Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Expanded blog post,
Music: current count 31749  rated (+23), 262  unrated (+0).
Slow getting this out, with Monday wiped out by a house emergency
(water heater broke down). Had a nagging sore throat much of the week,
but right now mostly feel exhausted. Relatively mild summer so far,
but looks like triple digits coming soon and probably persisting.
Next couple weeks will probably be worse.
Rated count cut off Sunday evening, but I've added unpacking since
then, so the numbers are a little out of whack.
Second straight week with an unusually low rated count (24
Again, spent some time on the Resonance anthologies without writing
any reviews, and also found a higher-than-usual split of A- records,
plus high B+ that merited extra plays. Most of the finds this week
come from Chris Monsen's
Jazz favorites list, plus a few more from Phil Overeem's
Halfway to Listville. The easiest one was John McPhee's Nation
Time: I skipped over it when I was catching up with Corbett vs.
Bandcamp a few
weeks back, as I had already given Corbett's 2000 reissue a full A,
and hadn't noticed the extra cuts. No reason to repurchase if you
have the Atavistic release, but the bonuses are just that.
Had a minor role in helping Joe Yanosik publish his magnum opus
A Consumer Guide to FRANCO.
I have a
Guests section on my website, which I've
used a few times but never really tried to promote. I've long thought
that a better solution would be to set up guest areas on my
Hullworks website, perhaps as
sub-domains, which could be spun off should the guests decide to pony
up for a domain name. I'm in a position where I can host those as
well. I also considered hanging Joe's piece at
Terminal Zone -- long my pet
idea for a music-themed website (named for the
zine Don Malcolm and I published
back in 1977). In the end, I went with the path that involved the
least thought and work.
When Joe first mentioned his Franco project to me, I glanced at
Napster's Franco offerings, and spent a
digging around. My own (much more limited) set of Franco grades are
here. You can also look
Christgau has written.
I might as well mention two projects that I've started but haven't
gotten very far on. I've started to add recent reviews to the two large
book manuscript files I have on jazz. Rather slow work, but I've added
99 pages up to January, 2019, pushing the 20th century jazz guide over
800, and the 21st over 1700. Files are backed up online, in ODT format.
I've also started collecting mid-year lists, as I did last year. This
uses the EOY list aggregate format, and most likely will eventually
evolve into a full EOY list aggregate later this year. Only have four
lists compiled so far (about a third of those collected on
surprised there aren't more, but haven't really looked yet. The
current aggregate is
way too sparse to draw any real conclusions from. One issue here
is that I'm only awarding 1 point for each list mention. (Two
reasons: one is that so far many of the lists are unranked; the
other is that it makes it easier to clean up with I replace the
midway lists with EOY lists.) The other point I should note here
is that I'm factoring in my graces (A: 5, A-: 4, ***: 3, **: 2,
*: 1), which currently results in quite a bit of skew. E.g., 6
of the top 8 records now are ones I've graded A- (Billy Eilish,
Lizzo, Charly Bliss, Big Thief, Little Simz, Jamila Woods), and
the other two (Carly Rae Jepsen and Vampire Weekend) were ***
and ** respectively. Expect my picks to slip as I add further
lists, while records I like less will make inroads (Solange is
the surest shot; maybe also Tyler the Creator, Sharon Van Etten,
Jenny Lewis). Record that I haven't heard with the most list
mentions so far: Flying Lotus' Flamagra.
