Recent comments

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 days ago

    Love me some Harold Budd. So otherworldly!

  • My Correct, but Controversial Ranking of The Beatles   2 weeks 5 days ago

    You're damn right about the top four

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 5 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 5 days ago

    no love for Love in Vain?

  • Music Log 2013-2015   2 weeks 5 days ago

    After perusing through these selections, and after just re-listening to Harold Budd's Pavilion of Dreams, I was about to strongly recommend it to you. Then I realized that you already own it and that you introduced me to it! If I remember correctly, you had some slight reservations about its greatness when we last listened to it on my trusty high-wattage CD player that made that round glass table in the kitchen rattle with anticipation and, most likely, Robbin and Kristina begging us to turn it off!!! Does that recollection sound about right? What are your thoughts on it these days?

  • My Correct, but Controversial Ranking of The Beatles   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Aren't all these albums usually rated 5 stars and ranked among the very greatest works of art of the 20th century? (excepting perhaps Yellow Submarine, Let it Be, Beatles For Sale, which are docked a star or so from time to time). I say this while understanding that your title is a bit "tongue-in-cheek"... :)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Update: After re-listening to it, it is an excellent album, probably 7/10. The following is not intended as a detailed analysis... Relative to Beggar's Banquet, it doesn't have the same degree or sense of conviction, purpose, evocation in every song and therefore doesn't accumulate as much conceptual and emotional weight. Every instrumental nuance in Beggar's Banquet says/evokes something, and between that and Jagger's vocals, the album becomes a relentless evocation and counterpoints between holiness and decadence or sin, between the hobo and the preacher. Songs rise into religious (or even tribal) ceremony (Sympathy for the Devil, Jigsaw Puzzle, Factory Girl, Salt of the Earth) while the content (the personas of Jagger, the scathing guitars, the vibrant synergy and syncopation of the band, the sense of redemption throughout) evokes moral ambiguities between holiness and sin. Other songs evoke smaller stories of sin and redemption while maintaining this ambiguity. Let it Bleed seems to be an album in transition. Half the songs are superb: Gimme Shelter, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Monkey Man, Midnight Rambler, while the others are solid but sound like they're half-way between "going through the motions" -- though with the polish and expertise of a great band. The title track might be an exception.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Last listen some months ago I considered it about 7/10. Gimme Shelter is certainly among their best songs. I should probably revisit it to make sure.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    What's your opinion on the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed?

  • List of Oscar nominated actors and actresses by date of death   2 weeks 6 days ago

    ABOVE MOVIES SEEN:

    LUISE RAINER

    LAUREN BACALL
    - Diamonds, 1999
    - Misery, 1990 *
    - How to Marry a Millionaire, 1953 *

    ROBIN WILLIAMS
    - The Face of Love, 2013
    - World's Greatest Dad, 2009 *
    - August Rush, 2007
    - Man of the Year, 2006
    - RV, 2006
    - Insomnia, 2002 *
    - One Hour Photo, 2002 *
    - What Dreams May Come, 1998 *
    - GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997 *
    - Jumanji, 1995
    - Mrs Doubtfire, 1993 *
    - Toys, 1992
    - Dead Again, 1991 *
    - Hook, 1991
    - Dead Poets Society, 1989 *

    JAMES GARNER
    - The Ultimate Gift, 2006
    - Space Cowboys, 2000
    - The Great Escape, 1963 *

    RUBY DEE

    MARTHA HYER
    - The Carpetbaggers, 1964 *

    JOAN LORRING

    BOB HOSKINS
    - Made in Dagenham, 2010 *
    - Paris, Je T'aime, 2006
    - Mrs Henderson Presents, 2005 *
    - Vanity Fair, 2004 *
    - Maid in Manhattan, 2002 *
    - Enemy at the Gates, 2001
    - Hook, 1991
    - Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988 *

    MICKEY ROONEY
    - Leave 'em Laughing, 1981
    - The Black Stallion, 1979 *
    - Pete's Dragon, 1977
    - Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961 *
    - The Last Mile, 1959
    - The Bridges at Toko-Ri, 1954 *

    PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN
    - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2013 *
    - The Master, 2012 *
    - A Late Quartet, 2012 *
    - The Ides of March, 2011 *
    - Moneyball, 2011 *
    - Pirate Radio, 2009 *
    - Doubt, 2008 *
    - Mission: Impossible III, 2006 *
    - CAPOTE, 2005 *
    - Punch-Drunk Love, 2002 *
    - Almost Famous, 2000 *
    - The Talented Mr Ripley, 1999 *
    - Boogie Nights, 1997 *
    - Scent of a Woman, 1992 *
    - Leap of Faith, 1992

  • Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Yes, it's quite a good movie. Beautifully shot and directed with a subtlety that I wish more filmmakers could manage. Almost reminded me of something from Kieslowski's Decalogue.

  • Lists of Note   2 weeks 6 days ago

    really sorry but everything i see here is from 2011, are people still using this site?

  • Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Leviathan...! Glad you dug it; it's stayed with me a lot longer than expected.

  • Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    It's pretty silly, but the lists themselves aren't half bad. Aside from a few exceptions there are rarely any movies I've seen in the 'must-see' section that I thought were bad, and it generally filters out a lot of the critically acclaimed duds. It's more reliable that rottentomatoes or imdb, at least. It's a good way to quickly check if there are any movies out in theatres worth seeing. Not that many theatres near me screen art films...

  • Favorite Porn Titles That Spoof Real Movies or Shows   3 weeks 4 hours ago

    Don't know if any of these are real, but here's what I have come up with:

    Curious Facial of Benjamin Butthole
    The Whole Nine Inches
    Booty and the Beast
    The Hudson Cock
    Gay Mile
    Thelma On Louise
    The Big Gangbang Theory
    The Whorriors
    Army of Dickness
    Gash of the Titans
    The Condomned
    Fist Club
    Rodzilla
    Hot Cumshots! Part Dix
    The Imingeinarium of Doctor Pornassus
    The Italian Knob
    John Cums At The End
    Meet Black Joe
    The Pornisher
    Robocock
    Pounders
    Scooby Dong
    Smokin' Asses 2: Assassin's Balls
    Stargape
    Street Fucker: The Legend of Cunt Li
    Tenassious D: the Dick of Destiny
    Her-men-ate-her: Salivation
    Tombbone
    Young Buns
    XXX Men

  • Bad pun based porn movie titles   3 weeks 4 hours ago

    Curious Facial of Benjamin Butthole
    The Whole Nine Inches
    Booty and the Beast
    The Hudson Cock
    Gay Mile
    Thelma On Louise
    The Big Gangbang Theory
    The Whorriors
    Army of Dickness
    Ass of the Titans
    The Condomned
    Fist Club
    Rodzilla
    Hot Cumshots! Part Dix
    The Imingeinarium of Doctor Pornassus
    The Italian Knob
    John Cums At The End
    Meet Black Joe
    The Pornisher
    Robocock
    Pounders
    Scooby Dong
    Smokin' Asses 2: Assassin's Balls
    Stargape
    Street Fucker: The Legend of Cunt Li
    Tenassious D: the Dick of Destiny
    Her-men-ate-her: Salivation
    Tombbone
    Young Buns
    XXX Men

  • Clone of My 70's Soul Playlist   3 weeks 4 hours ago

    "Too Late To Turn Back Now" an all-time favorite. Sorta forgot about "Doctor's Orders". Nice list. Thanks!

  • Longest Song Titles Ever   3 weeks 5 hours ago

    You could have had "I can't believe that you would fall for all the crap in this song." by "Sparks"

  • Music Ratings & Notes   3 weeks 9 hours ago

    Totally agreed with you on A Love Supreme! I love how it seems to be excited (due to God's presence?) and passionate, but it's also dangerously out-of-control. The second side particularly is genius: by the time we get to Psalm, we've progressed to a stage of transcendence and it feels like we actually earned it.

  • Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)   3 weeks 14 hours ago

    Thanks, that answers my question.

    It seems a little silly, to proffer opinions on films he hasn't seen, but I suppose Scaruffi is always bucking the norm.