By his own admission, Jeff Tweedy’s December 7 solo concert at DC’s Lincoln Theater was not flawless. When he forgot a line during the first verse of Remember the Mountain Bed, he confessed that the song was not on the setlist, and that 9 verses might be a bit much for him. Self deprecation may have gotten him through the rough spots, but there weren’t many to get through.
The Autumn Defense, fronted by Wilco’s Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, opened the show with well-crafted (and even better-performed) soft rock music. While their songs don’t hit me viscerally, the band is unbelievably tight. Toward the end of Tweedy’s performance, the whole band accompanied him on a few songs, with Passenger Side and California Stars standing out.
Tweedy’s setlist included songs from every Wilco album, and songs he wrote for Loose Fur (The Ruling Class), Mavis Staples (You Are Not Alone), and Uncle Tupelo (Acuff-Rose). He delivered the latter from the edge of the stage, sans amplification for an intimate finale.
From my seat, the sound was perfect. There were several moments where his guitar created overtones so strong it sounded like he was accompanied by a organ. Or maybe the theater’s haunted. Either way, Tweedy manages to get a full, glowing sound from his instrument, complementing his voice in all of its not-flawless beauty.
As of October of this year, Sarah Palin’s approval rating was 22%. Not very good news for Palin, but even worse news for the 22% of Americans who take denial to pathological extremes.
In my time off blogging, I’ve developed a low-grade obsession with opera. I’ve gone to the Kennedy Center to see the Washington National Opera’s productions of Un Ballo in Maschera and Salome. Both were lovely. I’ve also been listening to Tristan und Isolde in chunks; I have a hard time with the density of Wagner’s music, but it’s definitely rewarding.
I was also lucky enough to get tickets to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Opera Honors. I’ve never been partial to Philip Glass’s music, but this piece from his opera Satyagraha blew me away. I think it neatly represents the whole minimalism thing, featuring a haunting melody over neatly-textured, repetitive instumental parts.
Unfortunately, the jerks at Sony Music don’t want me to embed this song on my blog. God forbid they let go of the past by playing to the internet’s strong points. DO YOURSELF A HUGE FAVOR AND LISTEN HERE.
If you’ve watched FOX News for more than 15 minutes, chances are you’ve heard someone shitting on George Soros. A billionaire who helped Hungary’s peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in the 80’s, Soros emigrated from Hungary after World War 2, winding up in New York City in 1956. Since then, Soros has promoted peace and education across Europe and supported liberal organizations in the US through his Open Society Institute, which gives out over $600 million each year.
As a boy, Soros complied with Nazis in Hungary by handing out deportation notices to Jews. Anyone who has paid even cursory attention to the cancer of Nazi-occupied Europe knows that their unrestrained brutality included the murder, enslavement, and coercion of Jews wherever they metastasized. It’s no surprise that Soros, a 14-year old Jew, was a victim of this brutality. To imply that his actions were ignoble acts of collaboration with the Nazis would be cruelly stupid at best.
Glenn Beck is cruelly stupid at best. He characterized the Soros’ experience with the Nazis this way:
[When Soros was] 14 years old, he had to help the government confiscate the land of his fellow Jewish friends and neighbors. He didn’t grow up in a very Jewish household. His mother was a strong anti-Semite — his words, not mine — but when he had to go over and take the lands from the people…who were being sent to the gas chambers, I can’t imagine what that would do to a teenager, anybody, an adult. Well, what did it do to George Soros? In an interview with Steve Kroft, Soros was asked if he felt guilt at all about taking the property from the Jews as a teenager. He responded, ‘no.’
First, unless Beck has severe cognitive deficiencies, he should know that the Nazis didn’t give a fuck how religious a given Jewish household was. They were to be enslaved, tortured, murdered, or any combination thereof regardless of whether they kept kosher or shomer shabbos. The implication that the Soros family’s level of observance made George a cheerful collaborator is grotesque. Secondly, who the fuck is Beck to imply that Soros ought to feel guilty? Should all victims of unparalleled atrocities feel guilty?
It would take a giant tome to catalog all the stupid shit that’s dribbled out of Glenn Beck’s doughy mouth, but this may take the cake. Of course, he can’t even stand up for what he believes; he’s retreated behind the old “I didn’t actually say anything bad,” in complete denial of the simple fact that his implications lead to our inferences. The cowardly fuck.