New records reviewed this week:
- Maria Faust/Tim Dahl/Weasel Walter: Farm Fresh (2018 , Gotta Let It Out): [r]: B+(***)
- Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (2019, Rune Grammofon): [r]: B
- Alex Fournier: Triio (2018 , Furniture Music): [r]: B+(***)
- Lafayette Gilchrist: Dark Matter (2016 , self-released): [cd]: B+(***)
- GoldLink: Diaspora (2019, Squaaash Club/RCA): [r]: B+(***)
- Bjørn Marius Hegge: Ideas (2019, Particular): [r]: A-
- Megan Thee Stallion: Fever (2019, 300 Entertainment): [r]: B+(***)
- Nature Work: Nature Work (2018 , Sunnyside): [r]: A-
- Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity: To Whom Who Buys a Record (2019, Odin): [r]: A-
- Pere Ubu: The Long Goodbye (2019, Cherry Red): [r]: B+(**)
- Santana: Africa Speaks (2019, Concord): [r]: B
- Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen on Broadway (2018, Columbia, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
- Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars (2019, Columbia): [r]: B-
- Zhenya Strigalev/Federico Dannemann: The Change (2018 , Rainy Days): [cd]: B+(*)
- Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Impromptus and Other Short Works (2018 , WhyPlayJazz): [r]: B+(***)
Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:
- Dexter Gordon: At the Subway Club 1973 (1965-73 , Elemental Music, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
- Clifford Jordan Quartet: Glass Bead Games (1973 , Strata East; , Pure Pleasure): [r]: A-
- Eero Koivistoinen: The Front Is Breaking (1976, Love; , Svart): [r]: B+(*)
- Joe McPhee: Nation Time (1970 , Corbett vs. Dempsey): [bc]: A
- Harry Mosco: Peace & Harmony (1979 , Isle of Jura): [r]: B+(*)
- Woody Shaw Quintet: Basel 1980 (1980-81 , Elemental Music, 2CD): [r]: A-
- Sonic Youth: Battery Park, NYC, July 4th 2008 (2008 , Matador): [r]: B+(***)
- Bruce Springsteen: The Live Series: Songs of the Road (1977-2013 , Columbia): [r]: B+(*)
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:
- John Bacon/Michael McNeill/Danny Ziemann: Refractions (Jazz Dimensions): August 1
- Mike Holober/The Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out (Zoho): August 9
- From Wolves to Whales: Strandwal (Aerophonic): August 26
- Dave Rempis/Joshua Abrams/Avreeayl Ra + Jim Baker: Apsis (Aerophonic): August 26
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Fairly large (7.3) earthquake in
Indonesia today. It's in a fairly isolated corner of the nation,
an island with about 450,000 people, north of Ceram and midway
between the outstretched peninsulas of New Guinea and Sulawesi.
Probably not much news on this, unlike last week's similar-sized
earthquakes near Ridgecrest, California.
On the other hand, quite a bit of news attention to
Hurricane Barry, slowly moving today through north Louisiana
and into Arkansas, dumping a lot of rain over already flooded
terrain. Two things worth noting here. One is that this is still
very early in the season (nominally June 1 to November 30). For
a record fifth year in a row, the first named storm (Andrea)
appeared before the season officially started. June was quiet,
but it's still very rare to have hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico
in July. Odder still, where most hurricanes start as low pressure
zones over West Africa, then pick up strength crossing the width
of the subtropical Atlantic Ocean, this one started in Tennessee,
then curved in a clockwise motion through Georgia and Florida
before intensifying over the Gulf. I've never seen a storm follow
that trajectory, or for that matter one that spent so little time
over water developing to hurricane level. Granted, it only briefly
achieved level 1 strength, but that doesn't bode well for later
storms that traverse much more of the still warming Gulf (currently
86°F). [PS: The Wikipedia page suggests several similar hurricanes,
but the only one that comes close is
1940 Louisiana hurricane, which formed in early August off the
coast of Georgia, crossed Florida and covered a much longer stretch
of the Gulf before making landfall in southwest Louisiana. It is
regarded as "the wettest tropical cyclone in state history," with
a peak rainfall of 37.5 inches. Barry is forecast to produce up
to 25 inches of rain. Actual rain so far appears to be much less -- see
Barry downgraded to a depression but still brings risk of flooding from
Louisiana to Arkansas. This article also notes that the average date
for first hurricane of season is August 10, and that this is the first
July hurricane in continental US since Arthur in 2014, and only the 4th
in Louisiana history according to records going back to 1851.]
Some scattered links this week:
The riptide of American militarism.
Donald Trump's origin story suffers another severe blow:
The new report by Kranish also recalls perhaps the biggest revelation
undercutting Trump's self-published origin story: how he became wealthy
in the first place. While Trump has claimed he got only a $1 million
loan to start out with, the Times detailed how the younger Trump
"received at least $413 million in today's dollars from his father's
real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s." The
paper said these tax dodges included "instances of outright fraud."
And when it comes to Trump's education, he has apparently gone to
great lengths to obscure the record and seems to have tapped powerful
connections in the process, as The Post's Marc Fisher detailed in March.
The New York Military Academy, which Trump attended before college,
moved its Trump files to a more secure location amid pressure from
wealthy Trump allies. Around the same time that was revealed, former
Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who flipped on Trump and pleaded guilty
to several crimes, released a 2015 letter he wrote threatening Fordham
University with legal action if Trump's records were released.
The combined picture is one of a president who may not have been
able to attend Penn or assemble anywhere close to such a fortune
without familial connections.
