous), which means people are burning up the Internet trying to read about last night’s Biggest Loser finale. While I’ve written posts that are certainly more deserving of attention, I’m at least happy that the focus is on this one and no longer on the stupid one-sentence joke I posted about Levi Johnston several weeks ago.  Following Sarah Palin’s appearance on Oprah, hundreds of people were reading this blog, mainly because they were hoping to find a photo of Levi Johnston in the altogether.  Sorry to disappoint you, pervs.

Anyway, since I’ve written about Biggest Loser before, it seems appropriate to briefly discuss this season’s final episode.

• I love Bob the trainer.  I really do.  Jillian’s my favorite because … well, duh.  But Bob has that zen calm that I wish I had instead of the ball of anxiety that’s permanently lodged in my gut.  As much as I love Bob, though, I sort of resent the clips of him telling the contestants that they’re “heroes.”  I get that we live in a hyperbolic society where words are continuously dulled and diminished, but it seems especially cheap to refer to someone’s weight loss as a heroic act.  I don’t even care if, in winner Danny’s case, he’s doing it to be a better father.  Losing weight to be good to your family doesn’t make you a hero.  It means you’re finally not being a selfish bastard.

• On that same point, I grew tired of how 49-year-old Liz was continually portrayed as a victim, as though gangs of rogue Hostess executives held her down and force-fed her Twinkies.  Numerous times throughout the season, Jillian or Bob or Liz herself would say something like this: “You gave everything you had to take care of your family, and you didn’t have any time to take care of yourself.”  I’m sure she was busy.  No doubt.  I’m not diminishing the difficulty of raising a family.  But when the show started, Liz weighed 270 pounds.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  She might not have had time to take care of herself, but she sure as hell had time to stuff her face.  I think this bothers me precisely because The Biggest Loser so often avoids treating the contestants like powerless victims.  The show is usually about owning up to your demons and taking control of your life.  Laying the blame for Liz’ obesity at her family’s feet seems like a cop-out.

• Rebecca, the eliminated contestant who won the runner-up prize, looked pretty good, I have to say.  But I admit to being a little weirded out by her 180-degree change.  Tara, last season’s winner, clearly had a major-league epiphany, becoming more active as a result of her time on the show.  Even so, she still seemed like Tara – just a healthier version of herself.  Rebecca, on the other hand, almost didn’t look like the same person.  In her appearance last night, and on Jay Leno’s show a few weeks ago, she seems to have adopted a disconcerting gymrat/sexpot persona that has sent her careening completely to the opposite end of the personality spectrum.  And any extreme, lest we forget, is never good.  I always worry a little about people on the show becoming so transfixed with their weight loss that they lose sight of who they are – as though “fit” is a personality type.  I realize this is all just conjecture on my part.  I don’t know Rebecca, and I’m basing this only on a couple of 30-second television appearances.  But man.  There was something about her appearance – wiry, effusive, blond – that just seemed a little off, slightly manic and frenzied, like a person teetering on the brink of disaster.

• I could’ve done without the marriage proposal.  Just watching this show nearly sends me into a diabetic coma.  The last thing I needed to see was a guy blubbering on one knee while his wife-to-be impatiently held out her hand for the ring.

• Danny, this season’s winner, cut an impressive figure.  As much as I don’t buy into the notion of heroism through weight loss, there’s something undeniably exciting and motivating about seeing how much he accomplished.  It’s not just him, either.  The success stories are certainly inspiring, and if you’re obese and ready for a change, I’m sure it helps to see people overcome their condition.  And if the Dannys and Rebeccas and Shays and Rudys of the world can convince other people to get off their couches and get exercising, well … maybe there’s something heroic to it, after all.

