I’ve got a new "Think Again" column called "A Climate of Conspiracy," which deals with the tendency of contemporary conservatives to treat everything they don’t like as a conspiracy and it’s here
My Nation column is called "Saving Journalism (It’s Not Academic)," and it’s about the various conflicts I’ve noticed over my career injournalism and academia, and the reasons this will make it difficult for academics to step in where journalism disappears, and it’s here.
Alter-reviews: John Fogerty and David Johansen, live and the big Miles Davis Columbia box:
Fogerty: I caught two shows last week. First was John Fogerty at the Beacon. I hate to call an artist a "brand" but a John Fogerty concert is about as dependable a brand as you are going to find in the business of concert-going. (Well, Ok, the Allman Brothers Band…) But with forty years of great material, enthusiastically and expertly played, well there’s not much to say that hasn’t been said. This was a slightly more country-fied Fogerty band owing to the release, thirty years later, of the second volume of Blue Ridge Ranger songs, and these were fun, of course, but the extremely excited boomer crowd was out of their seats mostly for the big Credence hits, and the really big hits like "Center Field" from Fogerty’s solo career. I’m sort of at a loss for words here, but I guess the most eloquent thing I can say would be to suggest you pick up a copy of Fogerty’s new DVD–what no blu-ray?–which marks his return to Royal Albert Hall, sight of a famous, albeit at first mislabeled Credence concert album–and just enjoy the damn thing.
David Jo: The second show I saw last week was an extremely rare cruise through history by David Johansen, who, despite extremely limited singing range, has proven to be an incredibly versatile inhabiter of quite different musical persona over the past three and half decades, beginning with the New York Dolls–featuring some of the worst professional musician sever committed to vinyl; a brilliant and too short solo career as "David Johansen," Buster Poindexter and a latter day Harry Smith revivalist.The last time I saw Johansen he played the role of, I kid you not, Howlin’ Wolf in a wonderful Hubert Sumlin band. It was weird how this skinny white guy could sound so much like a 300 lb black guy. Clearly the guy has just about the entire history of rock n roll coursing through his veins and Saturday night’s show at the Highline felt like avery special occasion of mutual appreciation between all of these persona and a small but loyal and dedicated audience that could not have imagined being anywhere else. The songs are great, and if anyone deserves a nice three cd box with great liner notes staking his important, albeit perhaps purposely marginal place in the history of rock n roll, David Jo sure does. (Also, Scrooged is one of my favorite movies of all time, and he’s great in it and it plays all the time, around now.)