Trump is poised to sign a radical agreement to send future asylum seekers
Joe Biden, Closet Republican: "He's the liberal Bob Dole, the looser
Mitt Romney, the supposedly safe bet who's owed a shot." I'm not a Biden
fan, but this is pretty unfair. For starters, it vastly understates how
despicable the vast majority of Republican politicians have become --
ironically, a trait that Biden and Bruni seem to share. Biden has been
a reasonably successful politician during the 40-year Reagan-Bush-Trump
era, at least in part because he's often been willing to bend with the
wind. That bending may have helped lend credence to the Republicans, and
that's reason enough to doubt him as a candidate. Still, there's a big
gap between Democrats like Biden and supposedly respectable Republicans
like Dole and Romney. Bruni's not doing us any favors by papering over
Trump launches racist attack against 'progressive Democrat
congresswomen'. Related: Peter Wade:
Of course, Fox News delighted in Trump's racist tweet. The question
Fox raised on the screen was "DEMOCRATS DIVIDED?" Actually, the reaction
there was pretty united: it speaks volumes that the one thing every
Democratic politician in America agrees on is that Trump is a racist,
and that it's fair game to put it that explicitly.
President Trump says only Trump supporters deserve free speech.
Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost was a member of secret Facebook group.
FTC fines Facebook $5 billion over Cambridge Analytica scandal.
How US tech giants are helping to build China's surveillance state.
Same deal here:
Middle East dictators buy spy tech from company linked to IBM and Google.
David A Graham:
The best way to get fired by Trump: "The president's new strategy
for getting rid of scandal-tainted aides: Quickly accept their resignations,
but heap praise on them as they leave."
Amy McGrath is challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. She's
everything wrong with the Democratic Party. Yeah, but if I was
misfortunate enough to be represented by McConnell, I'd cheerfully vote
for her anyway. Note that she wound up correcting her faux pas on the
The Fed's new message: The economy can get a lot better for workers:
"A rejection of what had been a consensus view of the relationship between
the jobless rate and inflation."
It's always the oil: The missing three-letter word in the Iran
What Donald Trump got right, and Justin Amash got wrong, about
conservatives: "Conservatism is an identity more than an ideology,
and Trump knows it."
The case for declaring a national climate emergency.
While Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez's calls for a climate-emergency declaration
are not solving any problems, they are providing the language that needs
to dominate the national conversation. And that matters. The United Nations
recently warned that climate disasters are happening at the rate of one per
week. This past June was the hottest on record. At the end of the month,
a freak storm buried Guadalajara, Mexico, in hail, and on Thursday morning
news outlets reported that freak hailstorms in Greece killed seven people.
A month's worth of rain fell on Washington, D.C., in an hour on Monday
(while Trump completely ignored the climate crisis in his speech on the
environment), then more flash floods drowned New Orleans, which is now
preparing for a tropical storm that could dump another twenty inches of
rain and test the city's levees. The warming that happens over the next
few decades could kill all of the world's coral reefs, lead to even more
severe storms and wildfires, and set off the sorts of tipping points that
most concern scientists -- specifically, the irreversible dissolution of
the Greenland ice sheet, where, in June, a heatwave set off melting
across half of its surface.
Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman team up for Albania MEK conference.
Why the GOP might learn to love putting price controls on drugs.
How to dramatically reduce gun violence in American cities: Based
on a new book by Thomas Abt: Bleeding Out.
AOC's policy adviser makes the case for abolishing billionaires:
Interview with Dan Riffle.
How Trump swallowed the GOP whole and exposed Paul Ryan's craven moral
failings. Refers to a forthcoming book by Tim Alberta: American
Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise
of President Trump. For more, see:
Conservatives pretending to be suppressed by social media dominated
Of course Boris Johnson wants a royal yacht. He's the king of
Why they fear Ilhan Omar: "Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson don't
think she's dangerous. They hate that she's full of potential."
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has no good answer for cushy Jeffrey
Epstein plea deal. Acosta wound up
resigning, after Trump swore,
"I'm with him". For more, see:
Going home with Wendell Berry: Interview. Sample quote I should save
and maybe use some time: "Every generation is a bridge between something
that's past, and something that's coming."
Charles P Pierce:
Nancy Pelosi's leadership now constitutes a constant dereliction of
duty. Pierce is the kind of pundit I'd expect to go to the mat
defending Party leadership like Pelosi, so I'm impressed first of all
that he snapped, second that he snapped this direction. What this
shows is that AOC and her "gang of four" have struck a chord that
extends even to middling Democrats. Maybe that's because they're
scoring points while Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, et al. look like mere
bystanders. Another non-radical suddenly soured on Pelosi: Andrew
Hey, Nancy Pelosi: Please stop coddling Donald Trump.