*****

Current listening:

Rhett Miller – The Instigator (2002)

Current reading:

Chuck Palahniuk – Snuff (2008)

Accident Waiting to Happen December 9, 2009

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I’m not a fan of unnecessary repetition, but this was too good to pass up.  For yesterday’s Song of the Day, I posted “Savory” by Jawbox, completely unaware of the fact that they were about to make their first live appearance in twelve years on Jimmy Fallon’s show.  Synchronicity?  Serendipity?  I always forget which is which, but one of them is accurate, and it’s always kinda cool when it happens.  The band appears to be in especially good health.  It’s good to have them back.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Song of the Day (12/8/09) December 8, 2009

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I know I have a well-earned reputation as a fan mainly of bands composed of pale, effete Brits who make jangly noises with their guitars.  But I’m nothing if not egalitarian in my music tastes.  Enter Jawbox.  Inexplicably lost in the mid-90’s alternative rock boom, this Washington, D.C., based band made some beautiful noise out of discordant guitar, subtle melody lines, and a vaguely funky backbeat that set them apart from their other, more straightforward compatriots on Dischord Records.  Predictably, the indie community cried “Sellout” when Jawbox made the jump to a major label – so it’s satisfying to see that their Atlantic Records debut is not just the best in Jawbox’ discography, it’s one of the best of the decade.  This is “Savory,” from their recently reissued masterpiece, For Your Own Special Sweetheart.


Intermission December 7, 2009

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It’s the end of the semester, which means my free time will be in short supply for the next five or six days.  Much grading will be taking place, and when that’s done, it’ll be a swift transition into working on a couple articles I’ve been meaning to tinker with.  And somewhere in there I need to plan for next semester.  If I feel inspired or bored with work or something happens out in the world that’s just begging for comment, I’ll put something up – but it’ll probably be a little quiet around here for the next few days.

*****

Current listening:

Rooftops – A Forest of Polarity (2009)

Cinema Sunday (12/6/09) December 6, 2009

Posted by monty in movies.
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If you don’t know the films of Werner Herzog, you owe it to yourself to track them down.  In many ways, his filmography is a compendium of obsession, both in his fictions (Aguirre: The Wrath of God; Fitzcarraldo; Cobra Verde; his remake of Nosferatu) and his documentaries (Little Dieter Needs to Fly; The White Diamond; Grizzly Man).  Reduce many of his films to their core, and you will see men who are wrestling with demons, gripped by inspiration, or in thrall to some urge so primal and powerful they can’t help but heed it.  Herzog is one of cinema’s great treasures, and his films are some of the most exciting, yet most overlooked, in the last forty years.

In many ways, it’s fitting that in his latest film, Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans, Herzog finds himself paired with Nicolas Cage.  Love him or hate him, Cage is an actor who is no stranger to obsession himself.  Take a look at a list of his movies, and you’ll find him inhabiting characters that grapple with many of the same issues that trouble Herzog’s protagonists.  Cage has appeared in plenty of turkeys – in fact, turkeydom has largely been his domain since the mid-90’s – but when he’s firing on all cylinders (Wild at Heart; Leaving Las Vegas; Adaptation; the vastly underrated The Weather Man), he’s as good as we’ve got.  Herzog and Cage are unafraid to go too far.  Sometimes this ends in failure, but it’s always seemed far better to overshoot the mark than to not try hard enough.

As a hugely entertaining document of this pairing we have Bad Lieutenant, a not-really remake of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 vehicle for Harvey Keitel.  Here, Cage stars as Terence McDonagh, a cop in post-Katrina New Orleans.  McDonagh is less concerned with protecting and serving the public than he is with allowing his police work to protect his own needs and serve his own interests.  He is a violent drug addict (painkillers, then cocaine, then heroin) and a compulsive gambler, the boyfriend of a prostitute, and the kind of cop for whom the thin blue line is more an inconvenience than a moral calling.

The plot is a thinly veiled coathanger on which Herzog gets to hang Cage’s fantastically unhinged performance.  Five people are murdered, execution-style, and it’s up to Cage and his sidekick (an unusually understated Val Kilmer) to find the murderers.  Over the next two hours, the movie gives us, in no particular order, numerous scenes of McDonagh doing crack, cocaine, and heroin; McDonagh having sex with a stranger in a parking lot while forcing her boyfriend at gunpoint to watch; rapper Xzibit as – wait for it – a drug dealer; an emaciated Fairuza Balk as a highway trooper who wants a piece of McDonagh’s sweet lovin’; McDonagh cutting off an old lady’s oxygen until she gives him the information he wants; a boilerplate Italian heavy, played by a guy who’s watched Goodfellas one too many times; Eva Mendes as McDonagh’s hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold girlfriend; the breakdancing spirit of a murder victim; and a bizarre fascination with voyeuristic iguanas.

