Recent comments

  • Fave Flicks   2 weeks 2 days ago

    1. Chef
    2. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    3. The Interview
    4. Birdman
    5. Midnight in Paris

  • MOVIE PLAYLIST   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I hope you'll add more films to this list which are worth 2 stars or more, instead of just including the "mediocre" films.

  • Music Log 2013-2015   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Re: Pavilion of Dreams ... We must be listening to the exact same album!

  • MY DESERT ISLAND WORKS OF ART   2 weeks 3 days ago

    .

  • Music Ratings & Notes   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I thought about this a lot but I can't decide which side is my favorite. It used to be side two (Psalm) but recently I fell so deeply in love with this album that every second of it sounds perfect. Hell, the intro alone is genius!

  • MY DESERT ISLAND WORKS OF ART   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Awesome

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Yeah that is a bit surprising coming from Christgau! He's always seemed pretty good at separating himself and viewing works with his idiosynchratic insight and integrity intact. Of course, there's probably an argument that he is indeed doing just that.

    For all our sakes, good thing Hitler wasn't an artistic genius!

  • Music Log 2013-2015   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Oh, good 'ol Rob, we could always count on his in-depth analysis!!! Oh!!! Pun O The Day!!! What now beeyo--

    Ahem, ummm, sorry about that... ;-)

  • Movie Log, 2012-2015   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Yeah, addition to all that I love how "via" the technical wonders of the film, the director becomes the "God" of the film's universe in a similar (but even more evident) fashion as Hitchcock did with his. This adds a whole extra, astonishing layer to the film that is simply too much to go into right now but to put it shortly: it grants a real purpose to all its visual tricks and camera movements that I presume was lost on the many critics that have deemed the work "technically impressive but superficial" or some variation of that. As a less important aside, I love how the film comically pays homage to Hitch by placing the main character in absurd situations (especially with the inspectors and uncle) where they're questioning his ethics/morals/professionalism while his life and the train are in legitimate danger (a clear homage to North by NW and other Hitch in-jokes in many of his films). And yes, the visual style, which merges aforementioned Tarkovsky and Welles and the precise movements/command of Hitch, is a cinema lovers dream!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Re: No Expectations and LIV ... there was a time prior to my fairly recent Stones renaissance when Let it Bleed was possibly my 2nd favorite Stones album (behind Exile), so I completely understand...

    Re: Richards and Waits ... Wow, I didn't know that. It makes a lot of sense now that you mention it!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Just replayed the first side of BB on headphones at work and I must say that the gap between LIV and No Expectations might have shrunk a bit for me. BTW did you know that some of the bluesier Tom Waits tracks actually have Keith Richards on guitar?

  • My Correct, but Controversial Ranking of The Beatles   2 weeks 4 days ago

    1. Abbey Rd or Sgt Pepper
    3. White Album
    4. MMT
    5. Hard Days Night or Revolver
    6. Rubber Soul
    7+ ...the rest..

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Yeah man!! Few albums can touch it!!

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Thanks for the link. Despite what I said, I wouldn't go so far as to say LIV is akin to much of their post-1972 "autopilot phase". I dig the song, even if I don't think it features the evocative musicianship of No Expectations (and the rest of BB) -- it is among the better tracks off Let it Bleed.

  • Movie Log, 2012-2015   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Oh dear lord, each and every frame of that film is so ingenious and creative it makes everything seem bland in comparison. The use of front and back-projection, composite shots, Kafka-esque landscapes and Tarkovskian compositions. If that sort of thing gets you off, it's just a god damn exhirilating rush of pure cinema.

  • Music Log 2013-2015   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I remember that day clearly - Robbin once referred to Pavilion of Dreams as "aural poop".

    To answer your question, I don't recall a time I wasn't in love with that album, although relistening to it after exploring more ambient and drone only increased my appreciation of it.

    I loved the noirish atmosphere of the first track immediately, but perhaps the introduction of "Madrigals of the Rose Angel" was a bit jarring on the fist listening. That track, along with the coda "Juno", are breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Authenticity is a slippery thing to fetishize as art is, ultimately--as Robert Frost says--a performance, and the dancer is not the dance. I understand your point, but I'd go as far as saying that the "actorly" approach is present in every single piece of artwork ever made: there is no such thing as naked expression.

