Archive for January, 2006

The million little lies of Nan Talese

In early 1998, when the world first learned the name Monica Lewinsky, a debate erupted: Did Bill Clinton do it, or didn’t he? In the scandal’s first days, before his infamous finger-wagging “I did not have sex with that woman” statement, Clinton’s strongest denial was this: “There is no sexual relationship.” I remember talking about […]

Hat in the ring

A somewhat belated editor’s note: In college I learned to play guitar a little bit, even played in a band for a year or so with my roommates. I never got very good, but I can accompany myself singing Dylan tunes and similar stuff. Mostly I keep my playing in the bedroom for my own […]

Going back to Webster Hall

Saturday night Stephanie, Dave, Jason, Nicole, and I went to see Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall. In its century-plus-long history, the East Village landmark has been (working backwards) the legendary rock club The Ritz, an RCA recording studio, and a radical theater space where, according to the official website, “It was not unknown to […]

Download confessional

I was complaining to a record store co-worker the other day about prepackaged bands and how transparent the whole industry has become. He responded that he doesn’t pay attention to the hype: he gets the majority of his music from I told this story to another friend who also said that the majority of […]

Dispatch from Sundance

So we, Rebecca and Farrell, share the Thursday blog slot. We just happened to be in Park City this week as our first deadline loomed. It seemed natural to post our reactions to this year's festival, a quarter-century-old event that Farrell and his brother, Robbins, have attended for the last decade (and Rebecca for the […]

Two sides of the same coin

“The classic pursuits are diverse in their astonishments.” –Tad Friend, The New Yorker, Jan 23rd, 2006. Which takes me to Dave Hickey in Vanity Fair, March 2000? (paraphrasing): “[Donald] Judd and [Dan] Flavin, in their maturity, were no mere minimalists but rather classicists who, like Palladio, produced oeuvres of infinite variety from a limited set […]

Deborah Solomon, meet the Ethicist

I’ve been enjoying the New York Times Magazine less and less of late. It’s the fault of two people: Deborah Solomon and The Ethicist. To read Deborah Solomon’s “Questions for…” column is to realize that one of two things is true: either (1) she has superhuman powers, or (2) she’s a fake. Every interview Solomon […]

Where I’m from

I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The only thing most people know about Albuquerque is the Bugs Bunny line: One time he’s tunneling through the desert and pops up in the middle of a battle in French North Africa, I think, and he taps his carrot like Groucho Marx and says, “Nyeh, I must […]

On Broadway

I sometimes regret I moved to New York long after certain urban traditions had fallen out of fashion, some forgotten altogether. I don’t mean the tradition of living in affordable lofts in my downtown neighborhood, though that would have been nice. I’m talking about older things still: eighteenth- and ninteenth-century annual events like Moving Day, […]