Nostalgia!

In Maps & Legends, by Michael Chabon, I encountered this sentence: …I suffer intensely from bouts, at times almost disabling, of a limitless, all-encompassing nostalgia, extending well back into the years before I was born. A few other commenters mentioned they get this too. But if it’s a foreign state of mind to you, try…

Drones!

FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS! No, not THAT kind of drone…the OTHER kind. I hope it’s not sexist to say that Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier, in their “Jenny Ondioline” video, is one of the most sensually-beautiful women I have ever seen in my life.

Flashback!

Anybody remember MTV’s Amp? It was a mid-nineties late-night program with no VJ’s, focused on electronic music. They would “mix” or blend the videos in a fashion similar to a DJ mixing tracks. It was pretty cool. Unfortunately, there appear to be no good-quality examples of it on YouTube, so you are stuck with DJ Glyph, selecting some favorite tracks from the era. With the benefit of hindsight, we can go all-killer, no-filler. Reminisce with me if you remember these; […]

Intellectual Art, Popular Media, and Getting Away from Aesthetic Subjectivity

In the May 2012 issue of the Atlantic, writer Taylor Clark has an excellent profile of videogame developer Jonathan Blow. He’s misanthropic, severely thoughtful, and somewhat abrasive. But he’s also a brilliant creator and a near perfect example of what Clark thinks the medium needs more of: developers willing to make smart videogames. Because for Clark the…

A New Ending Couldn’t Destroy Mass Effect’s Artistic Integrity

[Note: This is a companion piece to something I wrote earlier this week on the same subject but from a different point of view.  In addition, while there are no spoilers per say, the way I talk about and characterize Mass Effect 3’s ending in the abstract might make it better for people who want to approach…

Country Music and the Culture War

This was brought up in an earlier thread, but Will Wilkinson’s post on country music is worth a closer look. Wilkinson listens to country music in his car – sometimes I do, too. Sometimes I also listen to conservative talk radio in my car, but unlike country music I find very few redeeming qualities in…

A song for Thursday

I’ve probably posted this before but it’s just such a great song. The Once and Future Carpenter, by the Avett Brothers I’m such a dork, I asked Lyle Lovett what he thought of the Avett Brothers because something about how really sincere and friendly those guys are really reminded me of Lovett. He told me he…

“The Harrow and the Harvest”: Weep No More My Lady

(I’m writing about Gillian Welch’s The Harrow and the Harvest until I feel like stopping.  But really, you should listen to the music more than you should pay attention to me.) Bob Dylan isn’t the only thematic influence on The Harrow and the Harvest: “Hard Times” riffs on the songs and world of Stephen Foster, re-imagined a century and…