Lies about Iran killing US troops in Iraq are a ploy to justify war.
Trump's census citizenship question fiasco, explained. Related:
The long history of the US government asking Americans whether they are
Coal left Appalachia devastated. Now it's doing the same to Wyoming.
House report shines light on multiple infants under one separated from
How Trump doubled down on the crazy claim he's immune from oversight.
Paul Sonne/Karoun Demirjian/Missy Ryan:
Sexual assault allegations complicate confirmation of Trump's nominee
for military's No. 2 officer: Air Force Gen. John E Hyten, commander
of US Strategic Command, nominated to be vice chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
Ross Perot had the last laugh. The business mogul and third-party
presidential candidates (1992/1996) died last week, at 89.
Elizabeth Warren shuns conventional wisdom for a new kind of campaign:
Key sentence: "She's largely rejecting DC's consultant class."
As the world heats up, the climate for news is changing, too.
"Trump is quite easy to buy off": how Trump is putting American foreign
policy up for sale: "Want to understand Trump's foreign policy? Just
follow the money."
Biden releases video blasting "the Trump Doctrine" of foreign policy.
Defines "five core elements of what Biden calls 'The Trump Doctrine'":
- Embrace dictators
- Threaten war
- Rip up international agreements
- Launch trade wars
- Embarrass the US
Lots of problems here, starting with the assertion that what Trump's
doing is coherent and consistent enough to imply a "doctrine" (especially
when no such thing has been stated). He's pretty selective about which
dictators he "embraces," favoring those who align with his worldview,
especially those who cater to his personal finances. And while he has
no personal interest in democracy, international law, and/or concern
for human rights, he's willing to slander his enemies (and only his
enemies) for their shortcomings there. Similarly, his treatment of
international treaties and trade agreements is unprincipled, riding
almost exclusively on his personal (and partisan) economic interest.
He's a committed bully, and feels that by virtue of its wealth and
power America is entitled to threaten and cajole the little countries
around, but he has yet to act as recklessly as his rhetoric suggests.
Of course, he's a huge embarrassment. But aside from being somewhat
less of an embarrassment, one wonders what Biden would do differently.
US foreign policy has been remarkably consistent across parties, both
in the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, as if presidents don't actually
have many real options. In his long career, Biden has very dependably
gone along with whatever the prevailing "wisdom" dictated, so there's
little reason to think he won't continue to serve the same interests
US foreign policy has long followed.
The US has a risky new plan to protect oil tankers from Iranian attacks.
New leak claims Trump scrapped Iran nuclear deal 'to spite Obama'.
Monday, July 08, 2019
Expanded blog post,
Music: current count 31726  rated (+24), 262  unrated (+2).
Rated count down this week. Maybe I didn't focus well while Laura
was in Boston, but it's also likely that coming up with a relative
bounty of A- records had an effect: they always take more time. Also,
I didn't take any dives into old music (the VSOP Quintet shows up in
Napster's featured new jazz list, but with digital reissues I usually
just cite the original release label/date -- and it wasn't good enough
to inspire me to check out their other albums).
This is my first Music Week since Robert Christgau posted his final
Noisey Expert Witness column, so it's fitting that I looked a
little harder than usual for recent non-jazz. In this I was helped
by Phil Overeem's
halfway through 2019 list (Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Peter
Perrett, Billy Woods & Kenny Segal, Abdullah Ibrahim), and by
Facebook comments from Dan Weiss (DaBaby, Open Mike Eagle, Gibbs
again -- he's also big on Denzel Curry's Zuu, which I
previously had at B+(**)). Most of the others were picked up by
scrounging for new music on Napster.
The most controversial of these is probably Madonna's Madame
X. Metacritic average is 70. Rob Sheffield wrote a 3-star pan at
Rolling Stone, although it reads better than the rating. Spencer
Kornhaber takes offense in
The paradox of Madonna's gun-control music video. Took me a lot
of plays before I recognized that the number of songs I was pleased
to recognize exceeded the number of fingers I had available for
counting. I have more doubts about the Peter Perrett album, but I
gave How the West Was Won an A-, and this one hit the same
pleasure spots. Makes me wonder if I underrated Special View
(the 1979 Only Ones album), where I remembered his voice from.
I'll also note that I've given Wes's Best: The Best of Wes
Montgomery on Resonance 3-4 plays with increasing pleasure.
