review

I Wanna Be Literated #219
BOOKS

The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginariesby Kathi Weeks The struggle of the proletariat against Capitalism is hard and real. So is the struggle against this book. I should know better than to commit to a book with such an enchanting title, because the subject matter sounds interesting and relevant. However, the reality is that The Problem with Work is damn-near unreadable for the entirety of its 230 pages. I’ve had a long academic career and...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2023
I Wanna Be Literated 218
BOOKS

I Went Down to St. James Infirmary By Robert W. Harwood A Pig’s Tale By Ralph Sutherland and Harold Sherrick At first glance, these two books have little in common other than being about popular music. The first traces the evolution of a classic blues song, the other the birth and life of a bootleg record company. In the end though, they both involve the quirks of American copyright law, especially as it applies (or doesn’t) to music and the...

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Monday, 16 January 2023
Vinyl Vlog 587
COLUMN

Horace Andy Midnight Scorchers What’s this? Two Horace Andy records in one year? Is this a typo? Not at all! 2022 brought us two stellar albums from the man Horace Andy. The thrilling Midnight Rockers, and its companion piece Midnight Scorchers. Fans of Midnight Rockers already knew that a dub, or reworked, version of Midnight Rockers was in the works. What might have been a surprise to all of us is that Midnight Scorchers is possibly better that Midnight Rockers....

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Tuesday, 10 January 2023
Anti-Flag – [Album]
REVIEWS

Anti-Flag Lies They Tell Our Children (Spinefarm) It might sound a little counter-intuitive but, throughout their career (which has run for thirty-five years now – as of this writing), Anti-Flag has always proven to be at their best when people have already counted the band out – that’s when they have something to prove and that’s when they shine. Most recently, the band shone after they’d finished their two-record contract with RCA and the band released The People or The...

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Monday, 09 January 2023
TV Party Tonight! #118
DVD/Blu-Ray

Three Thousand Years of Longing What an odd movie for George Miller to follow up Mad Max Fury Road with. And what an odd thing to start a movie review with a sentence that ends in a preposition. But, there you have it. Let’s accept that. I went into this movie knowing nothing about it, but certain that I love Tilda Swinton and was indifferent to Idris Elba. Let’s be honest, he’s an OK actor at best and skates by...

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Sunday, 11 December 2022
Vinyl Vlog 580
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the Growin’ Up LP by Luke Combs. I confess that it took a few days of listening to Luke Combs’ third album, Growin’ Up, constantly in hopes of finding a lede into the music before I finally found one which explained why I liked it as much as I do. I mean, the lyrics about hometown kicks aren’t terribly new or unique, and the performances are about as orthodox as it’s possible...

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Monday, 05 December 2022
I Wanna be Literated #262
BOOKS

Happy-Go-Luckyby David Sedaris I forget every time I crack open a new David Sedaris book how this guy isn’t as popular as he should be. Oh, I realize he’s a rich famous author with enough money to throw around to own multiple houses, Picassos, and shop for useless overpriced things that he’s probably never even going to take out of the wrapping, so he’s clearly successful and widely read. But, it’s just the humanity of it all that I think...

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Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Vinyl Vlog 576
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into The Flatliners’ New Ruin LP. In the twenty-year duration of The Flatliners’ career to date, it’s actually pretty remarkable to observe the turns that the band’s music has taken. After beginning with some respectable (if not terribly memorable) ska-core in 2005 and then taking a couple of years to develop (see how it works with 2007’s The Great Awake), The Flatliners really hit the big time hard with 2010’s classic Cavalcade and...

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Sunday, 13 November 2022
Lou Reed – [Album]
REVIEWS

Lou Reed Words and Music, May, 1965 (Light In The Attic) One question repeatedly comes up in writers’ groups, especially with beginning writers: “How do I copyright my work?” I resist the temptation to say, “Do you really think someone is going to steal your poetry?” and tell them, “Mail it to yourself.” As long as you don’t open the package, the postmark establishes that you wrote the enclosed material on or before that date. Lou Reed did that with...

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Tuesday, 08 November 2022
SPOTLIGHT: The Boy Named If
FEATURES

WHO: Elvis Costello WHAT: The Boy Named If WHY: How on earth does a man still manage to make compelling and interesting music more than 40 years into his career? Well, if anyone was going to do it, it would be Elvis Costello. Though he is a musical chameleon, The Boy Named If focuses on what he does best: straight up rock and roll. And rock he does, as some of these tracks are downright blistering. Add to that some...

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Thursday, 03 November 2022