Music

Fugazi's Last Show Was Ten Years Ago This Weekend (stream)

Sunday marks ten years since legendary D.C. outfit's final performance.

Ten years ago this Sunday, Fugazi took the stage at the London Forum and performed at the Kentish Town venue for the third night in a row. Shortly after, they announced an "indefinite hiatus". November 4, 2002, would be the band's last ever show.

You can mark the occasion by listening to the entire 100-minute performance on YouTube.

"We are Fugazi from Washington D.C.," Ian MacKaye begins, cheerily recommending a local Italian restaurant where the band had eaten as "very charming." "How many of these songs can we play tonight that we haven’t played over the past two nights?"

The band then launched into a blistering, career-spanning set that ranges from "Waiting Room" and "Margin Walker" to about half of 2001's stunning The Argument, whose more atmospheric fare sounds invigorated by the quartet's razor-sharp live energy. True to promise, they rewarded fans who had come to all three shows with material absent from the first two sets. True to character, tickets were sold at eight pounds.

If any band from the '90s American indie underground is missed today, it's Fugazi. Ten years later, the band's uncompromising business practices, storied anti-violent concert etiquette, and unique humor lives on -- with Dischord Recods, with The Evens, with Guy Picciotto's various projects. But their music, with its fierce meld of post-hardcore influences and boundless integrity, is sorely missed.

Interestingly, the band's final performance includes much material from 1990's Repeater. Between "Waiting Room" and The Argument, repeating themselves is the one thing Fugazi refused to do.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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7

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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