I'd like to review the albums it was selected from before doing
the compilation, but the release schedule hasn't made that
possible. Haven't played the Bill Evans compilation yet, but
same considerations apply there. I've been wanting to hear
those records ever since they came out, but probably wouldn't
have bothered with the compilations had they not appeared in
the mail. Also got a note in email today asking whether I've
downloaded recent AUM Fidelity releases. I've looked for them
on Napster, but didn't notice the email invites. I'll eventually
dig them out, but if you want my attention, best way is still
to send a CD.
There will be a new
by Tuesday morning. I'm hope to get this post wrapped up before
I take a good look at it, and I've been hobbled by
Weekend Roundup running into overtime. Also in my input queue
is a lengthy and quite extraordinary "Consumer Guide to Franco"
that Joe Yanosik compiled and asked if I would publish. Expect
that later this week.
New records reviewed this week:
- 75 Dollar Bill: I Was Real (2019, Thin Wrist): [r]: B+(***)
- JD Allen: Barracoon (2019, Savant): [r]: A-
- Gretje Angell: In Any Key (2018 , Grevlinto): [cd]: B+(**)
- Blind Lemon Jazz: After Hours: New Pages in the American Songbook (2019, Ofeh): [cd]: B+(*)
- DaBaby: Blank Blank (2018, South Coast Music Group, EP): [r]: B+(***)
- DaBaby: Baby on Baby (2019, South Coast Music Group): [r]: B+(**)
- Open Mike Eagle: The New Negroes: Season 1 Soundtrack (2019, Comedy Central, EP): [r]: B+(*)
- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Bandana (2019, Keep Cool/RCA): [r]: A-
- Jesca Hoop: Stonechild (2019, Memphis Industries): [r]: B+(*)
- Abdullah Ibrahim: The Balance (2019, Gearbox): [r]: B+(***)
- Mike LeDonne: Partners in Time (2019, Savant): [r]: B+(**)
- Madonna: Madame X (2019, Interscope): [r]: A-
- Buddy & Julie Miller: Breakdown on 20th Ave. South (2019, New West): [r]: B+(**)
- Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: Turn Off the News (Build a Garden) (2019, Fantasy): [r]: B+(*)
- Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home (2019, Legacy): [r]: A-
- Peter Perrett: Humanworld (2019, Domino): [r]: A-
- Mette Rasmussen/Julien Desprez: The Hatch (2016 , Dark Tree): [cd]: B+(**)
- Rebekah Victoria: Songs of the Decades (2018 , Patois): [cd]: B+(*)
- Billy Woods & Kenny Segal: Hiding Places (2019, Blackwoodz Studioz): [r]: B+(***)
Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:
- Stan Getz: Getz at the Gate: The Stan Getz Quartet Live at the Village Gate Nov. 26 1961 (1961 , Verve, 2CD): [r]: A-
- Sourakata Koité: En Hollande (1984 , Awesome Tapes From Africa): [bc]: B+(**)
- Asnakech Worku: Asnakech (1975 , Awesome Tapes From Africa): [bc]: B+(**)
- The V.S.O.P. Quintet: Five Stars (1979, CBS/Sony): [r]: B
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:
- Rodrigo Amado/Chris Corsano: No Place to Fall (Astral Spirits)
- Peter Eldridge/Kenny Werner: Somewhere (Rosebud Music)
- Augie Haas: Dream a Little Dream (Playtime Music): August 30
- Rich Halley: Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle): August 9
- Jelena Jovovic: Heartbeat (self-released)
Sunday, July 07, 2019
Donald Trump's big July 4 "celebration" was the week's big non-event,
so naturally garnered plenty of press attention. We'll collect the links
here, to try to keep the silliness of the event from infecting everything
Some scattered links this week:
The Trump administration is trying to make war with Iran inevitable:
"We should view Iran's recent posturing for what it is: retaliation to
the Trump administration's unnecessary and deliberate provocation."
Related: Phyllis Bennis:
If war breaks out with Iran, it won't be an accident.
Why aren't Democrats talking about ending patent-financed drug research?
Good question, especially since "free market drugs are a really big deal."
One point I'd stress more is that public funding of drug research is not
only more efficient, and much more transparent, but that it would also
demolish borders which impose artificial costs. Free market drugs would
spread out research investment, allowing all to benefit.
Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon 'war-fighting' doctrine.
Alexia Fernández Campbell:
How Hitler's rise to power explains why Republicans accept Donald Trump.
