Robert Kimmerle
executive branch in a nation of one

Monday, August 04, 2003
I dunno quite what to make of Robert Christgau, the unyielding curmudgeon-guy who's been doing record reviews for the Village Voice since the Nixon administration. I don't read the Voice, since out here in the hills it costs cash money, and like any music reviewer his tastes diverge wildly from mine. But he has a website that I just stumbled over, and he's very, very good at what he does: his five-word dismissal of the first Black Sabbath album is a model of caustic brevity, and his posthumous appraisal of the Doors is hysterical even upon rereading. But he's best when given some room to maneuver: his blissful passage-of-time with my favorite band, or his 1984 analysis of What It All Means. It was a weird time for music and culture, and even if he underestimates the CD a couple paragraphs earlier, he gets the whole MTV thing down in a hurry: "But because visual information is so specific that people quickly get bored with it, the channel craves novelty by nature." Which these days means cryptovoyeurism and an aversion to actual music videos so deep that its biggest competitor and its clone channel, specifically created to play videos, are both bulking up on "programming."

Also, Metz 0-1 Ajaccio, bleah. It's great to see Metz back in the first division, but looking at their opening-match eleven, it's a bunch of scrawny kids up against a band of hardened Corsican maquisards, so long year ahead. Ah, well. Bill, who sent me an e-mail six hours ago from a laundromat in Florence, will, if he takes my advice, be catching the home opener in Lyon or Bordeaux (again the indeterminacy) on Saturday, always worth doing.

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