|12.28 (revised) best albums of 2001:|
(1) Drive-By Truckers, "Southern Rock Opera"
(2) Peawees, "Dead End City"
(3) The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show, "In Full Color"
(4) Yayhoos, "Fear Not the Obvious"
(5) Dallas Wayne, "Here I Am in Dallas"
(6) Methadones, "Ill At Ease"
(7) Audrey Auld, "The Fallen"
(8) Gary Allan, "Alright Guy"
(9) Bigwig, "An Invitation to Tragedy"
(10) IIIrd Tyme Out, "Back to the Mac"
you can find more detailed descriptions of all these albums somewhere on this incredibly annoying website.
most annoying people on television
(1) Ari Fleisher
I do not understand why news organizations continue to fill the room to hear this
weasel say nothing, over and over again. His remarks fall into a few categories:
(a) vague to the point of non-existence; (b) impossibly evasive, like a squid inking the waters;
(c) repetitions of (a) and (b). Next time remarks are attributed to him on your news source, see in
all seriousness whether they convey any content whatever. You can say it's his job. But everyone
should refuse to be the propaganda minister.
I love college basketball. But if I have to listen to this fool yelling "ptper" or "diaper dandy"
one more time, someone will pay.
The most overrated bellower ever to have a video on MTV. Have a nice day, or whatever.
(4) David Duchovny
If only acting consisted of having no affect, this guy would be the shit. As it is, he's just shit.
(5) Big Bird
And if being incredibly insipid while muttering the numbers 1-10 for the 5,243,291st time were genius,
Big Bird wouldn't just be a huge annoying yellow thing. If Big Bird were any emptier, he/she/it'd be Ari Fleischer.
Doug Funny. He's supposed to be "everyboy." But truly, he's so average he doesn't even exist. Insipid, whiny, preachy, and absolutely no fun.
Nelly "The Furby" Furtado. "Nelly Nelly, meep meep."
Santa Claus. Give the gift of love. Get this fat clown the hell off my bigscreen.
Britney Spears. For God's sake force this chick to wear a burqa. She can keep dancing.
Anyone who's ever been on "Real World."
Actors on American Eagle ads. Models telling you to be an individual, while wearing their standard-issue, overpriced preppie crap.
Be an individual. But if you *don't* wear this stuff, you're queer.
CS's Top 20th Century Writers
1. P.G. Wodehouse
2. Jorge Luis Borges
3. J. L. Austin
4. Theodore Roethke
5. J.R.R. Tolkien
Zora Neale Hurston
Ollivier Dyens' (of chairetmetal.com) 20th Century Writers
1.Charles Bukowski: a lot of crap in his poetry but an amazing number of beautiful poems. A truly great artist. Moving. After more than 20 years of reading them, his poems still resonate deeply.
2. Marguerite Yourcenar. Intelligent and perfectly written.
3.Steinbeck. Might be a college thing ( I read his books during my college years) but I can't remember a book that was disappointing. Some of his less well-known books (Travels with Charlie, To a God Unknown) are some of the most moving.
4.I have to say Mishima. Powerful writing.
5. Douglas Adams. Best comedy writer of the century.
Honorable mention: Al Purdy (Canadian poet), George Orwell, William Gibson, Romain Gary, Marguerite Duras (for L'amant, the rest is terrible), John Fante and Noam Chomsky (I know, he's not a writer per se but his books have had a deep influence on me)
Best Visual Artists of the Twentieth Century
(1) Constantin Brancusi
Whether I like it or not, the 20th was the century of abstraction.
The point is to find abstraction that isn't muddy, pretentious, incoherent, or ridiculous, that means something or moves.
What's so funny about beauty and purity? "Bird in Space" will live forever.
(2) Edward Hopper
Hopper's work captures a kind of serene pain or beautiful sadness. It's good for us he lived before Prozac.
(3) Vilhelm Hammershoi
Speaking of beauty, sadness, serenity, solitude, stillness, pain, peace: this amazing
Danish painter is the frigging man.
(4) Clyfford Still
Easily the most interesting of the abstract expressionists. He's not just throwing paint around
in a carefully simulated rage or whatever; the paintings look like natural objects that were created by
millennia of accretion. And the sense of color is profound.
(5) Donald Judd
Stripping our experience down to its basic elements; trying to find something cleaner than the human and in
the process finding a very human purity and poise.
Piero Manzoni: best of the conceptualists.
Manon Cleary: who? DC painter. the drawings are amazing.
Chris Terry: Utah still-life master.
April Gornik: master landscapist.
tell me your candidates.
Most Overrated Visual Artists of the Twentieth Century
(1) Pablo Picasso
Obviously, no one's work could withstand the adulation to which Picasso's has been subjected.
I don't like anything he ever did, frankly. It's just ugly, or dorky, or clumsy without
being in the least profound. The cult of Picasso - creator, destroyer, dickhead, bore - is a kind of brain disease. Just say no to the next blockbuster.
