Culty singer-songwriter Tom Waits, he of Dylan-meets-Weill appeal, will air a full performance of his "Glitter & Doom" summer tour on NPR Music’s "Live in Concert" series. The show was recorded at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Ga. on July 5. According to the press release, it’s a “two-and-a-half hour performance, featuring rarities he’s never Read More
Oh, Scarlet Johansson. How hip are thee? Let me count the ways: You played an angsty teen in Ghost World. You appeared with the Jesus and Mary Chain at last year’s Coachella festival, singing backups on the very song that made you a star in Lost In Translation. You campaigned for Read More
In the beginning of September, Beyoncé celebrated her birthday and Justin Timberlake brought the sexy back. For the rest of the month, we’ll have to make do with releases from more, ahem, autumnal performers: Janet Jackson, if you’re nasty; Alan Jackson, if you’re Nashville; and the earnest singer-songwriting of the Indigo Girls and Elton John. Read More
May the Force Be With You, Etc.
Darth Vader is still Luke Skywalker’s father; Yoda’s still a puppet (and green); the rebels still win and the Empire still loses. None of this was guaranteed. After all, George Lucas is constantly messing around with his original Star Wars trilogy, and with each special edition or re-release, Read More
As a fiction writer, I’m always looking for what Faulkner called “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself.” But recently, the world poured on too much material. I’m not sure what to do with 9/11. Two boys down the street play whiffleball in their front yard without a father. He got up Read More
A few weeks ago my father said, “I’ve got a terrific idea for your next article.”
“Great,” I replied, anxious to hear what he had in mind. “Let’s hear it.”
“I think you should write about when you go to a bar and meet a man and then go to bed with him. Write Read More
“What’s he building in there?”
That’s the nonmusical question posed by the creepiest track of Tom Waits’ latest record, Mule Variations –a spoken-word piece about neighborly paranoia backed by spare percussion and sound effects.
“Now what’s that sound from under the door?” Mr. Waits wonders. “He’s pounding nails into a hardwood floor … and Read More
After cooling his heels for six years, Tom Waits has returned. If you care about the man’s last two decades of music, well, you’ll care about this album, too. But know this: Mule Variations (Anti/Epitaph), Mr. Waits’ latest meditation on whether a jukebox is sadder than a coffin, is no weird masterpiece like his mid-80′s Read More
It’s kind of amazing the shame we feel over sentimentality, isn’t it? We all like to feel we’re the sort of sensibility that can make those tough-minded esthetic choices, resist the lure of “mere sentiment,” the easy emotional response. Essayists love to promote their purported sophistication by disdaining “kitsch” and ” poshlust .”
The scholar Read More