The Velvet Underground
Music

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground (1965-1970) — what a group. They were the pillars of Manhattan, confirming several truths: Mistakes are good. Intricacy should be simple. It does not have to be limited to the concoctions of pure adornment. “The nub sustained is the true epic.” – Professor Hans Proebing Rock & roll achieves its highest meaning … Continue reading

“10”
Film

“10”

Blake Edwards is a good director. S.O.B. (1981), The Party1 (1968), “10”: these are vain comedies about vain people, fed on freedom and the tit of conspicuous consumption. They know how easy it is to love the city of angels. Also, he likes the pratfall — a lot. Physicality begs for attention; surrealism is nascent. He is good at using … Continue reading

SMiLE
Music

SMiLE

The Beach Boys are about calculated innocence. They mean it. Now too old to hit the high notes, Brian Wilson pines for the eternal image of Pet Sounds (1966) — youth as a paradise lost. There’s a frog in his throat. His influences are integral; he uses the music of his childhood to bop the present. By … Continue reading

Black and Blue
Music

Black and Blue

The Stones are a primeval source of rock & roll. They are what sired them (i.e., venerated blues purists), but they don’t have the prestige of being obscure. Nowadays the vanguard has become a rite. That’s why I don’t care much for the new rock resurgence. (Admittedly past their prime, if not defunct) bands like The Strokes and … Continue reading

The Movie Brats: Woody Allen
Film

The Movie Brats: Woody Allen

He is as famous as the Brooklyn Bridge: a neurotic nebbish, tied to a clever muse (Diane Keaton, say, or Scarlett Johansson). After some overreaching (the “spare” tragedies of September and Interiors), and some lovely reminiscing (Radio Days), it’s clear to me that Woody wants to be someone else. Ingmar Bergman. Allen strains for tastefulness. Like Mel Brooks, … Continue reading