I was lucky enough to have dinner with some friends before our Los Angeles show, and they took me to this one-of-a-kind organic, vegan restaurant. The menu was diverse, and it seems to be the most environmentally and socially conscious establishment around (they have their own farm for starters). With dishes named I am Extraordinary and I am Transformed, you kind of have to play along, but they seem to be 100 percent behind their mojo.
A work that softly bears the mind-blowing revelation that criticism can itself be art: as lyrical and spiritual as that which it seeks to understand. A poetic investigation by one of my favorite filmmakers (Chris Marker) of my absolute favorite filmmaker (Andrei Tarkovsky), the documentary glides through Tarkovsky’s own blissful and contemplative mis-en-scene, intermittently surfacing in beautifully muddy VHS footage of Andrei working from his deathbed to finish The Sacrifice.
Marshall McLuhan was golden lamp-stand who shed a contemplative light on a stubbornly anti-contemplative structure; a structure that parodied and willfully forgot his message, and therefore remains doomed to continue in blindness until it wakes up in a shock at the realization of its mirrored essence.
This has been my favorite blast-from-the-past record over the last year. I cannot escape it. It kills me how beautifully crafted it is. Produced by Jackson Browne, Zevon’s second release from 1976, simply called Warren Zevon, captures every bit of genius and wit that Excitable Boy would two years later. It includes The French Inhaler, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Carmelita, Mohammed’s Radio, Desperados Under the Eaves, Hasten Down the Wind, any one of which could be the cornerstone song of a whole career.
On our current Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s tour, Tyler Watkins, Richard Edwards, and I have spent a collective few weeks listening to this album non-stop. It plays like a drug requiem: sparse, dark, entrancing, and slow as hell. It has hooks for miles in such subtle ways, with the band taking a very minimalist approach. Hands down the most interesting record I’ve heard in recent memory and one that reveals something different, both lyrically and musically, with each listen.
Nilsson is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of all time, so it was very welcomed that a definitive documentary was made about his life and career. Granted this film by John Scheinfeld got a theatrical release in 2010, I watched it again recently on this tour, and re-fell in love with all things Nilsson, picking up the few records of his that I didn’t have, notably Knnillssonn and Nilsson Sings Newman.
This past month, Margot opened a tour for Greg Dulli and company across the U.S. Dulli has always held a certain place among my favorite singers. Having been a big Afghan Whigs fan, it was a privilege to share the stage with him each night.