Thursday, October 20, 2005

let them read cake

the headlines on the cnn website, as of 2pm today...

• Lawyer in Saddam Hussein case kidnapped
• DeLay all smiles in booking photo | WATCH
• Teen arrested in slaying of TV legal analyst's wife | WATCH
• CNN/Money: Retailers ready to bet on deep discounts
• Search resumes for kids in San Francisco Bay | WATCH
• Watch: 'The shark pulled her completely under' | Read
• Jennifer Aniston photographed kissing Vince Vaughn
• Behind the Scenes: Toppled cemeteries add to woes
• Watch: Revelry returns to Bourbon Street

yes, that jennifer aniston and vince vaugh were photographed smooching is news on the order of hussein's lawyer being kidnapped and the kids thrown into the sf bay.

and cnn (and the rest of the media) wonder why they get slammed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

clap your hands say overrated

ok, i've tried to like clap your hands say yeah, i really have. i mean, the singer's from philadelphia, so i have a hometown stake here. they play decently melodic songs (though the vocals leave a bit to be desired for such blatantly pop material), there's the verse-chorus-verse thing that gets me every time .

but really, i can't do it.

kexp can play them all they want, the music press can jizz over them, but sorry, they just don't do it for me. i'm not worried about losing the few hipster cred points that i have, so i'll say it...OVERRRATED. they're not bad, just, i don't know, not worth the hype.

Monday, October 10, 2005

all the news that's fit to stink

how fun must it be to be a ny times employee right now? you've just recovered from jason blair and now judith miller has shit the bed in epic style. others have already done the topic great justice, so go here and read (see in particular the linked wapo and e&p stories linked therein):

and then there's thomas friedman. i've held on reading him, mostly out of habit and inertia. but then we wrote this (accessed via lexis/nexis, not times select {which is another rant in and of itself}):

The president's speech on terrorism yesterday was excellent. He made clear, better than ever, why winning in Iraq is so important to the wider struggle against Islamo-fascism. But it only makes me that much more angry that he fought this war as though it would be easy -- never asking for any sacrifice, any military draft, any tax hikes or any gasoline tax -- and that he tolerated so much incompetence along the way.

ok, i know his isn't exactly a ground-breaking observation, but the depths of his toolness has sunk to new lows. this is just staggeringly shameless hypocrisy. he wants to have his cake and eat it too, only to turn around and tell you that he never had a slice of cake to begin with.

i wonder how much of this rah-rahing now is to cover his ass for his apologies for supporting the war. i'd respect him so much more if he'd just come out and admit that the premise of the war was wrong, not just that the execution has been faulty.

he is an utter tool, and is fast becoming an irrelevant read for me.

on the bright side, david brooks, who i consider a hack mainly for his, uh, hackneyed approach to dichotomizing the world has written a couple of decent columns of late discussing the role of education in the social order. it helps that he's come around to my way of thinking about the college access question in terms of "college capital", but i like that he's taking on the issue in a substantive way. i also like that he's starting to realize that even his own side is bereft of a moral center and has sold the american ideal down the river for the benefit of holding onto power. keep it up, david, you'll be a progressive liberal before you know it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

sing me spanish techno

it's been a few weeks of musical excess, which is the point for right now. in a fit of conspicuous consumption that would make veblen cringe, i've bought maybe a dozen cds of late. the quick and dirty...

somewhat newer (well, newer since i last posted) stuff:

* this post's title namesake album. twin cinema from new pornographers. the best of the three np records so far debuted at #44 on billboard's album charts, a rather astonishing feat for an indie power pop record. their show a couple of weeks ago had me in a good mood for days (and reaffirmed the fact that i want to marry neko case...not only does she have a great voice and write good songs, she looks great in a short, black cocktail dress). "sing me spanish techno" is one of my favorite songs of the year

* oranger -- new comes and goes. san francisco band which has apparently been "on the verge" for a long time. bass player matt harris is also in the posies, and the bands have been touring together to support their new records. "crooked in the weird of the catacombs" and "radiowave" are the highlights, and there's not a bad song on the record. the production's a bit too clean and in the midrange...a wider sonic spectrum for the guitars would be nice...makes it seem like they're holding back. live show is a bit like that as well...good, but just a bit too clean and controlled. still, a very good record.

* the hold steady -- separation sunday. apparently a concept album about a teen girl in suburban Minneapolis, torn between the allure of drugs and sex and the pull of her Catholic upbringing. craig finn's talk-singing about the dark side of life evokes a velvet undergound vibe, but with big classic-rock power chords. the perfect soundtrack to a stroll thru the lower east side or the mission.

* maximo park -- a certain trigger. british power pop with arena pretensions. "gone missing" and "apply some pressure" stand out. between these guys, arcade fire, franz ferdinand and bloc party the 80s new wave scene lives on. i just saw a listing for a mudhoney show, so the 90s grunge revival is just around the corner.

out for a while, but for whatever reason (laziness, working too much, moving cross-country) i just got around to them now:

* joe strummer & the mescaleros -- streecore. it came out almost 2 years ago and somehow i just got around to getting it last month. listening to it is both enjoyable and depressing. "coma girl", "get down moses"

* superdrag -- last call for vitriol. last album from the knoxville band, made as john davis was undergoing a life change which included sobriety and getting religion. too bad, but probably time. only so long you can keep on making good records to little or no attention, but by this point they were starting to sound tired. "baby goes to 11" is the best of the set.