(2) Willem De Kooning
Simply repulsive, what the paintings mean and how they look. Somehow his "line" is supposed to be miraculous,
which is just some kind of quasi-mystical claptrap. He was far, far better in the final stages of alzheimer's
than at any other time in his career.
(3) Bruce Nauman
Clown torture. Violence, violins, silence. Profound as a fucking puddle.
(4) Henry Moore
Mama! Mama! Unbelievably repetitive; unbelievably boring.
(5) Alberto Giacometti
He sculpted, like, real skinnny people. *Real* skinny. Amazing.
the repulsive Matthew Barney
the one-concept wonder Cindy Sherman
tell me your candidates.
GREATEST MUSICAL ARTISTS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
(1) Bob Marley
(2) Hank Williams
(3) Muddy Waters
(4) Louis Armstrong
(5) Janis Joplin
BEST ROCK BANDS
(1) Rolling Stones
(4) Creedence Clearwater Revival
J. Geils Band
Dick Dale and the Del-Tones
These ratings are mathematically demonstrable.
BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUMS OF THE LAST DECADE
(1) Dry Branch Fire Squad, "Memories that Bless and Burn" (1999)
This is a collection of dbfs's gospel recordings, made over a quarter century. The title song is
indubitably a classic, a hymn comparable to "Amazing Grace"; it sounds like it was written by the Appalachian
Mountains themselves. All of the songs seem to bespeak an extreme Pentacostal fervour, or perhaps fury;
cf. "Hiding in the Blood."
(2) Johnson Mountain Boys, "Blue Diamond" (1993)
I love Dudley Connnel's singing, and this album includes such great songs as "Duncan and Brady,"
and "See God's Ark A Movin.'" Beautifully played, beautifully sung.
(3) Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show, "In Full Color" (2000)
Recorded around a single vintage RCA mike, this amazing album both embodies the tradition and pushes it forward.
Lyle Meador's mandolin playing, in particular, is distinctive and juicy as hell. Check the insanely beautiful
instrumental "The Old South."
(4) Alison Krauss and Union Station, "Every Time You Say Goodbye" (1992)
By the time she came to this album, her singing was mature and the band was pretty much perfect.
Lately she's moved toward a new age bluegrass that is so mellow it barely exists; here's she's still trad.
Includes the chart hit "Heartstrings," one of the most beautiful recorded moments of the twentieth century.
(5) Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, "Pressing On Regardless" (Brentwood, 1992)
DS and Q was/is a definitive bg combo and this is their best, though it's less gospel than most. Check "For Love's Sake."
John Duffey, "Always in Style" (Sugar Hill, 2000)
Ralph Stanley, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" (Freeland, 1992)
Larry Sparks, "Special Delivery" (Rebel, 2000)
| history's most overrated philosophers
ok. let's get serious for a second. the arguments are pathetic. the actual "socratic method"
is all about knocking down straw men. and the positions are unbelievably pernicious and have
distorted the entire tradition: radical dualism and the devaluation of the body, the senses, and the world.
plato's republic is an inadvertent dystopia, an dictatorship of lies. we would all be better off had
this man never existed.
his work, beginning to end, is marked by pseudo-profound obscurantism. j.l. austin did the same
thing in a much, much clearer, wittier, and more systematic way.
|most overrated performers of the rock era|
(1) the beatles
sgt pepper's was the death of rock
(2) bob dylan
listen again to the lyrics of "tambourine man." drivel.
(3) bruce springsteen
aw, quit your bellowing.
aw, quit your bellowing.
(5) pearl jam
aw, quit your bellowing.
|top five pop singers of the 20th century|
|history's greatest philosophers|
What a beautiful, hilarious, depressed motherfucker. Despite the insufferable repetitiveness
of his long books (try "Stages on Life's Way," e.g.), he's perhaps the best writer in the history of
philosophy. Certainly he's the funniest major Western philosopher. You have to love how much
he hates Hegel (and how right he is) and you absolutely must love the
incredible courage with which he speaks perfectly his truth.
(2) chuang tzu
(5) j.l. austin
Ollivier Dyens' Best Films of the Twentieth Century
Hiroshima mon amour: dir: Alain Resnais
Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog) dir: Resnais also
Paris, Texas: Wim Wenders
Brazil: Terry Gilliam
Les nuits fauves (Savage Nights): Cyril Collard
Fanny and Alexander: Bergman
Alien: Ridley Scott
The Birds: Hitchcock
Dancer in the Dark: Von Trier
The Great Dictator: Chaplin
Blade Runner: Ridley Scott
The Sheltering sky: Bertolucci
Stranger than paradise: jarmuch
Three brothers: Francesco Rosi
The bicycle thief: de Sica
Le salaire de la peur (wages of fear) clouzot
Orfeu Negro: Camus
Tetsuo (The Iron Man): Fiction not animated (weirdest film I've seen): Tsukamoto
La jet»e (the jetty): Chris Marker