Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari (Crown, 345 pages)
The late Harvard professor B.F. Skinner became famous for animal experiments that he believed destroyed the idea of free will. Animals can be manipulated to perform an action by repeatedly offering them a reward until their behaviors become ingrained, similar to Continue reading “Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari”
Crowbar, Zero And Below (Mnrk Records)
’Twas only by accident that I ever discovered this New Orleans mud-metal band for myself in the first place, and for that, you’ll have to indulge a little inside baseball, apologies in advance. In 2005, around the second year I’d decided to moonlight as Continue reading “Album Reviews 22/03/17”
Pure Colour, by Sheila Heti (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 216 pages)
In her new novel Pure Colour, Canadian Sheila Heti imagines a new Genesis, one in which God is not yet finished with the work of creation but is just taking a break, stepping back, critically looking at Continue reading “Pure Colour, by Sheila Heti”
Bye Bye Tsunami, Bye Bye Tsunami (Nefarious Industries Records)
You know, giving this Copenhagen-based noise-rock album any amount of love in this space makes me feel guilty that I haven’t done the same for the couple of weirdo bands who’ve been blowing up my email with demands that I stop Continue reading “Album Reviews 22/03/10”
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (R)
Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher.
And by “rated R” I mean hard R, with people cut in half and Bellagio-in-Oceans 11-style fountains of blood. Very R.
I know I have seen some previous Chainsaws — could not even begin to tell you which ones Continue reading “At the Sofaplex 22/03/03”
How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur (Simon & Schuster, 265 pages)
As television sitcoms go, The Good Place was rather remarkable. The NBC show, which premiered in 2016 and aired for four years, had all the typical goofiness of low-brow comedy but was based on high-brow ideas: What Continue reading “How to Be Perfect, by Michael Schur”
The Waymores, Stone Sessions (Chicken Ranch Records)
I’m not big into latter-day “country music” (or so they call it) because it’s usually so awful, evoking noisy tuneage for NASCAR commercials or WWE wrestler entrances, but if you’ve read this space for any amount of time, you know for a Continue reading “Album Reviews 22/03/03”
The Horsewoman, by James Patterson and Mike Lupica (Little, Brown & Co., 433 pages)
I probably shouldn’t confess this in public, but until this week, I was a James Patterson virgin.
Called by his publisher “the best-selling author in the world,” a claim questioned by Google, Patterson certainly is among Continue reading “The Horsewoman, by James Patterson and Mike Lupica”
Mark Stewart VS, Challenge Institutionalized Power (eMERGENCY hearts Records)
Whoa, now we’re getting somewhere. Stewart has been a fixture in the noise-punk scene since he visited New York City in 1980 and got vacuumed into the no-wave vortex, and here he “faces off against” some of his favorite like-minded Continue reading “Album Reviews 22/02/24”
Zoë Kravitz, Rita Wilson.
Angela (Kravitz) listens professionally — her job for Amygdala is listening to clips recorded from a Siri/Alexa-type device called Kimi and translating, say, a request to order “kitchen towels” into a Kimi-recognized request for paper towels. She is sent streams of audio recorded from Continue reading “At the Sofaplex 22/02/17”