Just this morning I was reading the paper and thinking, "Oh, great, I have lived long enough to see a pub rock revival launched by the children of the people who were actually around to enjoy it the first time," but you know what, I will be first in line to by the massive repackaging of NME's C86 compilation because nostalgia is nothing if not persistent and I will take my BMX Bandits in whatever [...]
Dublin was busy with construction and slick with rain. I tried to recognize landmarks through the taxi windows—mossy stone gate here, mossy stone church there—while the cab driver told me how the Irish were all getting rich and he had finally been able to move back home from the impossible hell of Scotland. It was the end of 1999, I had just flown from Washington to interview for a magazine called International Living, the new hotel-pub where I was staying was owned by someone from the band U2, in 24 hours I would be back at the airport, and life felt like a Thomas Friedman column.
The registration desk [...]
A reunited Pulp spent the winter holidays playing shows on a cruise ship called the S.S. Coachella (uhh …) but also got together with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy to record this perfect disco-hopping/shopping track called "After You." And here it is, in all its cheesy-synth-hook droll Jarvis Cocker glory.
Released on Boxing Day, but apparently not yet for sale, the song is the first new thing released by Pulp in a decade. Also, on the cruise ship, Jarvis did Power Point presentations on the songwriting process and James Murphy led a wine-tasting class.
My dad is a man of the old school. He doesn't use a computer and isn't exactly interested in learning how to. (And forget about "the Internet." Just imagine how difficult it is to explain to him what I do for a living! I gave up after about the hundredth time and told him that I'm a script doctor for anal-themed porn movies. He seemed okay with it.) He likes to gamble, and when I was a kid and arcade games started to become popular he refused to understand the point of playing them, since "what do you win? You're just pissing those quarters away." And he is resolutely [...]
Good to know: Don't be surprised to see more violence from old people, particularly as the Baby Boomers start to realize that they're not going to live forever.
For an album that had a couple of videos in semi-permanent rotation in the 1989 of my memory, Tanita Tikaram's Ancient Heart, which was released on this day 25 years ago, may be one of the most neglected great records of that period. There's nothing innovative or groundbreaking about it, sure, but it was an astonishingly assured debut by one of the most interesting voices of the last quarter century, and there are certain people I know who still pretend to have something in their eye when they hear "Valentine Heart," which deserves top ten placement on any assembly of sad songs worth the name. If you've never [...]
"I used to get irked with Toyota Prius owners. These guys are notorious for driving below posted speed limits, slowing to a stop far out from a stop sign or light, taking their sweet time when the light turns green or creeping through parking lots so silently that they startle pedestrians. [...] Now, I'm one of those annoying Prius drivers. 'I can't believe you,' my lovely wife said to me the other day. 'You drive like an old man.'" —Why do Prius drivers drive like that? Because they are basically playing a video game with the mileage.
The head of the CIA and former commander of the war in Afghanistan has fallen in a tawdry scandal involving marital infidelity, leaked national security secrets, weird FBI agents and a whole network of high-level grifters in Florida. What can we learn from this huge, bizarre conspiracy at the very top of the national security state? Watch out for that crafty "send" button on the email program! Especially if you're 60 years old, like David Petraeus. According to the important morning program The Today Show, older people must constantly watch out for the young people's Hotmail.
There’s a valuable lesson everyone can learn from the scandal involving CIA Director [...]
What exactly is going on in that new Kodak Gallery commercial? A creepy piano tinkles as a little girl and a grandma shout to each other across the span of an absurdly large couch. Little girl says something stupid, grandma laughs at her stupidity. But the mood darkens when little girl asks grandma, "Were you ever in love?" Grandma answers with a cryptic, "Well…" The music intensifies, takes on an almost maniacal quality. Then the little girl says something about magic sea horses, grandma seems confused and, wait a minute-that couch is definitely getting smaller! Is this like an Alice In Wonderland thing? Or they're trying to convey the horror [...]
Last night at the 92nd Street Y, the security man at the metal detector was saying, "Pacemaker? Pacemaker? Pacemaker?" And then a good number of men would skip around the security line and its potentially heartbeat-disrupting EMF. This was important because everyone there was amazingly, astoundingly old! Like, median age 80. They were going to see a night of songs with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, hosted by adorable film critic and bon vivant Rex Reed, and starring former "Dukes of Hazzard" star Tom Wopat and also Lucille Ball's daughter!
Teenagers are idiots. They listen to 40-year-old music like Led Zeppelin or the New York Dolls, they dress like those old dudes from The Strokes, and they will never have jobs because of robots. But in one respect, today's teenager is much like the previous century's teenagers: They do not like socializing around their dumb parents and weird uncles and Tea Party Jesus-freak aunts. Because all of those creepy segments of adult society spend all their time on Facebook, the kids have finally figured out that Facebook is not at all cool.
Facebook management admits in new corporate filings that they're losing the teen market to competitors that don't [...]
Everybody loves apps, experts say—you can tell because there is an app for everything, including the monitoring of your personal health. The problem is that once you're thinking about monitoring your personal health, you're well on the way to the grave. This depressing fact may be the reason why few Americans use such phone and tablet programs to keep track of what's all too evident from the creaking, coughing, groaning and "weird discharge" most people notice just fine without the danged smart phone beeping and whirring, from wherever it's hiding.
Nearly seven in 10 U.S. adults say they are tracking weight, diet, exercise routines or some medical [...]
As if insisting on living forever and eating up all the flu antidote isn't worthy of enough spite, aged Floridians are pimping out and driving golf carts around their retirement villages. This article has a series of photos of seniors who have hoarded all their money to build miniature Hummers on golf-cart chassis instead of giving it to their unemployed children with mortgages. But the silver-haired residents of these humid enclaves are actually doing us a big favor. Apparently, you don't need a license to push these things around at 40 mph and people with known cases of MS and FAILING EYESIGHT are hopping behind the wheel like it's [...]
Awl Business Manager David Cho feels like we should be skewing younger, particularly in regards to pop culture items, so he will be displeased to find that I am linking to the first video from the forthcoming Eels record Hombre Lobo, but whatever, I like Eels, and werewolves, and nobody sent me the new Rick Ross jam. So there.