allaboutgeorge + reviews   53

Two books on blacks and the White House
"The symbolic removal of 'whites only' from the White House has been a long time coming."
reviews  books  from twitter
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Album review: Destroyer's 'Kaputt' | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
When there’s such a vast palette of noises represented, it questions the very ideas of good and bad, and how much they are tempered by context, trends and generational bias.

For those who were fully functioning adults in the '80s, some of these songs might bring back bad memories of Kenny G commercials on TV. For those who were still kids or barely in existence, these sounds still hold some sort of exotic quality, the lost, sentimental history of crappy radio. At their worst, the songs can suffer from a strange inertia, stillborn in their own lathery bath.
music  rock  indie  reviews  canada 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Aimee Mann: 19 September 2010 - Chicago < PopMatters
Mann’s witty lyrics hit with a nod and a wink as she sang, “You got a lot of money but you can’t afford the freeway / The road to Orange County leaves an awful lot of leeway / Where everyone’s a doctor or a specialist in retail / They’ll sell you all the speed you want if you can take the blackmail.” Here lies Mann’s charm, her writer’s eye, her literary gift of imagery and metaphor. She has the uncanny ability to craft laconic rhythms and haunting melodies with a storyteller’s keen sense of observation.

Take “Little Bombs” for example, sounding something like a shimmering and luminous ballad but in tone a deadpan, introspective look at the banality of the quotidian where “life just kind of empties out, more a deluge than a drought.” The brutal imagery striking the listener with the tersest of couplets and rhythmic iambs.
music  reviews  songwriting  rock  chicago 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
"I still believe in Love" - The Foundling by Mary Gauthier - Americana and roots music - No Depression
In the hands of a less capable artist, a concept album about the search for and ultimate rejection from one’s mother would be doomed to failure. It is an idea that could so easily go awry as to be impossible or embarrassing to listen to.
music  reviews  parenting  adoption 
may 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Why You Need Music. | Stripmall Architecture
What I am saying is that you need to also listen to new music. I know I have a conflict of interest here, (being an “undiscovered musician” and all) but I feel that discovering new music is of the utmost importance to your human-ness. I know this in the same way I know that burning books is wrong. I know this in the same way that I know that you don’t talk during a play. I know this like I know that you have to floss. Listening to new music is good mental hygiene and is of fundamental importance to your mental and emotional health and well-being. It makes you feel, it makes you think, it can help stroke victims recover language abilities, it reaches people suffering from depression when friends and family can’t , it even helps kids’ brains develop. There is an entire internet full of anecdotal evidence that music will get you laid. What more do you need?
music  reviews  beauty  attention  aging  health  creativity  listening 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Why does Sade have such a poor reputation in the UK? | Music |
Nobody, with the possible exception of Spandau Ballet, reeks of 80s yuppie, conspicuous consumption and smooth operators doing deals over Asti Spumante like Sade. [...]

[...] Or maybe it's because the hardest thing to be in rock or pop, even soul, is soft. Sade's music is deceptively mellow, though – her best songs, such as the beat-less I Never Thought I'd See the Day, from 1988's Stronger Than Pride, are starkly beautiful, like an 80s apartment stripped of all but the most basic Habitat accoutrements.

But then, I always thought Sade was closer to trip-hop than torch muzak, an idea borne out by the title track of her new album, which approaches the metallic vigour of Tricky. It's just a shame the rest of Soldier of Love is so lacking in melodic lustre. Because it would have been fun, and not a little contentious, to proclaim her an idiosyncratic artist with a distinctive vision.
media  journalism  music  criticism  uk  usa  reviews  reputation  sade 
february 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Vue Weekly : Edmonton's 100% Independent Weekly : Backlash Blues: Behind the music
Authenticity needs to be in service of the narrative, referenced as a necessity to the form, not just as a hollow measure of respect.
identity  music  reviews  indie  rock 
february 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Fall by Norah Jones, Music Review by Jim Fusilli -
"I don't mind that I'm a rudimentary guitar player," she said. "Limitations make music interesting. When you go with what you've got, it can become something great."
guitar  music  songwriting  reviews 
november 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Dance - Not So Strictly - ‘Ballroom’s Best’ and ‘Burn the Floor’ Aim to Sex Up the Genre -
It is therefore time to say that ballroom today (at exhibition and competitive levels) proposes behavior from both sexes that looks not much like courtship and seduction but something alarmingly close to rape and whorishness. It does degrade women, and it makes its men look crassly manipulative. (All five “Ballroom’s Best” men simply look like creeps.)

