Sunday, February 12, 2006

Lanky Brunettes with Wicked Jaws

The boys at Coke Machine Glow can bark and chase each other around the rec room all they want, nattering earnestly but ultimately pointlessly about whether music criticism should be objective or whether it's an inherently subjective pursuit. Meanwhile, Robert Christgau just gets shit done. Yes, I know it's not exactly fair to hold a couple of young turks up to the Dean's standards (and, hey, at least they're attempting to really wrestle with some big ideas, right?), but it's nice for everyone to be reminded occasionally of the thrilling places pop music criticism is capable of going. A stunning article for anyone who's ever had a passing interest in the Marshall Mathers / Eminem / Slim Shady phenomenon.

"I'm a Ukrainian-Russian-Lithuanian-Roma mix, and I can identify with any other spirit, but the Roma aspect is important because it brings you straight to the intersection of art and human rights, and all music and art that always interested me had that element of . . . reaching out through borders": Carl Wilson interviews Eugene Hutz.

Has anybody watched The Thin Man recently? This movie is 72 years old and it doesn't show its age at all. It's one of those classics that I'd somehow never caught up with, and after reading both the formidable Amy Sherman-Palladino and Mimi Smartypants make references to it as a favored and influential movie, I put it in my Kittenflix queue and watched it this weekend. I could give a shit about the mystery plot. It's all about the oft cited chemistry and sparkling dialogue between William Powell and Myrna Loy. Delightful company to spend a Sunday afternoon with.

My feelings about Natalie Portman usually fall somewhere between complete indifference and exasperated skepticism, but when I saw her on the cover of this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly I had about ten years' worth of awe and reverence instantly downloaded into my brain, Matrix-"whoa, I know kung-fu"-style. Holy hell, what a beautiful human.

People fucking delight me. I was in the grocery store yesterday, wandering around in the state of bewilderment that that chore always induces in me. Studying my hastily scribbled list and drifting to a stop in front of one of those wall-length coolers, I heard a gentleman standing nearby quietly mutter in my direction, "you buy some eggs, girl." Ha! When did my Saturday morning errands turn into an R. Kelly song?

Big thanks to JWard for burning me a copy of Neko Case's stunning Blacklisted. It was about time I started catching up with her non-Pornos work, and this was a perfect place to start.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen *The Professional*? Natalie Portman's first film, I believe. It's pretty amazing.



brendan said...

I also randomly decided to check out Blacklisted today. Good stuff!

To me the shortened "Pornos" evokes Pornos for Pyros, which is of course completely wrong, but alas.

Anonymous said...

Good to see your on to Neko Case...the live album...I think it's called "ride the tigers" or something like pretty amazing...there's a great version of "Train from Kansas City." Also, she's a babe.


Chrs C. said...

The Thin Man is AWESOME! Now I just need to see all of the other Thin Mans (Men?) to see if they can keep up the amazaing chemistry betwixt the afore mentioned actors. Is it wrong that the snappy dialog reminds me of the Gilmore Girls?

Mike O'D said...

Didn't I spin some Neko Case at the used record store a while back and, to my surprise, hear some pretty ordinary country rock--Lucinda Williams-style? Or was that someone else altogether?

If I was in fact listening to Neko Case, I was underwhelmed. Instead of hearing edgy, ballsy rock, I heard music that I would never listen to unless I was straining to hear something special in a familiar artist. But maybe I just had the wrong album. Somebody disabuse me here.