Category Archives: Uncategorized

Facing the end

Oliver Sacks, eloquent and clear-sighted as ever, on learning that he has terminal  cancer: Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a … Continue reading

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An audience with Don McLean

Fans listening to him sing “American Pie” in a BBC studio, 1972. From the nostalgic end credits of tonight’s edition of Newsnight. (The full performance is here.)

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Shouting

Thanks to the success of “Whiplash” Buddy Rich’s name is suddenly back in circulation again. Which means that his dementedly profane band bus stream-of-consciousness may find a whole new audience too. (NSFW, obviously.) Actually, I didn’t know that “Seinfeld” borrowed a couple … Continue reading

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Screaming

Grigor Dimitrov in his match against Andy Murray at the Australian Open. Part of a Wall Street Journal slideshow of photos from the tournament enhanced with a digital filter. Pic: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

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Karl dearest

If you ever think your life lacks purpose, bear in mind that, somewhere out there, someone has the job of being Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite male model. Irina Aleksander’s glimpse of the caviar set, relayed in quiet but lethal prose,  has the … Continue reading

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Dog cartoon of the week

And quite possibly the year… From The New York Times.  

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Screening history

Can we trust film directors to tell the truth about the past?  If “Belle” and “The Imitation Game” are any guide, the answer has to be no.  And now along comes “Selma”. In The New York Review of Books Elizabeth Drew … Continue reading

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Notebook

Mrs Oscar Hammerstein, so the story goes, once overheard someone praise “Ol’ Man River” as “a great Kern song”. “I beg your pardon,” she said, “But Jerome Kern did not write ‘Ol’ Man River’. Mr Kern wrote ‘dum dum dum … Continue reading

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Links

“Bob Dylan’s career-long exploration of regional American music has finally reached Las Vegas.” The snarky way of announcing  the singer’s Sinatra project. How a country haemorrhages people: Portugal’s emigration crisis. Beyond parody. A story for our times. “If you’ve ever wondered what happens … Continue reading

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World music albums of the year

Just for a change, a home-grown recording tops my world music choices in the Sunday Times 100 Best Records of the Year [£]. 1  VARIOUS  The Elizabethan Session (Quercus) 2  MELINGO Linyera (World Village) 3  AURELIO Landini (Real World) 4  MAYRA ANDRADE, Lovely Difficult (Sterns … Continue reading

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