Back when GW Bush was president and still popular, I bought a copy of
Richard J Evans' The Coming of the Third Reich, figuring it might
be interesting to compare the machinations of the Bush-Cheney regime to
the ascent of the Nazi party in Germany. I never got around to reading
that book, but that same question arose again with Trump, and this time
I did some reading: Benjamin Carter Hett's The Death of Democracy:
Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic,
James Q Whitman's Hitler's American Model: The United States and the
Making of Nazi Race Law, and Jason Stanley's How Fascism Works:
The Politics of Us and Them. The unstated assumption here is that
similarities between now and early stages of Hitler's arc to disaster
predict the path we will follow if we don't change direction. Given how
bad things turned out, it's hard to be shocked by each unfolding step.
But Chait makes a key point (leaving out the parentheticals):
All this is to say that German conservatives did not see Hitler as Hitler --
they saw Hitler as Trump. And the reasons they devised to overcome their
qualms and accept him as the head of the government would ring familiar
to followers of the 2016 campaign. They believed the responsibility of
governing would tame Hitler, and that his beliefs were amorphous and
could be shaped by advisers once in office. They respected his populist
appeal and believed it could serve their own ends. Their myopic concern
with specifics of their policy agenda overcame their general sense of
unease. Think of the supply-siders supporting Trump in the hope he can
enact major tax cuts, or the social conservatives enthused about his
list of potential judges, and you'll have a picture of the thought
Today in 'Donald Trump's campaign is a garbage fire'.
Sorry, Obama: Donald Trump is a populist, and you're not: Sorry,
Chait, Trump isn't a populist either, even according to either of your
- "The ideological definition of populist means traditionalist
on social issues and interventionist on economic policy -- the opposite
of libertarianism, in other words."
- "Populism can also be defined as a certain kind of political
style. Populists believe the government has been captured by evil and/or
corrupt interests, and that it can be recaptured by a unified effort by
the people (or, at least, their people)."
I've long identified with populism (see the little blurb top left:
"An occasional blog about populist politics and popular music"), most
likely because the political movement it refers to was most identified
with the people and place I came from (three generations of Kansas
farmers before my father got his job in a Wichita airplane factory).
Chait's definitions are wrong for that particular movement, and do
little to capture the populist impulse as it has periodically erupted
in various situations since then. The essential demand of populism is
that power serve the people. It's easy enough to show that liberal
technocrats like Obama at best give lip service to real democracy,
but reactionary demagogues like Trump veer even farther from the
principle. They only appear "populist" to elitist pundits who regard
the masses as nothing more than a seething horde of prejudices. The
more general historical term for such demagoguery is fascism.
AOC's Green New Deal is just the start. Next let's make it global.
The Supreme Court just legitimized a cornerstone element of voter
War With . . . ?: "We're not the good guys: why is American aggression
missing in action?"
So here's the strange thing, on a planet on which, in 2017, U.S. Special
Operations forces deployed to 149 countries, or approximately 75% of all
nations; on which the U.S. has perhaps 800 military garrisons outside its
own territory; on which the U.S. Navy patrols most of its oceans and seas;
on which U.S. unmanned aerial drones conduct assassination strikes across
a surprising range of countries; and on which the U.S. has been fighting
wars, as well as more minor conflicts, for years on end from Afghanistan
to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Niger in a century in which it chose to
launch full-scale invasions of two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), is it
truly reasonable never to identify the U.S. as an "aggressor" anywhere?
One should add that there are two major forms of aggression that
aren't even being counted here: cyberwarfare and economic warfare in
the form of sanctions.
Where John Roberts is taking the court.
Jeannie Suk Gersen:
The Supreme Court is one vote away from changing how the U.S. is
Democrats don't need David Brooks: Response to Brooks'
Dems, please don't drive me away.
Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting
climate change: "Adding 2.2 billion acres of tree cover would capture
two-thirds of man-made carbon emissions, a new study found." But we're
still cutting down more trees than we plant -- especially in Brazil.
See Alexander Zaitchick:
Rainforest on fire.
Bolton of Mongolia: "The national security adviser's banishment during
Trump's big diplomatic weekend suggests his days may be numbered."
Sudan's military and civilian opposition have reached a power-sharing
Thoughts on the impromptu Kim-Trump summit: Regarding the US media:
"One doesn't hear common sense: that this was a rational friendly gesture
towards a country that Trump has rationally decided not to attack."
Related: Christine Ahn:
It's time to formally end the Korean War.
Trump's Fed nominee pledges to serve as a partisan hack: Judy
Shelton, who established her credentials as a partisan back in 2010
when she lobbied for raising Fed interest rates when unemployment
topped 10 percent, but insists that we should lower them now that
unemployment rates are at a record low. The difference, of course,
is the party affiliation of the president.
