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Music

Randy Newman and the Magic of the Unreliable Narrator

After 45 years, Randy Newman's Sail Away remains one of the most beautiful, difficult, evocative testimonies to lust, desire, and America's collective racist past.

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Music

What Does Randy Newman Say When He Talks With God?

One of the less celebrated satirists of religion, a study of some of Randy Newman's key songs reveals a subtle subversive at work.

Music

Hard Working Americans: Hard Working Americans

Todd Snider and some rootsy jam band friends cover country and roots-rock songs. The fact that it's a hit and miss collection is almost completely due to Snider's limited vocal range.

Music

Peter Gabriel: And I'll Scratch Yours

Peter Gabriel waits three years for his back to be scratched, and the wait wasn't necessarily worth it.

Music

Mike Doughty: The Flip Is Another Honey

Mike Doughty's covers album seems like an odd collection of logical and left-field choices. But in his hands, they almost all turn out to be good decisions.

Music

This Year's Rock Hall of Fame Ballot Aims to Right Some Wrongs

The newly-announced ballot for the next class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees not only seeks to rectify long-standing slights but lets the public have a say for once. Here's hoping it doesn't go all pear-shaped.

Comics

Mr. Moorcock Sings on Mr. Gaiman's iPod

Writer Chris Roberson's offer of a bold new Elric as struggling with notions of American identity on a grand historical scale couldn't be more timeous. But does he lose the quintessential nature of Moorcock's command over various genre?

Music

The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2008

Former (or current) members of the Dream Syndicate, Fleetwood Mac, and the Wallflowers are just a few of the best singer-songwriters stepping out on their own this year.

Music

Randy Newman: Harps and Angels

The bard of piano pop makes a triumphant return to songwriting with a scathingly political album that makes the new Nas album sound like a campaign PSA for John McCain.

Reviews

Ottawa Bluesfest Days 6-7 feat. Feat. Final Fantasy, Randy Newman, and George Clinton

Heading into the heart of the festival, Christopher Cwynar hears words in defense of our country, swims through fantastic violin fantasies, and tries in vain to feel da funk.

Christopher Cwynar
Music

MacGuffin Pop

Randy Newman's latest Academy Award nomination makes it easy to forget how truly deceptive his songwriting really is. His music, which rarely wanders far from New Orleans R&B, ragtime, or Brill Building pop, is the stuff of familiarity and comfort, an unassuming foundation of Americana into which subversive (confrontational, even) ideas can be planted.

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