where all are welcome but few will stay

8.30.2007

Our Media Runneth Over

I was going to attempt a Katrina anniversary response, but its being covered (ad nausea) by both mainstream and indy media. So maybe you come here for a little break from it all? Or maybe not...

Yesterday, while watching Brian Williams I think I hit my Katrina coverage breaking point. One of the articles keeping me from becoming too cynical and detached is Ken Foster's "We're All Oprah Fodder in New Orleans."Its a scathing look at the media's treatment of NOLA's residences (as if they didn't suffer enough). Today, via Pop Candy, I read the account of Chris Rose a first time author out of New Orleans who was asked to appear on the Oprah show, but was banned from talking about his book, "As Not Read By Oprah."

8.29.2007

Neil Diamond, Neil Finn, Irony and Satire

Crowded House performed in the Bay Area this weekend. I had never seen them as a teenager and had no idea the brilliant Neil Finn could be just as funny as he is serious. The set list varied between old favorites and newer recordings. The set itself was simple and beautiful most of the stage hangings were covered in prose cut out into shapes like a man falling from what seemed to be an elephant's tusk or a Tim Burton-esque hill. Having read Finn's biography after the concert the set wasn't as much of a surprise. I didn't know Finn was a painter. The band kept falling into a disco beat in between songs which eventually they just played out to "get it out of their system" while Finn sang, "We Are Family/ I have all my brothers with me." Inspired by the fact that it was a Sunday night they also sang a Velvet Undergrounds' "Sunday Morning." Proving Crowded House's music to be more than just the 80's hits they are known for or at least giving greater context to their musical references. During one of their encores, Finn sang a melancholy song about a fisherman who drowns off the coast of New Zealand. In his final moments, the fisherman, remembers his family and the songs and stories they told around the dinner table.

This morning while reading Pop Candy I came across Whitney's posting for a new music review anthology. Listed among the articles is Ann Power's "Latinos Give New Life To Neil Diamond Anthem." Whitney doesn't link to the article which may not be available on the L.A. Times site anymore, this disappointed my lazy butt greatly. After finally finding an online version of it I was happy to have put out the effort.

I don't think I've shared with you my love of Neil Diamond. I love Neil Diamond! Our first Christmas together my Boyfriend gave me a special anniversary edition of "The Jazz Singer" dvd, and that's how I knew, he really listens to me (sigh). Growing up the Jazz Singer was one of those movies I could watch over and over again, like the Wizard of Oz was for other kids. A couple of years ago my Mom and I went to New York. We did the requisite tour of Ellis Island, which I avoided during my "young adult" visits to the City because I was just too cool for that. Ironically, I had to drag my Mom there she was completely uninterested. Anyway, I couldn't resist standing on the bow of the ferry and raising my fist while shouting, "They're coming to America!," and "Today!"My Mom laughed and other people just looked at me like I was an idiot (ok given), but at the very least I amused myself.

Going back to Power's article, read it. Its great. It also reaffirms the fact that Neil Diamond is the coolest ever! I could say more academic self-reflexive things about the article and how it resonated with me, but Ann Power's says it for me.