How the worst values of sports are taking over America:
A half-century ago, the sporting Cassandras predicted that the worst
values and sensibilities of our increasingly corrupted civic society
would eventually affect our sacred games: football would become a
gladiatorial meat market, basketball a model of racism, college sports
a paradigm of commercialization, and Olympic sports like swimming and
gymnastics a hotbed of sexual predators.
The Cassandras then forecast an even more perverse reversal: our
games, now profaned, would further corrupt our civic life; winning
would not be enough without domination; cheating would be justified
as gamesmanship; extreme fandom would become violent tribalism; team
loyalty would displace moral courage; and obedience to the coach would
Okay, I think it's time for a round of applause for those seers.
Let's hear it for Team Trump!
The Alabama woman indicted after a miscarriage will not be prosecuted.
Stephanie Grisham, new White House Press Secretary, has already been
3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake: This questions some
of my longest and most deeply held beliefs, but for the record:
- Abolution would have come faster without independence.
- Independence was bad for Native Americans.
- America would have a better system of government if we'd stuck with
The more you watch, the more you vote populist: Another entry in
the "television rots your brain" sweepstakes, using Italy and Silvio
Berlusconi as the example.
Republicans dominate state legislatures. That decides political power
The legal battle over the Trump administration's "domestic gag rule,"
George Soros and Charles Koch team up for a common cause: an end to
"endless war": "The controversial billionaire philanthropists are
launching a new anti-interventionist think tank": The Quincy Institute
for Responsible Statecraft, named for John Quincy Adams ("who said in
an 1821 speech that America 'goes not abroad in search of monsters to
There is no 'right' v 'left': it is Trump and the oligarchs against the
rest: Actually, that's the very definition of right v left. Such
naivete Makes me doubt Reich his own title for the otherwise reasonable
Avbolish the Billionaires!
The viral video of Ivanka Trump at the G20 perfectly captures the problem
State of exception: Review of Noura Erakat: Justice for Some: Law
and the Question of Palestine, asking "what role has local and
international law played in the Occupied Territories?"
Did Justin Amash leave the GOP, or did the GOP leave him? The
only Republican member of Congress willing to consider impeachment
spared the Party the embarrassment of his presence, writing an
op-ed announcing his exit from the party. Trump cheered him on:
Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest &
most disloyal men in Congress is "quitting" the Party.
Related: Bianca Quilantan:
Justin Amash: GOP was broken even before Trump's presidency.
Tim Wu explains why he thinks Facebook should be broken up. I will
add that buying competitors to put them out of business has been a very
business practice for quite a while now. The startup I worked for from
the late 1980s (Contex Graphic Systems) was eventually sold off to a
competitor (Barco), which shut it down within a year. Other antitrust
matters: Steven Overly/Margaret Harding McGill:
Google's onetime hired gun could now be its antitrust nightmare.
Anya van Wagtendonk:
Two earthquakes shook southern California this week. More could come,
but predicting them isn't easy.
The deepening crisis in evangelical Christianity: "Support for Trump
comes at a high cost for Christian witness." Wehner has been described as
"an outspoken Republican and Christian critic of the Trump presidency."
But the article is less interesting for what he fears Trump idolatry is
doing to evangelical Christianity that for its description of how
deranged Trump's evangelical fans have become. Wehner has a recent book:
The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump.
Biden often praises Israeli racists -- but don't expect Kamala Harris
to call him out.
A brief history of US concentration camps.
Trump couldn't ignore the contradictions of his foreign poicy any longer:
"The president moves to straighten out his own foreign policy -- and leaves
his hawkish national security adviser on the sidelines."
Democratic candidates' school integration plans, explained: "Bernie
Sanders and Julián Castro have one, Kamala Harris doesn't really."
Democrats are learning the wrong lesson from Donald Trump: He ran
as a moderate -- and it worked." A moderate, that is, only compared to
his fellow Republican candidates, who weren't moderate by any measure.
Moreover, since his election, he has regularly surrendered his promises
to Republican orthodoxy, except in cases like immigration where he is
the lunatic fringe. But Yglesias didn't write this piece to change our
perception of Trump. He wrote it to disparage those Democrats who see
Trump's extremism as reason to driving the Democratic platform further
to the left.
Britain is run by a self-serving clique. That's why it's in crisis.
Monday, July 01, 2019
Expanded blog post,
Music: current count 31702  rated (+31), 260  unrated (-4).
