My new “Think Again” column is called “Kochs: Life Is Good.” It’s about how much fun it must be for people like Charles and David Koch to give money to organizations that promote their profits and ideology rather than pay their fair share of taxes, and it’s here.
I don’t know what my Forward column is called but it uses the Jennifer Rubin kerfluffle to shine a light on what a raw deal the Palestinians get in the US media and how perhaps—far be it from me to suggest this—it might have something to do with the prominence of so many Jews in the punditocracy and so few Arabs.
Too late for my column but in plenty of time for your weekend reading, CAP has just published an incredibly detailed report called "Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America" and you can find it here.
I’d write more about this but I have a hurricane to prepare for…
If you’re worried about losing your edge as you age, I’d recommend a visit either to a Hot Tuna show (electric if possible) or a smaller Jorma Kaukonen gig, preferably with Barry Miterhoff on one side of him and G. E. Smith on the other, though the latter two—great as both of them are in their own respective fashions may be—are not the point here. Jorma is. I caught an insanely hot and crowded Jorma show at the Stephen Talkhouse last week and the quality of the playing given that Jorma just celebrated his 70th birthday—and Hot Tuna, somehow its 50th—is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s really simple stuff—decepitvely so, though I find Barry’s playing calls attention to itself more than Jorma’s of late, but finds the essence of multiple forms of music simultaneously. Every show is a kind of minor miracle, when you think about how long it’s been going on. No less surprising, in its own way, is the CD “Steady as She Goes,” Hot Tuna’s first cd in twenty years. It’s not great-great, just great-good—in other words, it’s so unassumingly good that it’s kinda great. Jorma’s singing, like Bob Weir’s is sometimes not really singing. But the thing just hangs together beautifully. Ps did you know Jorma’s Jewish? Unlike Jennifer Rubin, however, he does not appear to keep Shabbos. Read all about the cd here.
It’s actually been a great summer for new CDs by the folks who, up to the past fifty years, have been defining a certain kind of blues-based, country (and sometimes bluegrass-influenced), jazz-informed American music. Dave Alvin’s new album is called “Eleven Eleven.” I don’t know why that is. It’s another really fine David Alvin album, and has this really funny song, sung with Phil, called “What’s Up with Your Brother?”