Stan Getz: Jazz Round Midnight
On those days when nothing's going right, I prefer to blame it on the bossa nova. Instant teleport to California in the early sixties, breezy scarves and pastel furniture.
Ramones: Rocket to Russia
Their best album, the perfect balance of bubblegum and violence. Face it, there's no stoppin' the cretins from hoppin'.
The Hold Steady: Stay Positive
The song "Slapped Actress" really touches a nerve. It encapsulates something generational, even if I'm not sure what. Craig Finn smashed his Replacements records over the head of Bruce Springsteen and called it art.
King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
Apocalyptic prog rockers in an electric switchblade fight. Punk wouldn't have been necessary if these guys'd been in charge.
The Magnetic Fields: Realism
69 Love Songs is their masterpiece but this has some good cuts, like "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind." No one does droll like Stephin Merritt. I think he's got a patent pending.
Paul Simon: Paul Simon (1972)
I tend to neglect Simon's solo work, which is a mistake because what did Garfunkel ever bring to the party except cheap sentiment and a bozo wig? "Run That Body Down" is a highlight.
St Vincent: Marry Me
She tinkered these songs together out of scrap metal from a rocketship junkyard.
Dillinger Escape Plan: Ire Works
This album is physically exhausting. You need an intensive workout regimen before lowering the needle. They certainly know their way around their instruments, no denying that.
Sam Phillips: Martinis & Bikinis
A handful of well-crafted ditties. Can't stop hitting replay at the end of "Same Changes." You need a vaccine to get that guitar line out of your system.
Iron & Wine: The Shepherd's Dog
I think I'm not supposed to like this guy, according to management policy. But surely these gently rippling melodies aren't hurting anyone. "Boy with a Coin," for example. Maybe it's his unlicensed whiskerlength that raises objections.
The Stooges: Fun House
Iggy Pop speaks of discord and strife with something of an authority in his voice, eh? Nice of him to come back from the edge to tell us all about it.
27 March 2010
Stan Getz: Jazz Round Midnight
08 March 2010
I am currently rounding the corner on the much-praised Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of The Brothers Karamazov. It's been over ten years since I peeked at the Garrett version, so I have little to say about comparisons, other than the text is as smooth as a Lucky Strike.
The difficulty in reading Dostoevsky is that all his characters have at least four different names each, and they're all chock full of v's and k's, virtually unpronounceable as far as I'm concerned. It's near impossible to keep track of everyone without mapping out a diagram. It can take an embarrassingly long time to figure out that, say, Grushenka and Agrafena Alexandrovna are the same individual. (Sure, there's a list of characters in the front of the book but who can be bothered with that?)
Still, ol' Dosty can be surprisingly funny despite his reputation for being such a moody proto-existentialist bastard.