"She looked sharp, in a new blonde Mohawk and high-heel boots. But her body language felt halfhearted. She was dithering. Uh oh. And then, just as surprisingly, she opened up and radically redefined her course. From there on the concert was good, occasionally very good." —The Times's Ben Ratliff reports Tuesday night's Cat Power concert at Hammerstein Ballroom as a comeback story. Attendees commenting at Brooklyn Vegan gave mixed reviews. She certainly sounds great performing "I Don't Blame You" in the video (passed along by Awl commenter "zspace," thanks.) above. It's very nice to see her smiling, too. Nothing would make me happier than if I [...]
Last month, while I was making a friend a mixtape of my favorite 50 rap songs, I knew that I was bound to want to kick myself after sending it to him (and, foolhardily, publishing the list here) because I was surely forgetting something. I was proven right later that very week, when I saw that Awl contributor Willy Staley (who had censured me for including so few Californian rap songs on my list) had made his own list, "The 50 Greatest Bay Area Rap Songs," for Complex.com. Sure enough, right there at no. 1, deservedly, was "I Got 5 On It," by the Oakland duo [...]
"This study revealed that Bengalese finches can learn grammar and, furthermore, that their grammatical abilities involve a specific part of the brain region distinct from other brain regions involved in singing. This is similar to what neuroscientists understand about human language processing. If the tweets of birds can be roughly likened to strings of human words, and if birdbrains process songs in a way similar to how human brains process language, future research may tackle whether these animals possess other cognitive abilities once thought to be singularly characteristic of human intelligence." —Of course, as soon I come all out my face talking about how birds are stupid and [...]
There's lots of nice things about gathering on Thanksgiving for a big meal with family. We love our families. And in many ways, Thanksgiving is one of the more enjoyable holidays of the year. But, of course, it can present its difficulties. Here are ten things not to talk about during Thanksgiving dinner. Let's all just try to get through this, okay?
1) Turkey It's unfortunate, since this will be the main course at most American Thanksgiving dinners.