Still, my chief objection to these visions of ballroom is not moral. (These people choose to do it.) What makes me wretched is that all these stunts, acrobatics, point-scoring and flashy displays of sexual availability are what matter. Musicality, phrasing, intimacy and actual sensuousness are what don’t.
dance  reviews  music  film 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge
New York - Sound of the City - From the Voice Archives: Robert Christgau on the Mass Culture Spectacle of Michael Jackson in 1984
The Victory Tour's $30 prices aren't as out of line as they ought to be (Marvin Gaye charged $25 at Radio City--though Bruce's top is $16), but they do seem to keep black kids away, and black kids would have made good company at the Garden. After all, they're the ones who've cared about Michael longest and deepest, who feel his success as more than an exotic accident of statistics and modern communication--and they're also the unnamed potential perpetrators who inspired the tour's massive-to-paranoid security outlay. As delighted as I am to see white America recognize a black heir, I'm not going to think the affection in which he's held means a whole lot racially until it gets generalized a little.
music  reviews  nyc  writing  culture  aesthetics  identity  race  rock  concerts  1980s 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge Arts & Entertainment | "Public Enemies"
The picture throws off an aura of wistfulness, which may be Mann's acknowledgment that of course he can't re-create the past. The best he can do is to honor the idea of it, storybook-style, and to remind us that before there was gangsta, there were gangsters.
movies  cinema  film  aesthetics  history  crime  reviews 
july 2009 by allaboutgeorge
A User's Guide to This Heat - eMusic Spotlight
Unsurprisingly, they didn't write a lot of material during their 1976-1982 existence: barely two studio albums' worth, not counting the tape experiments and textural improvisations that fill out their discography. What they did come up with, though, is incredibly dense and heady.
music  reviews  uk  punk  songwriting 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Books of The Times - ‘Stories Done’ by Mikal Gilmore - Youth Culture’s Glory Days, Revisited - Review -
On the final chord of "A Day in the Life": "[I]t bound up an entire culture in its mysteries, its implications, its sense of providence found and lost. In some ways, it was the most stirring moment that culture would ever share, and the last gesture of genuine unity that we would ever hear from the Beatles."
music  songwriting  1960s  reviews 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge George Kelly's review of Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Bedding Down: A Collection of Winter Erotica"
The blank page can look a lot like a snow-covered field. You enter with a sense of expansion and freedom, watch the trail you leave behind. [...]
sex  fiction  shortstory  reviews  writing  winter 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
The egos have landed | Salon Arts & Entertainment
Why is something that ought to hurt the ear so damn listenable? Partly it's because the tunes are so spare in their construction. But it's mostly because there's a unity of form and content. These abrasive digital effects -- noises that make the ear flinch, like the sudden surge of distortion on the vocal early on in "Love Lockdown" -- are motivated by the desire to find new ways to communicate pain. West wants to make his music sound how he feels, which is raw, skinless, unprotected.
music  reviews  hiphop  rock  aesthetics  beauty  creativity 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Movie Review - 'Milk' - Freedom Fighter in Life Becomes Potent Symbol in Death -
[...] “My name is Harvey Milk, and I want to recruit you.” That was an opening line that the real Milk often used in his speeches to break the tension with straight audiences, but the film shows him deploying it with mostly gay crowds as well, with a slightly different inflection. He wants to recruit them into the politics of democracy, to persuade them that the stigma and discrimination they are used to enduring quietly and even guiltily can be addressed by voting, by demonstrating, by claiming the share of power that is every citizen’s birthright and responsibility. [...]
gay  politics  sanfrancisco  1970s  bayarea  reviews  film  cinema  movies  government  voting  power  speech  identity 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Luomo's "Convivial" | Pitchfork
The marvel, and perhaps the necessity of the Luomo project, is bound up in the shock of physical intimacy; pleasurable, overwhelming, and at times a little scary. "Am I really feeling this?" "Is it you who is making me feel this way?" Yes, and yes.
pitchfork  music  reviews  relationships  aesthetics 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Five First Steps Toward an Exploration of Classical Music | 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die
"The great composer Igor Stravinsky once wrote that 'the trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music. They should be taught to love it instead.' [...]"
music  classical  classicalmusic  beauty  aesthetics  reviews 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
