My new Nation column is called “How Bill de Blasio Is Being Framed” and the subhed is “The NYC mayor as fumbling amateur: this story writes itself, no facts required.”
Oh and speaking of which, congratulations to me, once again, for being nominated for Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications 2014 Mirror Awards competition honoring excellence in media industry reporting. I was nominated for these three Nation columns:
I mention this now because while I have been nominated something like ten times, including three times in one year once, I’ve only won once. And that was the year before they started making it a cash award. I’m taking the odds that the past has taught me, which is why I figure I better mention it now rather than say, in June, when the actual winners are announced. Anyway, read the columns if you like. They appear, to me at least, to hold up pretty well.
I am in Jerusalem for a conference. John Judis explains a bit about it in this interesting piece.
I don’t have much to say today. I did see a lovely show last week at a nice new venue called Subculture downstairs at the venerable Culture Project in the East Village by the even more venerable John Gorka. It was a solo guitar-and-piano performance, though Gorka is sort of a singer-songwriter with an unmistakable baritone and a fine sense of humor, rather than a musical virtuoso. His Land of the Bottom Line has been one of my favorite albums for a really long time and he’s always putting out clover new songs ever since, though it’s hard to keep track, since he lives in Minnesota and moves around record companies. He’s found a happy home apparently, on Red House records and his new album Bright Side of Down is a keeper, as well. It features Red House label mates Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Claudia Schmidt and Michael Johnson. It features eleven original songs and one cover (by his late friend Bill Morrissey, "She's That Kind of Mystery") and it sounds just fine live with the spare accompaniment and Gorka’s friendly, witty patter. Still it’s voice and the intelligence of the songs that shines through. Gorka is way high on my list of people who, if justice ruled the universe, would be a damn site richer and more famous than he is. Alas, that won’t happen, but you can look into his music, either with the new record, or LOTHBL, which, he mentioned, is only available now as a download, sadly for we old fogies. Read all about him here.