Monday, August 08, 2005

Linkatharsis: It's been a long week

  • Let us now praise the songwriting factories of Europe

    "Master craftsman is my job nowadays and I take it very seriously indeed," says Andy McCluskey, formerly of OMD and as well he should. In this Slate piece, Elisabeth Vincentelli talks about the professional songwriters who shape today's pop landscape, but what to make of this?
    The harsh reality is that few people can write and sing. Burt Bacharach is a brilliant songwriter who should never have opened his mouth, while his latter-day collaborator Elvis Costello should consider shutting his trap more often than not. As for Rufus Wainwright, who writes superb songs but has a grating, nasal voice—why does he think Cole Porter didn't venture onto the stage?

  • More on Peter Jennings: BBC's obit and tribute:
    Peter did what he could to halt the downward spiral of television news in America - that terrible turning inward, which means the less you know about the world, the less you want to know about it, and therefore the less a ratings-obsessed industry decides to tell you.

    He often forced news items onto his programmes because they were important, not because the producers wanted them.

    He loathed the arrival of the Fox network, with its open, noisy adherence to a political agenda, and believed it would destroy the old-fashioned notion of honest and unbiased reporting forever.

  • Excellent piece by Jack Schafer on why newspaper readers, and Americans in general, are full of shit. Couldn't agree more. You're talking about people who bitch about negative politics and moan about accountability, then go out and elect Karl Rove's man. Seriously.

  • So I thought it would be a good idea to chill with the LES Starbucks stuff, but then frickin' Metro puts the story on the front page Monday and some Lower East residents won't take shit lying down. While I disagree with characterizing Starbucks as the "urban Wal-Mart", I applaud any effort to help support local coffeeshops, especially when such effort comes with a handy printable guide (PDF) to non-Starbuck coffee options in the area. Keep on keeping on.

  • Speaking of Wal-Mart, they haven't given up on New York just yet. Also in New York mag, hooray racial profiling!

  • Meanwhile in SoHo, Keith Haring's Pop Shop is leaving its Lafayette location and West Village is getting all preppy. Pop Shop is a semi-big loss, but the Village? Can you gentrify a neighborhood that's already whitebread?

  • Since it's looking like Chappelle's Show is done like Warrick, a couple of DVD rips for your listening pleasure. The first, Mos Def and Talib Kweli doing their thing off Blackstar Galactica, set to come out sometime before 2012, and just to piss off Straight Bangin Joey, Dave singing TV show themes with John Mayer and ?uestlove:

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