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by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

17 Jan 2014

Mendelsohn: Confession time, Klinger. I put off listening to Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark to the very last minute. I couldn’t psych myself up enough to spend a couple of days listening to Mitchell bare her soul. Turns out I was fretting for nothing. Court and Spark is a much more upbeat affair, with actual drums and everything. Its poppy, peppy, and downright pretty in some places.

Klinger: Yes, I recall you being a bit unnerved by Blue, Joni’s 1971 confessional masterpiece, and although I still don’t fully understand your skittishness, I suppose I am glad your trepidations were for naught this time around.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

10 Jan 2014

Klinger: You know something, Mendelsohn, I think it’s been quite a while since we had a record that seemed to be drawing a line in the sand. We had a lot of them up there in the early goings of the Great List—it seemed just about every album we covered up there was one that sounded the clarion call that things were going to be quite different. Here in the mid-100s of the Acclaimed Music list (our Swedish overlord’s mathematical analysis of the most critically acclaimed records of all time, for those just tuning in), though, the albums are often solid and certainly well regarded, but they don’t necessarily seem to be addressing their peers and the overall pop music culture like their predecessors. Metallica‘s Master of Puppets, though, feels like just that sort of album.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

20 Dec 2013

Mendelsohn: Coming of age in the 1990s was great for someone like me because electronic music was really starting to come into its own as a wide variety of artists began to take advantage of the emerging technologies to create new and interesting soundscapes. A few of those artists, your Fatboy Slims (coming in at No. 494 on the Great List) and Mobys (No. 366), even managed to achieve mainstream success. But the group that picked up the most critical acclaim from that time period was the Parisian duo of Air, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunkel, and their 1998 effort Moon Safari.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

13 Dec 2013

Klinger: Do you realize that when Pulp’s Different Class came out in 1995, the group had been toiling away as an underground band in various incarnations for over 15 years? Were you aware that prior to being embraced by the emerging Britpop explosion, Jarvis Cocker and company had far more in common with the Sheffield sound of the 1980s? Or that Different Class actually debuted at No. 1 on the UK album chart?

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

6 Dec 2013

Mendelsohn: It’s funny how time flies, Klinger. It has been just over 100 entries on the Great List since we last talked about Sly and the Family Stone. (How long have we been doing this? Don’t answer. I’m just waxing rhetorical.) The first Sly album we had the pleasure of tackling was There’s a Riot Goin’ On, the dark, cocaine-fueled funk odyssey that was light years away from the “Everyday People” and the psychedelic soul that is all-around smooth as silk and meticulously put together. But then Sly got himself a nasty cocaine habit and everything got weird—it was great for a while, but really, really weird.

On Stand! we get to see the Family Stone firing on all cylinders, really hitting the groove at every possible point, and it is a sight to behold. Makes me wonder what could have been? Or maybe what the world would have missed out upon if Sly had never taken a ride on the white horse?

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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