Shot Of Rhythm

[ Wednesday, May 25, 2005 ]


Hit parade

There's been an interesting group of pop singles that I really shouldn't like, by any of my previous understandings of my musical tastes, but I do nonetheless. I'm thinking particularly of Dave Matthews Band's "American Baby," Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes," Gavin DeGraw's "Chariot" and - most of all - Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2 A.M.)" None of these songs fit the paradigm, but I enjoy them all enough to leave the radio/TV on when they come on, and I even find my foot-a-tapping and lips-a-synching along with them. Perhaps this says something more about the paradigm than the songs, eh?

By the way, I added a link to Mark Anthony Neal's new blog. Dr. Neal is a professor at Duke, and the author of several books of cultural criticism that - for my money - are as good as any recent scholarship in the area. His thoughts on modern black culture and society, including important recent work on black masculinity, are sharp and funny, and the idea of a regularly-updated heap of thoughts from him is pretty exciting indeed. Check him out...

On the box right now: Common, BE.


Dove With Claws [7:19 PM]

[ Tuesday, May 24, 2005 ]


The good, the bad and the ugly

The good: Common's new album, BE. Soulful, funky, and smart, this record is one of those too-rare bridges between "conscious" lyrics and bumping beats (mostly courtesy of Kanye West, whose library of obscure 70s soul samples must be bottomless). Also, at 42 minutes, it's absolutely free of filler. Chi-town in the house.

The bad: The lies about Pat Tillman. See here:

The ugly: Phil Spector's hair. See here:

On the box right now: Common, BE.


Dove With Claws [8:33 AM]

[ Sunday, May 22, 2005 ]


Five stars

Saw CRASH yesterday. Definitely a must-see. It's such a rare and wonderful pleasure to see a film that so intelligently, so uncompromisingly addresses race and class issues while never falling into easy stereotype or liberal mush. The acting's fantastic (Don Cheadle proves once again why he is the man), the film looks good, and the issues raised by the story are really thought-provoking. Probably the best film I've seen since MILLION DOLLAR BABY, which is ironic, because CRASH is written and directed by Paul Haggis, who wrote MILLION DOLLAR BABY as well. I guess we've got a new candidate for Hollywood's MVP.

On the box right now: Heartless Bastards, STAIRS AND ELEVATORS. A little rock and roll record that is making a big impact on me.


Dove With Claws [8:25 AM]