Posts Tagged: Zachary Woolfe

Writing Good

Here is a very large list of last year's notable music writing, some of which may seem familiar to those of you who have been with us for a while.


Zachary Woolfe: Another Long Vampire Weekend

It's easy to know that a band is good, and harder to know what they'll mean for people. In 2006, I knew, as did a bunch of Columbia students and some folks on the Internet, that Vampire Weekend was good. I knew this only because I happened, at the time, to be dating a friend of two of the band's members. In this capacity I would go to their shows, one of those relationship tasks that would have been pretty annoying if the band didn't put on really good shows.


"Almost" "Famous": 24 Hours With Max Steele

BUSHWICK-"I don't really turn people on," Max Steele said. The first time he go-go danced, someone complained to the DJ, who promptly turned off the music. This might have been because Max's go-go dancing is a disturbing sight. He tends to dance in fits and jerks, his arms stiffly at his sides except when he suddenly draws one hand up towards the side of his face. He moves around a lot when he dances, his legs following his upper body, which spasms rhythmically to a beat slightly different than that of the music.

But it isn't exactly true that he's a turn-off.


Annals Of Narcissism: Sophie Calle

Sophie <3 Grégoire scrawled on a notebook: that is the way it would have gone down in an ordinary relationship. But because we are talking about high rollers in the French arts scene, Grégoire Boullier dedicated a genre-bending book to the conceptual artist Sophie Calle in 2004. In return, she dedicated, after a fashion, a major traveling art show to him. Or, rather, to telling him to fuck off.


Renee Fleming's "Dark Hope": June Cleaver Does Muse

Soprano Renee Fleming, "one of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time," according to her website, has just released Dark Hope, a collection of pop covers of songs by groups such as Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie and Leonard Cohen. How is it? Seth Colter Walls and Zachary Woolfe discuss the album and the artist, who it might appeal to and what it means for opera.


The End of the 00s: Ten Years of Best Picture Suck, by Zachary Woolfe

There was no tragedy this past decade greater than the utter implosion of quality among the winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Some might point to the 90s as the time our troubles began, and I admit that Dances with Wolves and Forrest Gump were bad omens. (The 90s did end with the intolerable American Beauty!) But you also had Silence of the Lambs! Shakespeare in Love! And, OK, Schindler's List, in all its retardedly black-and-white-and-oh-my-God-her-dress-is-red glory! There were glimmers of light, is what I'm saying; yes, 2007, sure;and that light of hope is shows what was missing in the awful aughts. Let me show you.


Annals of Narcissism: Mayor Mike Bloomberg, The Ideal New Yorker, But Not The Ideal Mayor

It would be a shame if the mumbo-jumbo up in Albany entirely distracted us from the really remarkable new Times/Cornell/NY1 poll. Though I wouldn't blame someone for thinking that Times reporter David Chen and his top boss Bill Keller made up the results at lunch on Monday, and though I doubt that Bill Thompson's mayoral campaign will do much to take advantage of what a less dully genial candidate might think of as an unmatched opportunity, it is nonetheless the first tangible victory for democracy in the city this year-the first time it seems even possible that Michael Bloomberg's millions might be spent in vain.


Annals of Narcissism: On Daphne Merkin

"Recently I arrived at what I consider to be a dramatic new understanding of the concept of change." The quote-unironic!-is the first sentence of a 1989 Times article by Daphne Merkin, the writer whose chosen form is the personal history (her one novel, Enchantment, is about as fictional as Primary Colors, and she is the author of a memoir already). But little has changed, in tone or content, in the twenty years that have intervened between that "dramatic new understanding" and "A Journey Through Darkness," the 8000-word account of her depression that was the cover article of yesterday's New York Times magazine.


Boxed In: "First Love, Second Chance" and Short Periods of Exquisite Felicity

The oldest precursor in Western culture to the new six-week TV Land reality series "First Love, Second Chance" is a play. It tells the story of a couple deeply in love, one of those formative, life-changing early relationships, not to mention the boy's first kiss. The relationship ends abruptly, as intense relationships often do, when the boy is unexpectedly sent far away. Many years pass, and both the boy and the girl are physically transformed beyond recognition. But such, we are meant to feel, is the strength of their bond, that when they meet again, without even knowing each other's identity, they fall in love and marry.

The [...]


Annals of Narcissism: Manhunt, Redesigned, Is Now The Gay Skynet–And It Wants You To Stay Home

The headquarters of, a website that, as Wikipedia puts it, "facilitates same-sex introductions," are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a worldwide center of learning and racial profiling. And other types of profiling as well! Coursing through the Manhunt servers are the profiles of the service's 1.5 million users, which rush towards each other at about twenty-three miles per hour, the speed at which fluid may be propelled through the male human urethra into whoever or whatever one desires, in whatever manner one desires it.


Tina Brown And CEOs: Deep In Denial About The Death Of Publishing

Book Expo America is upon the epically embattled publishing industry once again. Things really heat up today and tomorrow-this is at the Javits Center, over at the ass end of Manhattan-with author signings and discussions like "Book Reviews 2010: What Will They Look Like." But the most attended event at the slower Thursday session was a panel of four publishing CEOs. It was moderated by former New Yorker editor, founder and editor of The Daily Beast, and ACTUAL BOOK AUTHOR Tina Brown. Elegant in pink, Brown's role was Emissary of New Media-"I now run an Internet site," she said helpfully-to the lovable but philistine Print Masses.