Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Are you ready for the summer? Some links to start the new month.
Stylus' Top Ten Worst Ambassadors Of Italian Culture Via Song. Despite the fact that I've never even heard seven of these ten, this list resonated strongly for me, being a three-fourths Italian-American boy and all. Normally I'm curious to hear damn near everything, but I don't know how many of those seven I'll be seeking out. The piece's list of Italian-American musicians of note is good but could be expanded; if nothing else, Frank "Far From Over" Stallone and Joe "Honeymooners Rap" Piscopo are nowhere to be found. Hey, Joe Dolce's on the list; Joe P. is no less legitimate. And just to quickly riff off writer Dom Passantino's comments about stereotypical images of Italian-Americans in the media, the overrated Sopranos' reliance on tired Italian-related clichés never bothered me as much as the show's more egregious New Jersey-related stereotypes.
Audio and video of Lawrence Lessig's "Who Owns Culture?" dialogue with Jeff Tweedy, which I really wish I'd been able to attend when it took place at the New York Public Library in April. Via Coolfer. And speaking of Lessig, he's been in a lot of people's thoughts since the shocking, amazing New York cover story broke last week, revealing that the Elvis Of Copyright Law is leading the legal charge against a New Jersey statute that immunizes charities from negligence in order to obtain damages for a former student of the American Boychoir School in Princeton who was sexually abused there. The twist is that it turns out Lessig was subject to this type of abuse as well during his time as a student there decades ago. Insane.
The music biz would do well to heed Sasha Frere-Jones' anti-"listening session" manifesto, in which he states he will no longer review music if the only way he can hear it is in the label's or publicist's antiseptic conference room, and calls upon his brethren to take the same pledge. The man is right. Film screenings make sense for film critics, because usually you only need to watch a movie once in order to decide if it's any good. And the vast majority of movies—even many of the good ones—need not be seen more than once, unless it's Blazing Saddles. But good music demands repeated listenings. It's absurd to expect even the most seasoned critics to write an informed review after just one listening, under conditions imposed by somebody else.
Just for fun... Pickup lines: the first drafts. Link via the always-handy Twin Cities blogger Fimoculous.
'Cause when you plug Mike C., you plug yourself: after a rare two-week layoff, I'm spinning at The Goldhawk both Friday and Saturday this weekend. And look for the return of my web radio show / podcast later this month. The new plan is one show a month. That way, everyone can keep up. Especially me.