[ Saturday, January 01, 2005 ]
My 2005 wish list
I suppose that hoping for an end to suffering and injustice is too much to ask, so I've scaled down my entreaties (if sometimes only slightly) and come up with some ways that 2005 could bring a smile to my face: increased accountability for government officials, the subsiding of "us versus them"/"God's on our side" rhetoric, a few nice egg-on-your-face moments for the Bush Administration, a momentum shift in American politics, the continued emergence of internet bloggers as a media force, Howard Dean as DNC chair, a successful and problem-free year for Barack Obama, new records from OutKast and Bruce Springsteen, a third season of CHAPPELLE's SHOW that proves as funny as the first two, more than a handful of decent Hollywood studio films, Oscar nods for Michael Moore, at least one decent "next big thing in rock and roll," a groundbreaking novel, the DVD release of HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL, more of anything from Jon Stewart, good concerts, good times, good vibes, good people...
On the box right now: John Legend, GET LIFTED
Dove With Claws [5:18 PM]
[ Friday, December 31, 2004 ]
The perfect way to say goodbye to 2004
How better for Shot of Rhythm to greet 2005 than with a couple random observations/opinions:
-Favorite song right now: "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" by The Rolling Stones
-Congrats to Tim Tyson, whose great book BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME just made #3 on Entertainment Weekly's Best Nonfiction of 2004 list, ahead of Jon Stewart, among other things. (One of the two books that beat him was by some guy named Bob Dylan.)
-Yesterday, it struck me that "OK, I'll see you later, byeeee" would be a funny way to end a paper/thesis/dissertation.
-I'm honestly amazed, despite its cataclysmic proportions, that the tsunami and the nearly 100,000 estimated dead from it are getting such consistent American press. Must not be any celebrities getting married, or arrested, or something...
-"Fuck-stick" is my new favorite word to describe Republican legislators (particularly the Bush administration).
-Halfway through WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS, it's definitely gunning for a spot behind BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME and AMERICA: THE BOOK as my third-favorite book of the year.
I'm back from North Carolina, without enough energy or dignity to try and construct coherent thoughts about anything. I promise I'll get back with something more substantial manana, in order that we start the new year with intellectual sophistication and articulate grace. Plus, maybe a fart joke or two...
On the box right now: The Pixies, SURFER ROSA. I finally drank the Kool-Aid on this band, buying ROSA and DOOLITTLE. I'm somewhat amazed at how much I like them, and they sound better with each listen.
Dove With Claws [7:28 PM]
[ Monday, December 27, 2004 ]
Goin' to Carolina...
...and not just in my mind. If all goes as planned, tomorrow morning I head off for a couple days in Raleigh-Durham.
Before I go, though, a few thoughts about LIVE AID, which I've been watching on DVD the past few days. It's interesting to look back on such a seemingly touchstone event, particularly sense any potential ramifications from it, at least culturally, have basically dried up. (Could you imagine pop stars doing this kinda thing today, and - even more so - doing so without being annoying or self-righteous?) It's also interesting that the UK concert basically whipped the pants off the US. Highlights from Wembley Stadium (Queen, U2, The Who, and Boomtown Rats all put on great performances, and even Status Quo and Ultravox pull out all the stops for this one) easily trump those from Philadelphia (highlights from Philly are George Thorogood, Mick Jagger/Tina Turner, Run-DMC...and maybe nobody else).
Queen's performance is truly a clinic in how to make a huge event seem small. Freddie Mercury truly owns the stage, and the band's bombast is perfectly suited to such a gigantic enterprise. I've always been a closet Queen fan, and this performance reminded me of a few reasons why. At their best, when stripped of pretense and self-importance, Queen could be a truly electrifying rock and roll band. Of course, this does not mean that they deserve a place in the top of rock's pantheon. (A friend once called me, literally unable to stop laughing, because someone had asked him seriously who he thought was a greater rock band, Queen or The Beatles.) Perspective in place, though, only a fool could deny their power, and LIVE AID is clearly Exhibit A.
See y'all later on.
On the box right now: John Lennon, ROCK AND ROLL.
Dove With Claws [8:14 PM]