My new Think Again column is called “The Post Panders to Conservatives” and it’s here.
My new Nation column is called “The CIA: A Law Unto Itself” and it’s here.
My last Daily Beast column was the joyous, “Sending the Hammer to the Slammer,” and that’s here.
Oh, and I did an IHT/NYT.com piece on Wikileaks which you can find here.
You know, people say that Commentary has declined since the days it published Hannah Arendt and Lionel Trilling, and was given to the unemployable son of Norman Podhoretz to edit so he could stop getting himself fired everywhere he worked. I think that’s unfair. I think Trilling and Arendt, etc, would be thrilled to publish in a magazine edited by a guy who tweets, "Funny, I thought Eric Alterman had already been named the world’s only arsenic-based life form. http://goo.gl/jTjah"
Don’t forget to tip your waiters on your way out, folks. (And thanks to Damon Linker…)
Has anyone noticed how anti-Semitic The New Yorker has become? (Which is weird, because I read on TDB yesterday that New York City is fully 9% Jewish….) Anyway, what’s my beef? Well, Patty Marx has a gift-giving guide in the issue dated December 6, 2010. That sounds like a War on Hannukah to me, since it’s pretty much over by December 6. And really, if you read the end of the piece, you’ll see a whole bunch of sentences that end with “Does anyone remember…” Hello, editors? Does anyone remember Robert Plant ruining the live version of Stairway—not that it really needed ruining—with a “Does anyone remember laughter?” in the middle. How come nobody put that in? Is anybody alive out there?
Alter-reviews: Sal on "West Coast Seattle Boy"
Another day, another Jimi Hendrix collection. There are few artists who have been anthologized as often as this great guitar hero. Thankfully, the people behind West Coast Seattle Boy had a good idea. This new 4 CD/1 DVD set is not just another collection. It is chock full of alternates, live tracks and unreleased material. Jimi Hendrix has been widely bootlegged since his death, so many diehards may have heard a lot of this material before. But having it in one set, with superb sound, is really the point.
Disc one is the most fun, covering Jimi’s years as a session player, with early R&B tunes from the likes of Don Covay, The Isleys and Little Richard. I don’t think this material has ever been compiled before. The rest of the set includes slightly altered versions of the songs you know, a few revelations, like an acoustic version of Dylan’s Tears Of Rage and the lengthy jam with jazz organist Larry Young, some of which was found on Nine To The Universe, one of the many uneven posthumously released albums.
What I like most about this set, and it’s something more labels should consider when creating these occasionally pricey sets, is that it plays well. Jazz sets get bogged down with too many alternate takes in a row, and archivists often include tunes for historical purposes, that just don’t sound very good. West Coast Seattle Boy offers enough of everything to make it worth your time.