Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 23

The album version is a little bit better musically, but Rubén's bell-bottoms, goofy haircut, and sweaty upper lip are pretty damn irresistible. Not to mention El Profesor Joe Torres on the piano, and a sound for the ages.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surprise, surprise...

... the NY Times endorsed Mr. Obama. The case is well argued, but would it have killed them to note some serious disappointments? For me, those would include Obama's endorsement and adoption of dangerous abuses of power associated with the post-9-11 Bush/Cheney security state, such as assassinations, detentions, drone attacks, state secrecy etc., and his near-silence on climate change. Would Gov. Romney do better on these dimensions? What a laugh. When all is said and done, history will judge Obama a damn good president during his terrifically challenging first term. He deserves a second.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 22

Court and Spark still sounds like nothing else made before or since... and yes, perfect...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your Willow quote of the day

"Chemistry's easy. It's a lot like witchcraft, only less newt."
If you have no idea where this could come from... I'm sorry for you...

George McGovern, RIP

“I always thought of myself as a good old South Dakota boy who grew up here on the prairie. My dad was a Methodist minister. I went off to war. I have been married to the same woman forever. I’m what a normal, healthy, ideal American should be like."

“But we probably didn’t work enough on cultivating that image,” he added, referring to his presidential campaign organization. “We were more interested in ending the war in Vietnam and getting people out of poverty and being fair to women and minorities and saving the environment."

“It was an issue-oriented campaign, and we should have paid more attention to image.” 

Tricky Dick beat him 520-17 in the Electoral College. More attention to image probably wouldn't have been enough. At the time I was 14 and helped my parents get out the vote for the local Republican Party. Back in '72 there were still liberal Republicans, and even Nixon himself turned out to be left of Clinton or Obama on policy in some respects. Of course he was also an evil bastard. McGovern may have been inept at politics and out of step with the mainstream, but an evil bastard he surely wasn't.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Arcade Fire

As do many other people, Mr. Krugman seems to like them. What are the good things about the band? Well, there are quite a lot of them(!), and they seem able to play together with impressive enthusiasm. Then again, staying together is probably easier when all your songs sound the same. They do provide a comfortable way for people in a certain age demographic (mea culpa!) to feel like they are keeping up with the latest sounds, which is also a good thing. Speaking of musical good things for old guys, here's a better one...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 21

It's all beyond good, but the timbales, yowch...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A little tango...

... to take your mind off whatever...


... the president's debate strategy, that is, I presume...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad week for Marxist historians

The deaths of Eugene Genovese and Eric Hobsbawm within a few days of one another mark the waning of a generation of historians strongly influenced by a version of Marxism that emphasized the role of class struggle as a driving force of world history. The contrast between Genovese's 180-degree twist to social conservatism and Hobsbawm's "unrepentant" communism is also emblematic of the fate of the socialist left since the Cold War. They don't make 'em like that any more... a mixed blessing.