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Garry Mimble to you!

The last thing I’ll ask you to read this year, I promise: my thoughts on the Beatles’ Christmas records — both the more familiar and the less.

Take a bite

I’m thrilled that an excerpt from Magic Circles has found its way into another magnificent anthology of music writing. In Sound Bites: Big Ideas in Popular Music, just out from the Great Books Foundation, “writers reflect on the immense impact of popular music on our culture, our lives, and our ways of thinking about the world.” The collection encompasses not just criticism but also personal essay, fiction, and poetry; in terms of approach, it doesn't labor to escape the white male rockist presumption, it simply ignores it. (Which is why I'm especially happy to be represented by an excerpt about the Beatles' special relationship to their female fans.) Too many stellar contributors to list he

Cultural defoliation

My review of the controversial Jann Wenner biography, concerning “the baby-boomer visionary whose singular will to power, rakish personality, fortitude for excess, and wild-man charm made him a force to be reckoned with.”

Stars fell on Alabama last night

Black voters kicked racist red-state ass. To repurpose a phrase from Ronald Reagan – who meant something quite different by it – it’s “Morning in America.” And this is the perfect music for it, courtesy of Jana Ann & The Merrymen.

Human bodies

“Unless [the] would-be lover is able to replace his or her backbone with a steel rod, he or she is doomed. This is no place for love.” At Critics at Large: My commentary on the Richard Avedon exhibition now on view at Manhattan’s Pace Gallery, and the Avedon-James Baldwin book that inspired it.

 

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