Sunday, February 17, 2019

David Brooks Obscure Words: Dirigistes

Disappointing David Brooks is easy. Every week, something somewhere disappoints him. It's almost like it's his job to express these disappointments every 2 or 3 days.

These days the disappointment is often with the absence of civility in our political discourse. David Brooks will indulge partisan intransigence, so long as it's done respectfully, and while adhering to the orthodoxy.

In "How the Left Embraced Elitism" David Brooks makes it clear that the Green New Deal aka the New Green Deal aka the New Zoo Revue aka How Green Was My New Deal aka Nuevo Trato Verde aka New Deal 2: Now It's Green Time is not adhering to the orthodoxy.

If this was a Sally Field movie it would be called Not Without My Orthodoxy!!!

The Green New Deal eschews capitalism--which has created 20 million jobs in just the last 10 years--and capitalism is teh aweSUM. I mean, don't expect David Brooks to have sufficient awareness to note that these 20 million new jobs have done nothing but help consolidate wealth among a few ultra-elite.

Eventually, capitalism will be about sharing the wealth and addressing climate change. And health care.

We just have to give it more time.

Just because millions of Americans lack health care and suffer in poverty doesn't mean it's time to get serious. David Brooks is going just fine, so let's not do anything rash.

That would be disappointing.

Today's obscure word is dirigistes which means to direct.  David Brooks uses this obscure (at least obscure to me, I had to look it up) word to talk about liberals will need to send everyone to elite universities to run this new massive centralized government control of everything. Which is weird since you'd think liberals would be all about community colleges and why wouldn't we let the people who are already running the things continue to run them, just removing the profit margins between us and the thing we want to benefit from (the health care, the infrastructure, whatnot).

David Brooks is dismissive of elites because he lacks a mirror, presumably.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Song of the Day: "Beverly"

The band is Loose Wing, from Seattle. They come to my attention via a promotional email list I'm on. The content, which I read about half the time when I get these, promises a sound I'll like: R.E.M. but with PJ Harvey on vocals. The email name drops Neko Case, Teenage Fanclub, Slowdive, Echo & the Bunnymen.

This is not the track to experience with that heightened sense of possibility. It's nice but really tepid.

I mean, I guess it's possible this is the most raucous track from the album, but if that's the case... yikes.

Song: "Beverly"
Artist: Loose Wing

Friday, February 8, 2019

Albums of the Year 2018

The longer this stupidity continues, the more I expect albums like Music for the Long Emergency, What a Time to Be Alive, and Record, music that's not just inspired by the socio-political craziness, but created in an attempt to thwart it. Well, maybe not, that's a bit lofty.

TL;DR: several people don't care for Donald Trump, and some of them made albums.

25 Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel
24 Brent Cobb: Providence Canyon
23 Brandi Carlisle: By the Way, I Forgive You
22 Lucy Dacus: Historian
21 Melody's Echo Chamber: Bon Voyage

20 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Hope Downs
19 I'm With Her: See You Around
18 POLIÇA & S T A R G A Z E: Music for the Long Emergency
17 Ashley Monroe: Sparrow
16 Chromeo: Head Over Heels

15 Beach House: 7
14 Anna Calvi: Hunter
13 Superchunk: What a Time to be Alive
12 Neko Case: Hell-On
11 CHVRCHES: Love is Dead

10 Soccer Mommy: Clean
9 The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
8 Low: Double Negative
7 Mitski: Be the Cowboy
6 Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour

5 Mastersystem: Dance Music
4 Tracey Thorn: Record
3 Blood Orange: Negro Swan
2 Pinegrove: Skylight
1 Spiritualized: And Nothing Hurt

Thursday, February 7, 2019

2018 Singles: #10 to #1

I was amazed at how well Childish Gambino pulled a Beyonce (a la "Formation") with "This is America." It's stunningly brutal and oh so deserved by this facile, uncaring, vituperative society.

The loss of a friend named Diane made Cam a close runner-up on the list. The actual Diane wouldn't have given a fuck but might be fleetingly amused that I'm writing about her now (in a Carly Simon kind of way, but the opposite of that). Also, it's a really great single, if you haven't heard it.

10 The Beths: 'Future Me Hates Me'
9 Spiritualized: 'A Perfect Miracle'
8 Young the Giant: 'Superposition'
7 Tracey Thorn: 'Queen'
6 Pinegrove: 'Intrepid'
5 The Honeysticks: 'I Don't Love You Anymore'
4 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: 'First Penis I Saw'
3 Mitski: 'Nobody'
2 Cam: 'Diane'
1 Childish Gambino: 'This is America'

2018 Singles: #20 to #11

I think it's awesome that Carly Rae Jepsen has milked the sessions for 2015's E-MO-TION for a fourth consecutive year on my singles lists. Tracey Thorn's second entry on the singles list is the girl power song you didn't know you needed for your daughter(s) (although technically her album is pretty much all girl power songs). 

That's sexist. It's the non-gendered power song you needed for your non-gendered offspring or non-offspring whom you are helping to rear because of _______(reasons) and whom you want to help get over an early heartbreak... as one does.

20 Jade Bird: 'Lottery'
19 Tracey Thorn: 'Guitar'
18 Carly Rae Jepsen: 'Party For One'
17 Chromeo: 'Don't Sleep'
16 Mastersystem: 'The Enlightenment'
15 Maggie Rogers: 'Fallingwater'
14 Childish Gambino: 'Feels Like Summer'
13 Dua Lupa: 'IDGAF'
12 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: 'Don't Be a Lawyer'
11 Post Malone: 'Better Now'

2018 Singles: #30 to #21

Is it worse that I have Florida Georgia Line or Post Malone on my singles list? Probably Post Malone. Plus he's ranked way higher, so double worse. But as if to undermine my last post, look, it's Kendrick Lamar! And Childish Gambino's first (of 3) appearances.

30 Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line: 'Meant to Be'
29 Kylie Minogue: 'Dancing'
28 Death Cab for Cutie: 'Autumn Love'
27 Phoebe Bridgers: 'Motion Sickness'
26 POLIÇA & S T A R G A Z E: 'Music for the Long Emergency'
25 Hop Along: 'How Simple'
24 I'm With Her: 'Overland'
23 Anderson .Paak/Kendrick Lamar: 'Tints'
22 The Carters: 'Apeshit'
21 Childish Gambino: 'Summertime'

2018 Singles: #40 to #31

You know who continued to not make my list again, despite having one of the most acclaimed albums and singles of 2018? That's right, ________. You can fill that in with Kendrick Lamar or Car Seat Headrest (is that a band? maybe its Head Rest Carseat) or Robyn (in this case it was Robyn I was thinking of).

40 AJR/Rivers Cuomo: 'Sober Up'
39 Varsity: 'The Dogs Only Listen To Him'
38 Florence + the Machine: 'Hunger'
37 Half-Alive: 'Still Feel'
36 Courtney Barnett: 'City Looks Pretty'
35 Unknown Mortal Orchestra: 'Hunnybee'
34 Friendly Fires: 'Heaven Let Me'
33 Passenger: 'Hell or High Water'
32 Brandi Carlile: 'Fulton County Jane Doe'
31 Janelle Monáe: 'Make Me Feel'