Something my husband and I talk about a lot is whether or not jazz is a closed language. Not a dead music, exactly, but a tradition still mostly concerned with preserving conventions from, at this point, over half a century ago.
Ever since Robert Glasper’s Experiment band released Black Radio last year, the idea of cover vs. standard has popped up in these conversations a lot. Glasper understands pop culture’s current conception of covers well, and uses that to his advantage by treating songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit as standards. That song is probably the best one I heard in 2012.
Anyway, his new album’s out now, real soon after, and I recently reviewed it for The Grid. It’s not jazz in the slightest, but that doesn’t matter. It’s got this song, with Emeli Sandé on it, and you really just should be listening to it already.
A thing I wrote about Prince.
Is it spring yet? Is it really spring?
Yesterday I ate a bad nut on the train to Boston and went into anaphylactic shock. A doctor who happened to be seated nearby shot me up with a epipen. The train made an emergency stop in New London where the paramedics were waiting. I was shivering crazily, which was better than the bullets I’d been sweating moments before. The doc told me it was the adrenaline. I kept apologizing. I couldn’t believe I was making a scene on the Quiet Car.
The thing no one ever tells you about joy is that it has very little real pleasure in it. And yet if it hadn’t happened at all, at least once, how would we live?
… sometimes joy multiplies itself dangerously. … [A dangerous] joy, for many people, is the dog or the cat, relationships with animals being in some sense intensified by guaranteed finitude. You hope to leave this world before your child. You are quite certain your dog will leave before you do. Joy is such a human madness.
“Of course, pawning can be a humbling process. And here’s how Oliver helps distinguish himself from competitors like Jack Berkovits of the Omni chain and Harold the Jewellery Buyer—here’s the genius in his shtick. A man who so willingly paints himself silver or wraps his sizable frame in spandex is not a man who appears given to judgment. These embarrassments, easily embraced, can stand in for your own.”
A golden profile by Danielle Groen.
You will understand war much better if you think of it, not simply as strife come to a head, but rather as a disease, or perversion of communion. Modern war characteristically requires a myriad of constructed acts for each destructive one; before each culminating blast there must be a vast network of interlocking operations, directed communally.
—Kenneth Burke on war, then dreams, then eventually magic.
Let me explain why surgeons are assholes,” he said. “Surgery is controlled arrogance. You think you can take a knife to someone’s chest and help him. Who thinks that way?
—"Is America’s most trusted doctor doing more harm than good?" A sorta-takedown of Dr. Oz.