The Chilean solution

There are many reasons you might be jealous of Chile: six hundred miles of coastline, mariscos and avocados, swell Mediterranean climate, a great pop scene in Santiago, etcetera. Me, I am jealous of Chileans because of what they managed to accomplish last week. By a landslide – more than three quarters of votes cast – Chile […]

About 2019: Singles

The Song That Shook The World At the risk of stating the obvious, 7 is by no means a good set. Then again, it’s not like the principals were trying to make one. If you were in Lil Nas X’s position, you probably wouldn’t sweat the details, either: you’d figure the sell-by date was coming at […]

About 2019 — Individual Achievements

In my life, I’ve encountered people who are truly committed to social justice, equality, fairness, and a political program that might reasonably be called progressive. I’m always struck by how many of these people are Rush fans.  Dedicated fans, too; fans who’d surely count the members of Rush among their favorite musicians, if not their personal […]

Trembling Blue Stars — Alive To Every Smile

Act: Trembling Blue Stars Title: Alive To Every Smile Year: 2001 Format: Ten song LP. From: London. That’s rainy suburban London, mind you — the London where the architecture is monotonously pretty, and a double-decker bus splashes muddy water all over your trousers. Genre/style: There’s good reason to call Trembling Blue Stars a tweepop band, and […]

Critics Poll XXII — Albums

In “The Courage to Be,” the kickass theologian Paul Tillich argues that anxiety is fundamental to the human condition. Confronted by the inevitability of death, we’re hounded by the anxiety of impending nonbeing. Unleashed on earth without any instructions about what we’re supposed to do here, we face the anxiety of meaninglessness. And since in […]

The Myth Of The Acid No-Hitter, And Other Drug Stories

As a kid learning about baseball, Dock Ellis was, to me, just another face on a bubblegum card. Not a particularly valuable card, either, considering Ellis was doing his pitching in near-anonymity under the Arlington sun. I would have given you three of Dock for one of Amos Otis or John “The Count” Montefusco. Shortly […]