‘The Dark Knight’ of My Soul -- The Projectionist -- David Edelstein's Movie Blog -- New York Magazine
"Well, the people don’t need to be spoken for. And a critic’s job is not only to steer you to movies you might not have heard of or that died at the box office. It’s also to bring a different, much-needed perspective on blockbusters [...]"
cinema  film  reviews  criticism  writing 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Reflections of a Former (and Future) Film Critic - Mary Pols comments - Alliance of Women Film Journalists -
"Each critic is only one voice, but we serve as a filter for a society pummeled every day by an onslaught of new releases, whether they be movies, music recordings or books."
criticism  media  film  cinema  newspapers  movies  writing  reviews  society  books  music 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Andy Gill: 'Why I hate Coldplay' - Features, Music - The Independent
"It's redolent of pale complexions and dead emotions: whenever I hear it, it always evokes a glassy-eyed fish on a fishmonger's slab, ice melting from its scales."
uk  rock  reviews  music  art 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
IndyBlogs: Mixtape: Why I don't hate Coldplay
"I like their music. Always have. In fact, I like them so much that I'm convinced at least half the people who claim not to are lying in order to be cool."
music  uk  rock  reviews  art 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War: Pitchfork Record Review
"Even when she seems wrong, or dippy, or maybe a little batty, she's still a ridiculously compelling and likable personality. This is something no one should criticize in music: recognizable, complex, three-dimensional character."
pitchfork  music  reviews  identity  aesthetics 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge
After the Apocalypse - The New York Review of Books
"The horror writer is not content to report on death as the universal system of human weather; he or she chases tornadoes. Horror is Stoicism with a taste for spectacle."
books  criticism  fiction  literature  reading  scifi  reviews  writing  creativity  aesthetics 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Foreign Policy: Inside the Web’s New World
"Read the Grameen Bank’s mission statement and then read the same thing from Google and Craigslist, and you find some uncanny similarities."
books  reviews  web  online  google  craigslist 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
The Race Card - Richard Thompson Ford - Book Review - New York Times
"We should begin by looking at racial injustice as a social problem to be solved collectively rather than as a series of discrete wrongs perpetrated by bad people."
books  politics  race  reviews  nonfiction  criticism  black  white  asian  latino  justice  social  ethics 
february 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Morrissey: Greatest Hits: Pitchfork Record Review
"'There's a naked man standing laughing in your dreams/ You know who it is, but you don't like what it means': Who else would sing that?"
pop  uk  pitchfork  reviews  songwriting 
february 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork Feature: Column: Poptimist #11
"Sometimes I've been called a "relativist" as a critic, implying that I don't think you can be right or wrong about music. That isn't true-- what I believe is that being wrong about music should never matter."
pitchfork  music  criticism  aesthetics  reviews  beauty 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork Feature: Column: Resonant Frequency #53
"I'm not writing for musicians. I'm writing about listening, for other people who listen. Exploring music from that perspective is enough work for a lifetime."
criticism  music  reviews  theory  songwriting  creativity  writing 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
'The Long Embrace' by Judith Freeman - Los Angeles Times
"I kept the long list of Chandler addresses taped to the wall next to my desk where I could see it every day ... The list read like a plainsong of wandering, the liturgy of a long search for a home."
writing  fiction  biography  losangeles  novels  reviews  books 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
criminal odes - / in print
" 'She put her mouth close to my ear so that her breath was warm again on my cheek, as it had been in the car, and whispered the vilest epithet of which the English language is capable. Then she walked out to her cell.' "
fiction  crime  criticism  reviews  aesthetics  creativity  novels  shortstory  story  writing 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
eMusic Spotlight - Comfort Music for Restless Ears: Kranky Records
"Another way to describe Kranky, I suppose, would simply be as "psychedelic" — not in the sense of lava lamps and amoebic projections, of course, but as music that has uncanny ways of opening up the mind."
music  criticism  chicago  writing  reviews  online 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Goodbye to Newspapers? - The New York Review of Books
"Nobody phones the paper expecting to find a hero anymore. Anyone who did would probably get a recorded message on a computerized phone-answering machine system, as Henry did at several papers he called at random."
blogging  books  business  economics  iraq  journalism  media  newspapers  politics  publishing  reviews 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: How an Invisible Man Was Seduced By His Visibility