Noisey has evidently decided to drop Robert Christgau's
Expert Witness column, the
last one running on Friday. Christgau tweeted:
I do this for money as well as love. So just in case this is the last
Expert Witness not just at Noisey, which I'm sad to announce it is,
but anywhere, it sticks to albums I'm way late on and albums I wanted
to be sure to weigh in on. Enjoy. Consume, even.
Obviously, I should make it a priority to round up these latest
Consumer Guide reviews and stuff them into the
first Consumer Guide column was published
July 10, 1969,
so he's ten days short of fifty years. The whole list is
Twice before, Michael Tatum responded to lapses in Christgau's
review schedule, first by debuting then relaunching his
A Downloader's Diary column.
As it happens, he had
a new column, his 50th, ready to roll last week when he read
Christgau's news, and revised his introduction. (Christgau started the
parenthetical numbering scheme, but gave it up after reaching 52 in 1975.
I also used it for my
Recycled Goods columns.)
I managed to check out a few of Tatum's picks this week, but had
previously given A- grades to Big Thief, Coathangers, Control Top,
Dave, Billie Eilish, Little Simz, and Jamila Woods -- also a B+(***)
to Stella Donnelly, B+(**) to Vampire Weekend. I haven't, however,
checked any of his Trash picks.
last week, so this starts a new month.
Don't have anything more to add -- at least anything fit to print.
Bad day for me.
New records reviewed this week:
- Ilia Belorukov/Gabriel Ferrandini: Disquiet (2017 , Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
- Lewis Capaldi: Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (2019, Capitol): [r]: B+(*)
- Charly Bliss: Young Enough (2019, Barsuk): [r]: A-
- Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman: Time Gone Out (2018 , Intakt): [r]: B+(*)
- Caroline Davis: Alula (2017 , New Amsterdam): [r]: B+(*)
- Whit Dickey/Kirk Knuffke: Drone Dream (2018 , NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(***)
- Sharman Duran: Questioning Reality (2019, self-released): [cd]: B+(**)
- Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known: Ancient/Future/Music (2019, Spiritmuse): [r]: B+(***)
- Damon Locks/Black Monument Ensemble: Where Future Unfolds (2019, International Anthem): [bc]: B+(*)
- Jan Maksimovic/Dimitrij Golovanov: Thousand Seconds of Our Life (2018 , NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(***)
- Jenna McLean: Brighter Day (2018 , Moddl): [cd]: B+(*)
- Gabriele Mitelli/Rob Mazurek: Star Splitter (2019, Clean Feed): [r]: B+(*)
- Monopiece/Jaap Blonk: Monopiece + Jaap Blonk (2019, Shhpuma): [r]: B
- Angelika Niescier/Christopher Tordini/Gerald Cleaver: New York Trio Feat. Jonathan Finlayson (2018 , Intakt): [r]: B+(***)
- Evan Parker/Paul G. Smyth: Calenture and Light Leaks (2015 , Weekertoft): [bc]: B+(**)
- Evan Parker & Kinetics: Chiasm (2018 , Clean Feed): [r]: A-
- Caroline Spence: Mint Condition (2019, Rounder): [r]: A-
- Aki Takase: Hokusai: Piano Solo (2018 , Intakt): [r]: B+(**)
- AJ Tracey: AJ Tracey (2019, self-released): [r]: B+(**)
- Gianluigi Trovesi/Gianni Coscia: La Misteriosa Musica Della Regina Loana (2019, ECM): [r]: B+(**)
- G. Calvin Weston/The Phoenix Orchestra: Dust and Ash (2019, 577): [r]: B+(*)
- Wschód: Wschód (2017 , Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:
- Chance the Rapper: 10 Day (2011 , self-released): [r]: A-
- Detail: Day Two (1982 , NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(**)
- Kang Tae Hwan/Midori Takada: An Eternal Moment (1995 , NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(***)
- Sunny Murray/Bob Dickie/Robert Andreano: Homework (1994 , NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(**)
- Horace Tapscott With the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and the Great Voice of UGMAA: Why Don't You Listen? Live at LACMA 1998 (1998 , Dark Tree): [cd]: A-
- David Wertman Sun Ensemble: Earthly Delights (1978 , BBE)
- Peter Kowald/Kent Kessler/Fred Lonberg-Holm: Flats Fixed (1998 , Corbett vs. Dempsey): [bc]: B+(***)
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:
- Ola Onabulé: Point Less (Rugged Ram): August 30
- Mette Rasmussen/Julien Desprez: The Hatch (Dark Tree)
- Horace Tapscott With the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and the Great Voice of UGMAA: Why Don't You Listen? Live at LACMA 1998 (Dark Tree)