Thursday, May 13, 2004

I can't let the Lungfish show go without comment; it was spectacular. They leaned pretty heavily on recent material, which is just fine with me. The newer stuff is hypnotic and droning in all the right ways; the riffs keep coming like waves, endlessly repeating, surging and subsiding, somehow getting more satisfying with every repetition. And Dan Higgs makes scary, scary faces. Nanci update: she's out of jail and she's OK, no injuries. She is, however, being charged with second-degree assault for spitting on a cop. Oops.

If I were still doing the Top 10 People thing, Tom Perrotta would be an easy #1 for this week. Little Children is just a ridiculouly entertaining book, a perfect summer read. Some blurb quote on the back of the book says that Perrotta is an American Nick Hornby, and that would be true except that I don't have to read Perrotta's books with the knowledge that he writes obnoxiously rockist record reviews and listens to Joe Henry (maybe he does, but I don't have to know anything about it). Perrotta's characters are instantly recognizable and remarkably fleshed-out, and their feelings have a real resonance. And for some reason books about love gone sour never seem to make me unhappy; it's more like I feel real justification for the choices I've made and optimism for my own future. These characters aren't me, and that's nice.

Oh, and peep this: my name is now on my favorite blog. These links just keep coming.

I really hope that Nina Sky song blows up and becomes an enormous summer jam because it is gorgeous. Also, I have good things to say about the summer jammage potential of Yung Wun's "Tear it Up".

The new Devendra Banhart album is utterly beautiful in a fragile, unassuming kind of way. He doesn't shriek or seem possessed by muppet demons anymore. Instead, he seems like he's in a teen movie, sitting outside Rachel Leigh Cook's room and trying to serenade her because she's arty. I really wish the people who make teen movies would tap Devendra instead of A Simple Plan or whatever.

The NBA finals are heating up, but I'm having a harder and harder time staying interested. Right now every series involves a Team I Like Playing a Team I Like (Kings/T-Wolves, Nets/Pistons), a Team I Hate Playing a Team I Hate (Lakers/Spurs) or a Team I Don't Care About Playing a Team I Don't Care About (Pacers/Heat). Please let this series end so some teams I like can start playing some teams I hate. Please. Bonus: who's uglier, Sam Cassell or Doug Christie?

The Nicholas Berg killing is incredibly sad and fucked-up, but I wonder about his father complaining that the military wasn't protecting him enough. If you go to a war zone to try and make money, you have to deal with a very real possibility that you'll get killed. Wartime opportunism is both disgusting and dangerous.

Check out Nate Patrin on the Hold Steady. I just interviewed Craig Finn for a City Paper story in the Hold Steady, and it looks like I'll have to step my writing-about-the-Hold-Steady game up.