For Herzog’s non-documentaries, characterization is where it’s at – the plot is secondary to watching his protagonists contend with their demons.  Bad Lieutenant is far from a perfect film – and probably doesn’t even rank with Herzog’s best work – but it’s fun to see Cage inspired again, and it’s always fascinating whenever Herzog dips his toe in the mainstream waters.  Your appreciation for this movie will hinge on whether or not you’ve grown tired of Nicolas Cage.  For me, this movie was the cinematic equivalent of a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa, as I got to watch two masters do what they do best.

*****

It’s not worth a full review, but I wanted to throw in a quick plug for this subversive little gem.  As high school movies go, I Love You, Beth Cooper isn’t Election-good or Rushmore-good or Say Anything-good, but it’s definitely on par with the second tier of high school movies, like Clueless or Mean Girls or Can’t Hardly Wait.

When valedictorian Dennis Cooverman (newcomer Paul Rust) proclaims his love for the titular blonde (Hayden Panettiere) in his graduation speech, it sets in motion a night of hijinks that plays like a junior-league version of Martin Scorsese’s black comedy After Hours.

Director Chris Columbus (working on a small scale for the first time in years) made an inspired choice in casting Rust as the gawky Dennis.  By refusing to go with a recognizable face (Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg leap immediately to mind), Dennis is allowed to be fresh and original, and not just another in the long line of soft-spoken, stuttering dweebs that’s so popular at the moment.  Similarly, Panetierre does a remarkable job with a character that could have just been a typically brassy high school bitch.  Instead, she imbues Beth Cooper with the nuance necessary to teach Dennis the movie’s difficult lesson: it’s a disillusioning loss of innocence to see for the first time the real-world flaws in the object of our fantasies.  When we fantasize about people we don’t know well, we see them as an idealized version that says more about who we are than who they are.  I Love You, Beth Cooper is a smart, funny diamond in the rough that got lost in the summer shuffle.  Seek it out.

*****

Current listening:

Black Kids – Partie Traumatic (2008)

Song of the Day (12/4/09) December 4, 2009

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I’ve been a huge fan of Tindersticks since they first appeared in the early 90’s.  Perfect late-night listening, the band’s music evokes rain-swept streets, a snifter of brandy, and the slowly coiling smoke of a cigarette. They manage to be both dark and romantic, and the baritone vocals of singer Stuart Staples recall both Scott Walker and Nick Cave without mimicking either of them.  It would have been a kick to see them tour with a full orchestra in 1995, but their appearances in North America are about as frequent as Haley’s Comet.  This song is a duet between Staples and Carla Torgerson of The Walkabouts.  It’s called “Travelling Light,” and it’s from the second of their two self-titled albums, released in 1995.

Stuck in a Rut December 4, 2009

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I suppose it was only a matter of time.  Despite the incredible degree of lunacy Sarah Palin has demonstrated over the past year – repeating nonsensical GOP talking points as if they actually mean something and allowing her own addled “thinking” to contribute to the collective dumbing down of this country – she’s never weighed in on the issue of Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

Until now.

That’s right.  The craziest lady in politics (runner-up: Michelle Bachmann) has cast her lot with the craziest movement in politics: the birthers.  It is, according to Palin, “a fair question” for the birthers to doubt the validity of Obama’s birth certificate.

This stuff just writes itself.

Salon.com (12/3/09): Palin: Birthers Have “Fair Question” About Obama

*****

Current listening:

World Party – Private Revolution (1987)

Intermission December 3, 2009

Posted by monty in news, politics.
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Andrew Sullivan – Brit expatriate, homosexual, all-around smart guy, and staunch conservative – leaves the GOP.

I’m sure this will prompt hordes of Republicans to engage in deep and thoughtful self-evaluation about the direction of their party.

Right.

Wagers on which right-wing nutjob is the first to call Sullivan a traitor?

The Atlantic (12/01/09): Leaving the Right

hhhhhhhh

*****

Current listening:

The Hold Steady –A Positive Rage (2009)