Wednesday, January 3 2007

It’s a Mall World

The mega mall shopping experience -- the mall as a multi-purpose space, an extension of the living room and social scene -- is relatively new in Manila.

Tuesday, January 2 2007

The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 3)

What Vogler hears in Bach is both the acknowledgement of the eternal sameness of our lives and the spiritual longing for untainted pure being -- Bach attains transcendence only through the transmutation of human despair and eternal sameness.

Monday, January 1 2007

The 2006 Barbershop Notebook Awards

Lest those who have affected the black community in interesting, complex, and largely problematic ways in 2006 go unrecognized . . .

Five Years’ Moldering, Now

As in all the human rights violations going on at Guantánamo Bay, the US has, with Australia's help, betrayed its traditions of upholding civil and international rights to rationalise its (in)actions in David Hick's case.

Thursday, December 21 2006

The Best Metal Albums of 2006

Begrand and Blood and Thunder look back on a metal-icious 2006: its creative resurgences, its tinges of sludge, its Japanese doom-ridden drones, and its ever-reliable Scandinavians.

Wednesday, December 20 2006

How an Unremarkably Wonderful Work Is the Most Successful Jazz Album, Ever

How can it be, in fact, that Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas is perhaps the only universally adored record in jazz history -- the Sgt. Pepper's of improvised music?

Tuesday, December 19 2006

2006, Through Roots-Colored Glasses

It's the same old complaint every year, isn't it? You do what you can, you hear what you can, and you wait to see what takes root in your brain as a keeper.

Monday, December 18 2006

God Made Us #1

The Gipper, the heartland, and the holy spirit: Notre Dame's football highlights stretch out like one long, continuous John Mellencamp video.

Sunday, December 17 2006

The 12 Days of Prozac

As a kind of red-nosed warning, or a pre-eggnog PSA, here's a look at three memorable television treats that, inadvertently, have caused more pain and suffering than a trip to Toys R Us when the Tickle Me Elmo shipment arrived.

Thursday, December 14 2006

The Patent Medicine Paradigm

Take this and you'll feel better. Today's branded products work just like the patent medicines of old.

Wednesday, December 13 2006

Racism Killed Rock: Part II

The subliminal suggestion is that Sly Stone was this schizo black musician who needed chemical stimulants to transform his simple R&B tunes into bonafide rock anthems. In other words, black people can't rock without getting high.

Tuesday, December 12 2006

God Smokes Cuban Cigars

Thanks to the upcoming ban on smoking in public places, smirting may take France by storm. That’s all Parisians need: another excuse to stand in the street in loving embrace.

Monday, December 11 2006

No! No! No!

Finally, a stand-up, face-off, clenched fists, chin in the air challenge to America's bullies.

Sunday, December 10 2006

Finally, Room at the Inn

Billy Wilder's The Apartment captures the holiday season feeling of those who stand beyond the glow cast by Christmas lights.

Thursday, December 7 2006

Desert Trance

These are the sort of flowers that bloom in the Sahara Desert: thumb pianos, distorted amps, muddy blues, and traditional chants.

Wednesday, December 6 2006

Racism Killed Rock: Part I

I believe to my soul that a blue man can sing the whites; that when the Big Music is rocked epically by a musician who feels/claims it as birthright, he or she will render ethno-cultural-lingual-racial barriers moot every damn time.

Tuesday, December 5 2006

Who Owns What?: Engaging the Fog of Hip-Hop

How do the "artist" and "critic" reconcile each other's presence? How literally must one walk this way in order to talk that way?

Monday, December 4 2006

Run, Hillary! Run!

As the weakened state of the Republicans augurs well for a Democratic president in 2008, a veritable flood of candidates has joined Clinton as the race begins. She begins her run with name recognition and plenty of monetary backing, yet she is far from a shoo-in.

Sunday, December 3 2006

Gerald Levert and the Black Pop Nobody Knows, but Should

To paraphrase the dead prez: Black pop is way, way bigger than Oprah, or Cosby, or LeBron James. Why, black pop is even bigger than hip-hop.

Thursday, November 30 2006

It’s Gotta Be the Shoes, Money

Stephon Marbury's new fashion line positions him as the anti-Michael Jordan of the NBA.

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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