    In the case of the Stones, for whatever (non)comprehensible reasons, Christgau is one of many who cannot distinguish what he knows about an artist from the art. I know people have problems with the films of Woody Allen and poetry of Lord Byron because they can't get past the terrible people they were, and--while understandable--I think it's unfortunate. Caravaggio was a murderer, Céline and Wagner were horrifically anti-Semitic, but those awful qualities are not in their work, and should not get in the way of one's appreciation. It's when the works are themselves ideologically compromised--The Merchant of Venice, Oliver Twist, etc--that they become problematic... But I think I've veered off track by this point so I'll stop here.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I've read that before...it's like he thinks that money corrupted them so easily that it wasn't the money, it was their natural corruptible state, tainting his take of the INTENT of their early stuff. But the thing about Jagger that he emphasized in my link is that he's the inventor of the "actorly" approach to rock. He might not feel what he's singing about, but he is (was?) not trying to get "credit" for seeming like he did because he's merely depicting the emotions (out of an authentic interest). A new kind of "real" fakeness. While that might be the same kind of thing used to justifiy glam era Bowie, in Bowie's case even THAT kind of realness was (I think) being faked.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    It's interesting that Christgau has revised his stance on the Stones, and their current lack of authenticity has impacted his perception of their earlier work:

    --
    I still like the Stones a lot as a band, but as individuals, compared to such contemporaries as Dylan or Reed or Young, I find both Jagger and Richards--especially Jagger, of course, although Keith's blood changes are an exercise of economic privilege every bit as dislikable as Mick's posturing--harder and harder to suspend disbelief over. I can no longer go to the work and avoid what I know of the man. And this calls the realism I once prized in their work into question. I played Sticky Fingers not long ago and my wife said she couldn't hear them anymore without snickering a little (that's not how she put it, she's no snickerer, but they just don't mean much to her now). I enjoyed Sticky Fingers a lot myself. But its power was certainly diminished.
    --

    I'm surprised so shrewd a critic allows an artist's personal life to come between himself and the musical performance.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I agree on the whole, but for LIV in particular I'm hearing something superior to No Expectations, in particular a kind of emotional see-saw/nausea akin to Van Morrison's Cyprus Avenue. The whole "in their sleep"/coasting mood describes 1972 onward for them for sure though. At least for a while int the 70's they were just coasting on a concentrate of the sound of their "big 4" albums, stripped of evocation. It's funny though...while Jagger is usually considered the one who's just a jet-set personality/celebrity, that really only describes 1972 onward, and it's not like the other Stones have done too much of note since then with their relative authenticity compared to him, so why pick on him (although you could argue that they'd all still be interesting contributors to this day, if only they could stand his personality)?. Also, in the period where they were all 100% "real" (1962-1972), he was arguably the "realest". Here's a brilliant Jagger essay written by Christgau, describing how the Stones music is driven by his unique psychology, a constant switch between a sort of Gen-X-ish detachment-from-embarrasment and actively-engaged-anger both regarding not being black/middleclass/American: http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/music/stones-76.php

  • My Correct, but Controversial Ranking of The Beatles   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I really do not get the hype surrounding Pepper. Too much bullshit surrounding the concept and 'experimentation'. For Sale is one of the best pop albums of the 60s, a stripped Love/Zombies vibe. Abbey Road possibly the finest AOR album, and first? White is such a fun album, throwing anything to the wall, and most of it working to an extent.

    Perhaps the greatest pop band there ever was. Bee Gees, Abba push them close, but neither of them released an album as good as White (for me), although Odessa and The Visitors come close for great pop albums. Revolver is nice and quaint, but nothing groundbreaking to these Velvet induced ears. And MMT is worthy of all the praise Pepper gets. In fact throw the singles and title track on to Pepper in place of some of the filler and you've got a top 5 contender.

    What are anyone else's ratings/rankings of the Beatles discography?

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Love me some Harold Budd. So otherworldly!

  • My Correct, but Controversial Ranking of The Beatles   2 weeks 4 days ago

    You're damn right about the top four

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    All the songs are good, including that one. Songs such as No Expectations off Beggars Banquet are similar on the surface but instrumentally, evocatively superior. Love in Vain is very good, but The Stones can make such songs "in their sleep" (exaggeration of course). The songs of Beggar's Banquet feature more insight and care and conceptions relayed from each element/instrument/vocal. Each song is more than a song; they're each perfect syncopated conceptions. On the surface Beggars Banquet is another classic "blues" album (of the harsh, post war variety) until one realizes nothing else has ever really sounded like it (including other Stones albums), and not until Tom Waits was an artist able to convey such emotions/evocations/insights under similar simple (though deftly nuanced) song structures and formats.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 4 days ago

    no love for Love in Vain?