I am a world-class procrastinator.
It’s a miracle that you’re reading this.
Lost In Translation
While touted in some reviews as a Brief
Encounter-like romance, Lost in Translation is much more than
that, including an examination of aging — the confusion met upon reaching
staleness of married life, and the aloofness of being past your prime.
Feature: Sam Peckinpah
Welcome to The High Hat’s Sam Peckinpah
Looks That Kill
What is unique to Peckinpah is the
distribution of these points of identification. Rather than focusing
on the protagonists alone, the audience is encouraged also to witness
the action from the perspectives of horrified onlookers and victims
Ride the High Country
A film of abundant visual beauty,
it’s also a highly literate one through whose heart blows a chill valedictory
Moby Dick tells us that pursuing
your obsessions can destroy you; Peckinpah should have been more wary.
Algonquin Kids’ Table: The Wild Bunch
In which various participants gush and
squibble over Peckinpah’s classic tale of bad men in bad times.
If Peckinpah truly wanted to make
Death Wish, he’d have made Death Wish. But Straw Dogs isn’t
a vengeance orgy at all unless you’re not quite paying attention.
The Tao of Sam Peckinpah.
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
The very title suggests a brace
of opposing forces, an either/or that needs sorting out, but it’s a
riddle that Peckinpah, even had he been sober and left to his own devices,
had no intention of solving because he knew it couldn’t be done.
Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia
There’s no heroic scale, little
beauty, and the tenderest relationship is between a man who’s dead and
one who ought to be. All that’s left is a vein of black humor a mile
thick and a feeling of disgusted rage potent enough to blow you across
The Bottom Shelf: Convoy
It was as if Stanley Kubrick had
decided to follow Barry Lyndon with a lavish adaptation of Disco Duck.
The Osterman Weekend
Peckinpah, however, was always a
foe of received wisdom, and this is why: The Osterman Weekend isn’t
a terrible movie. It’s not even a bad movie. It’s certainly not a great
movie, but its status as the movie that literally and figuratively buried
him is entirely unjust.
Pick a Peck of Poses
A Beginner’s Field Guide to the
20th Century Essentials
The last half of the century was beset
by intensive ‘style wars’ wherein critics and composers wed to one style
or another attempted to marginalize the supporters and practitioners
of other styles — to silence them.
The New Heavy
This is why a band like Korn, whose
guitar and bass strings are practically falling off, are not Heavy.
create a static throb, like some sort of large machine, and after about
five minutes the sound is intolerable — listening to one of their albums
is like working in a metal shop.
How MP3s Made A Music Fan Out Of Me
I blame They Might Be Giants. And of
course theres the little matter of Apples culpability for
the iPod to take into account.
You Think You Really Know Me: An Interview with Gary Wilson
To my surprise, John Cage invited me
to his house, and we went over my scores. I went to his house for three
days. I was only 14 years old.
Thompson: More Guitar
Its become something of a ritual
for critics to start their reviews of Richard Thompsons work by
scratching their heads over why he is not a household name on a rank with
John Lennon or Neil Young.
Planting Together: An Interview with Iron & Wine
Its pretty easy to strip the
music down. In fact, we sometimes strip them down more than whats
on the record.
Sadism and Perversity At Work
Miles Davis in Person Friday and Saturday
Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete
Brothers In Arms
Reissues from The Blasters and Rank & File
Does It Help When You Close Your Eyes?:
An Interview with Jean Smith of Mecca Normal
Getting older as an artist is different
than other ways of going through life. I have not been worn down by the
world; I feel my best work is ahead of me.
The Wire: Season Two
The Decidedly Unfunky Buzz of Boomerang
In the quiet of a million-plus personal
weekend mornings, the Boomer and X generations got to enjoy a weekly
dream called Saturday cartoons. It was just you, the cereal bowl and
Swimming With Sharkey
Wiseguy on DVD
Brass Eye, Chris Morris’
spoof of moral panic on TV news, infuriated a nation and redefined satire.
Sex and Death in Four Colors
“Pulp Art: Vamps, Villains and Victors
From the Robert Lesser Collection” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
He Kills Coppers
If Jake Arnott is indeed as
much a British doppelganger of James Ellroy as critical consensus would
seem to indicate, then he’s hopefully on the same career path as Ellroy
— and that means we’ll be seeing better and better work out of him as
Sophie by Guy Burt and Ready,
Steady, Go! by Shawn Levy.
It’s early yet to forecast what
the concept of ’90s nostalgia will look like in the mainstream, although
recent history does offer one clue: the element of ‘youthful American
exuberance’ will be played up, as it has been for every decade from the
The Probabilistic Soap Opera
or The Consolations of Fantasy Baseball
In many ways, it is not unlike picking stocks. We allocate resources,
we study the available commodities. Risk, reward and probability. Buy
low and sell high.
Serious Hillbilly Shit
These guys are the real deal: guitar,
mandolin, fiddle and banjo. They play and sing, completely un-amplified,
just standing out in the
yard. I have attended this party for several years because the music
is special, but for Thomas and Sean Clinton and their circle, it is
to get more than usually drunk and high.