"As a novelist, he had lost his way. And he had done so in proportion to his distancing of himself from his fellow blacks."
writing  fiction  black  race  social  books  novels  identity  aesthetics  reviews 
may 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Dwight Gardner's "The Outsider Insider" review of Martin Duberman's "The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein"
"[U]ndomesticated adventurous anonymity and risk-taking were central not only to intensified erotic arousal but to profound creativity of any kind."
books  reviews  nyc  dance  gay  sex  writing  biography  creativity  social 
april 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Love in a Time of Dystopia
"You can’t help wanting something new [...] It’s disorienting and a little dispiriting — like some sort of odd déjà vu — to read about the hell of the future and feel that we’ve been there before."
fiction  reviews  uk  novels  love  relationships  teotwawki 
april 2007 by allaboutgeorge
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears - Dinaw Mengestu - Books - Review - New York Times
"[T]heir memory game: name an African dictator, then recall the country and the year he seized power. Bukassa. Mobutu. Amin. They have memorized the details of some 30 African coups. When the coups stop, Joe declares, so will their game."
reviews  africa  books  fiction  immigration  usa 
march 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Tales of the Out & the Gone. By Amiri Baraka
"No one could be anywhere unless they didn’t yet exist. What existed changed and changed. The buildings rotted and the people disappeared. Reappeared. And the people whose metaphor had been stolen could not imagine what was going on."
books  fiction  reviews  newjersey  writing  shortstory  poetry  literature  aesthetics  identity 
january 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Slate: Reviewing Mike Judge's Idiocracy. By Reihan Salam
"Lead or follow. Getting out of the way is not an option. Failing that, you should at least try to outbreed the people you hate most."
humor  politics  society  cinema  behavior  futurism  reviews  usa 
october 2006 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: 'Hitch': Love Doctor Discovers He's Not Immune Either
"In some ways, he is a discreet, heterosexual version of television's beloved Fab Five, though I guess calling the movie 'Black Eye for the White Guy' would not have created quite the impression the filmmakers were aiming for."
reviews  cinema  willsmith  black  gay  gender  television 
february 2005 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: 'French Women Don't Get Fat': Like Champagne for Chocolate
"If a lot of what she dispenses is universally sound advice with a French label, she's smart to apply it. We may profess to despise her compatriots in all their arrogance, but secretly we still find Paris far sexier than South Beach."
france  marketing  food  books  reviews 
february 2005 by allaboutgeorge
The New York Review of Books: Europe vs. America
"Having lost the comfort of our geographical boundaries, we must in effect rediscover what creates the bond between humans that constitute a community."
europe  usa  reviews  books  peace  globalization 
february 2005 by allaboutgeorge
Boston Review: M.K. Chakrabarti's "Marketplace Multiculturalism"
"It is surprising then, that the novel fails to mention a single word about the Brick Lane bombing. This omission speaks volumes not only about Ali’s book, but also about the industry that has published and promoted it."
asian  ethnicity  novels  race  reviews  uk 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge Malcolm Bull's "You can't build a new society with a Stanley knife"
"But in a total society, it is not the social that needs a contract but the individual - an anti-social contract that creates individual spaces in a world totally regulated by meaningless mutuality."
911  politics  reviews  society 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge Sukhdev Sandhu's "Come hungry, leave edgy"
"Brick Lane used to be the home of the dead. For centuries it was part of a Roman burial ground, an unclean extremity lying beyond the walls of the City of London."
asian  ethnicity  novels  race  reviews  uk 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge
Guardian UK: The road to oblivion
"I am delicate and the world is impossibly wrong, is unthinkable and I am not forewarned, forearmed, equipped. I cannot manage. If there was something useful I could do, I would - but there isn't. So I drink."
novels  reviews 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge
New Yorker: Joan Acocella's "Counterlives"
"In 'The Plot Against America,' the multivocality is achieved, for the most part, by having a political catastrophe, debated by many people in solemn moral terms, be narrated through the eyes of a child, who lacks morality, who wants only his mother [...]
fiction  novels  reviews  writing 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: 'Cloud Atlas': History Is a Nightmare
[...] "This is a book that might very well move things forward. It is also a book that makes one wonder to what end things are being moved."
books  reviews 
august 2004 by allaboutgeorge

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