Washington, DC. (Reuters/Molly Riley)
My new Think Again column is called “Mainstream Media Refuses to Recognize the Elephant in the Room”
My new Nation column is called “The MSM and the Snowden Affair: Where True Loyalty Lies”
Had I not gone on so long on the Think Again column, I would have noted the passing of Leonard Garment whom I got to know in the late 1980s for a long profile I wrote, and whose company I thoroughly enjoyed. A proud graduate of Brooklyn College, Len, like his fellow Thundering Herd member, Alan Greenspan, should have stuck to jazz. (I got the chance to suggest this to Greenspan once, but that’s another story.) Anyway, Garment was, as Safire described him the “resident liberal conscience” in the Nixon White House. There has not been any such position in the Republican Party for a very long time, and it will be a long time before there is. Len’s long life was marked by tragedy, but when I knew him, he was quite the happy warrior, though, by that time, I think he would have a hard saying exactly for what. Anyway, he passes into history with an era that is gone as well, for better in some respects, but mostly for worse.
Alter-reviews, Joan Osborne live:
I have always had a thing for Joan Osborne. I saw her for five bucks in a bar in DC when her first album came out—the one that everybody has—and I’ve always been impressed by the various directions into which her music has grown, including her country album, her soul album, her original paean to my city, her work with an early post-Jerry version of the Dead, and most everything in between. Whenever she comes on the Ipod, I’m always taken aback, again, by how well her voice and interpretation works with a particular song.
Last night at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, my appreciation for her was redoubled if not retripled. While I appreciated her voice and interpretive skills, in the past, I was actually taken aback by just what a terrific singer she is: a powerful voice almost perfectly controlled with chancy interpretations that swung and hypnotized in equal measure. Part of the pleasure came from the intimacy of the club—and the ability of Joan to keep it rapt—as well as her brilliant piano player whose name I don’t know, but without whom the show would not have been half as great as it was. (Also, I have to say, Joan is a weirdly good tambourine player. I’ve never noticed anyone who made so much of the instrument before.) Anyway, the show was a combination of hits from the first cd, songs she just likes, and a few from her recent blues-oriented Bring it On Home. She’s pretty sexy too, especially when she gets into that tambourine trance. She’s playing a show of all Dead tunes next week on the net. It’s here, but I don’t quite understand how it works.