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What's on my ipod

  • Los Straitjackets -

    Los Straitjackets: Rock En Español, Vol. 1
    I saw this band a few weeks ago open for Los Lobos at a transcendent free concert by the river in Albany. They're Anglo musicians who wear Mexican wrestling masks, and have made this album of Spanish language versions of 60s pop songs. "Hang on Sloopy" becomes "Hey Lupe" etc... also including "Loco te patina el Coco" (Wild Thing) and "El Microscopicio bikini" (Dizzy Miss Lizzie). Featuring the best instrumentalists you've never heard before, plus the vocal stylings of Big Sandy. An essential purchase, and then check out the segment Terry Gross did with them on

    on Fresh Air.

    .

  • Tribalistas - Passe em Casa

    Passe em Casa
    Tribalistas: Tribalistas

    This is the most infectious, melodic, emotional music I've heard in years, by three giants of Brazilian pop music: Maria Montes, Arnaldo Antunes and Carlhinos Brown. The DVD of these sessions is even better. A total delight. Give one to all your friends.

  • Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs' Tears

    Levi Stubbs' Tears
    Billy Bragg: Talking with the Taxman

    Let us now praise Billy Bragg. "Mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is," the Bard of Barking once wrote about an interviewer. "I offered him apologies and my usual excuses." None necessary, Bill. All his early albums are handsomely repackaged and loaded with extra goodies. Start with this album, and this heartbreakingly beautiful song, then if you really want some fun, buy the box set, it comes with a DVD. Go see David at RebelRebel on Bleecker Street, and tell him I sent you.

  • Seu Jorge - Rebel Rebel

    Rebel Rebel
    Seu Jorge: The Life Aquatic

    Rebel Rebel: A great David Bowie song. Also the name of my favorite CD store in the village at 319 Bleecker. And now part of a delightful album of acoustic versions of David Bowie song sung in Portugeuese. Indescribably delicious.

  • Cat Power - Living Proof

    Living Proof
    Cat Power: The Greatest

    She has a voice like syrup, she recorded this album with Al Green's band, she's a gifted songwriter...why is this the first Cat Power album I've ever heard? It won't be the last.

  • Bill Evans - Waltz for Debby

    Waltz for Debby
    Bill Evans: complete village vanguard recordings

    My day goes like this: I make a pot of Darjeeling tea. I read two, maybe three newspapers. I start working on the computer and start listening to Bill Evans. I do both all day. If you love jazz, if you've never listened to jazz, you'll love Bill's records from the 1960s. This set captures his most famous trio at their most famous gig.

  • Johnny Thunders - Great Big Kiss

    Great Big Kiss
    Johnny Thunders: So Alone

    I used to hear this song on the great, still going strong Vin Scelsa's show on WNEW-FM, and now the New York proto-punk album to beat the band is out on CD. You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory indeed.

  • Paul Weller - Come On/Let's Go

    Come On/Let's Go
    Paul Weller: As Is Now

    The Modfather is back, although he does look unhealthily like a Gallagher brother in the video... I liked the Jam, didn't care for the Style Council, loved Paul Weller's first two solo albums, been disappointed with some of his product since then --but the new one's a grower.

  • michael penn - walter reed

    walter reed
    michael penn: Mr. Hollywood, Jr. 1947

    A return to form from one half of one of rock's greatest couples. This is the first song from an album of stunners, a song cycle every bit as brainy as Aimee's.

  • Hem - Redwing

    Redwing
    Hem: Eveningland

    I could have chosen any song by this wonderful new band. See my post over there on the right column about a recent enchanted evening for more about Hem.

September 2008

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Saturday, 29 March 2008

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Friday, 07 March 2008

Published op-eds and articles

  • A Watergate Groupie's Dream Come True

    OK, so I'm obsessed with Richard Nixon.  Lots of people, well three at least, share my mania, and some of them are big time media stars.  (You know who you are, Al Franken and Harry Shearer).  This is about the night I had dinner with some of the team from the Senate Watergate committee. I brought some of my favorite artifacts, like my life size inflatable Nixon.  (What, you've never seen one?)

  • Annotated Archive
    My complete oeuvre. Moi, I prefer my oeuvres over easy...
  • Don't Listen to Consultants (like me)
    The Washington Post called it "career arson" when I wrote this expose of how political consultants can be bad for democracy. Bob Shrum still isn't talking to me. Well, to be perfectly truthful, that's probably because I've never met him.
  • Faking the voice of the people | csmonitor.com
    My most widely read column, according to Google. My views on "astroturf" letters to the editor have been reprinted in a textbook, mentioned in the Wall Street Journal and discussed in an online journalism review. That doesn't make me right, of course.
  • Murder in the Propaganda Factory
    Read the first chapter of my novel in progress. Washingtonians will recognize the scenery.
  • Paul Simon went to Graceland. You Don't Have To
    I went to Graceland, was bored and alienated (what else is new) and wrote about it for the Christian Science Monitor. I got some lovely hate mail, the best of which I can't publish on my website, but if you write to me I'll share it on the q.t.
  • Shocked
    My first published punditry, in the Christian Science Monitor. Practically all the dialogue is quoted verbatim from a meeting I once attended. I made up the bit about Alec Baldwin.
  • Unpublished Punditry