The Poll turns 31

Why not vote in the 31st edition of our Poll? You might take a few moments to register your impressions and opinions about the music you heard in 2020, or vent, or tell dirty jokes. There’s no wrong way to do it. This form will be active on the site until midnight on January 23, […]

Listening Schedule 2020

These aren’t all great albums, necessarily, although some of them are terrific. They’re the albums that were significant to me and my friends: the ones that scored the year that was. We don’t believe in assessing a year in music until it’s over. Starting on Wednesday, we’ll listen carefully to two albums every day. These […]

A quick addition to the last post

I wasn’t going to write anything else about the election. I felt like that last post said all I needed to say. But as I’ve learned, sometimes, circumstances move faster than type; sometimes they’re faster than thought. As you know, the President has tested positive and is now in the hospital. Given the way he […]

From me to you

Chances are, you’re exhausted, too. You don’t want to talk about the election, or civil society, or anything of the sort. Airtight arguments haven’t gotten you anywhere, and those moral and emotional appeals haven’t done much, either. You know this is the state that powerful people want you in: too wiped out to put up […]

Hater you participate

I consider it a thing of monstrous arrogance to support a political candidate because he or she agrees with me. For starters, my judgment is compromised in dozens of ways. I take it for granted that I’m misinformed, and woefully ill-equipped to untangle the sort of knotty problems that leaders face. John McCain stands out […]

The Tulsa trap

About a month after the 2016 general election, George drove me home from practice. He was, as we all were, very worried about the consequences of the decisions that the country had made and the experiment in extreme laissez-faire that was about to commence. The American governing apparatus, he believed, was a machine too powerful […]

The beat goes on

Businesses in New York City reopened yesterday. Our side of the Hudson is coming back to life, too. There was a party on the block this weekend, and I don’t think anybody really minded. A few countries have managed to knock out the virus altogether, at least for now: New Zealand, for instance, announced a […]

Screwed up

Forgive me if everything I’m about to write is redundant to you: if you follow pop news, you probably know all of this already.  Yet the overlap between the music press and mainstream media is not as great as those of us who spend our mornings reading Okayplayer and The FADER often imagine it is, so […]

Interiors

On our trip back from the ocean, we stopped at a classic Jersey farm stand in the Monmouth County suburbs. It seemed like a decent bet. We’d been there before, and it had always been wide open and well ventilated. Very few people on the highway sidewalks (the farm stand, like so many south of […]

Operation shutdown

If you follow New Jersey news, you’ve probably encountered Gustavo Martínez Contreras. He’s a multimedia reporter for the Asbury Park Press, but he mostly covers Lakewood, and Lakewood is a place that regularly makes the news. There’s been more than a little virus in Lakewood, and Contreras has been on top of that story. His […]