Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

 

Latest Posts

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

Before talk shows disintegrated into the abrasive carnival side shows they have become in recent years, The Dick Cavett Show was on the air to demonstrate the power of the form. Inherently likable and equal parts enthusiastic and charming, Cavett persuaded some of the true legends of cinema to sit down opposite him for lengthy, spontaneous, and very often hilarious chats.  His special brand of easy-going, engaging banter and his clear love of his subjects represents the host all others should aspire to. Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, and Groucho Marx are but a mere sampling of some of the mythological figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age that are collected in The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats, the fifth in a nicely put together collection from this series (also culled from Cavett’s show are Rock Icons, The Ray Charles Collection, John & Yoko Ono Collection, and Comic Legends). In our time, the only other hosts who can get their hands on such talent of equal importance, (think Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, and Jay Leno) are rank, star-struck amateurs compared with Nebraska native (and Yale grad) Cavett.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

Be ready to be humbled, because your opponents in Quake Wars: Enemy Territory are ready to humiliate you. Whether you sign in to one of the supposed n00b servers hoping to slaughter some fresh meat or you sign in to an expert, ranked server thinking you can hang with the big boys, you’d best be prepared to eat a little bit of crow before you start displaying anything approaching proficiency.  Think you found a quiet little route to a capture-the-flag style goal? There’s a sniper who’s thrilled you’re dumb enough to try it. Think you can just go in, guns blazing and blow everyone away? Well, anyone who tries that needs to be knocked down to earth. Are you more of a pacifist, ready to take on the role of the medic, stealthily providing your team with much needed health and resucitation? Get ready for your team to get pissed at you once you die off too many times. And do you know what the best part is? You’ll keep coming back for more, because the first time you mow down an enemy grunt, it’s thrilling. The first time you manage to be instrumental to your team in achieving one of the many objectives of a given campaign, it’s thrilling. Hell, it’s even worth a laugh to see your name pop up time and again as the “least accurate” shooter. Something about the intricate, expansive maps and the importance of team playmakes Quake Wars: Enemy Territory a team-based first-person shooter you want to come back to again and again… no matter how many times you get fragged. [Amazon]


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

It’s one thing to simply read President Washington’s words as related through an intermediary, and quite another to hold in your hands a faithful recreation of his original letter—this experience significantly personalizes the history. McCullough bucks textbook compression of history, amplifying the legacy of towering historical figures by focusing on their uncertainties and doubts in a time when it seemed like the fledgling independence movement would be snuffed out in its cradle. A gorgeous, coffee-table friendly book, 1776: The Illustrated Edition is in fact abridged. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that McCullough has shirked his duty to the past by simplifying or compressing the truth, however. The historian has tightened the original text to provide room for an impressive array of images and illustrations that make the book a fascinatingly immersive trip back to the 18th century. [Amazon]


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

Damon Albarn’s new music is touched by the colors of the old English music hall, wartime laments, and Britpop, as well as subtle shades of reggae, dub, and Afrobeat.  It might be as grubby and mysterious as the London it evokes, but it’s also as animated and vibrant as the streets around Portobello Market. It’s a bold, startling record that confounds any expectations or preconceptions of its creator.  The half remembered pictures that float through the songs’ murky waters are a defiant and despairing comment on where the mixed up island of Britain is in 2007. Even more so than the last Gorillaz album and the interesting but patchy Mali Music, The Good, the Bad & the Queen is a record swathed in musicality and soul—and is unquestionably the most assured and coherent project Albarn has ever been involved with. [Amazon]



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

Conservative writer David Brooks is no wingnut and once in a while, he has some thoughtful things to say about culture, as witnessed in a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times.  He’s smart enough to turn to Little Steven for additional words of wisdom and there’s no question that the music audience has gotten increasingly fragmented over the last few decades, even before the advent of the Net.  Also, Frere-Jones’ New Yorker article about indie rock that Brooks cites is more than a little flawed. Also, I’m kind of skeptical about articles that see the 60’s or 70’s as a golden age where music brought everyone together- what about “disco sucks” or punk vs. oldies or rednecks vs. longhairs?  Still, Brooks (and Little Steven) have an admirable idea about school curriculums centered on music, that’s not likely in a country where music programs are being cut all the time.  Brooks is right up the upcoming dearth of area fillers, especially as the current crop of classic rockers may not have many years left in them.


Compare that to Jermaine Dupri’s A Good Album is More than Just a Collection of Singles.  He might know a lot about making records but here, he’s the hateful soul of the record industry that he’s immersed, spewing on fans and Apple while taking no blame for its own problems.  You don’t have to go any further than the article’s comment section to see everything that’s wrong with the article.  An abject lesson of how the industry may still not get it and why they’re still slowly killing themselves off.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.