Wilco revisited. (I owe Jeff Tweedy an apology.)

April 29, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Music, Uncategorized

(THIS WEEK’S SOUNDLINKS COLUMN) A NOTE OF INTRODUCTION: I recently discovered, much to my surprise, that not everyone on earth has heard of Wilco, so here’s my two cents’ worth: Not since the Beatles’ mid to late period—from Rubber Soul to The White Album—has any band in pop music successfully jumped across as many genres … Read More

My B-Metro column on Lady Gaga.

April 16, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Music, Uncategorized

(Ms. Gaga. With And Without Makeup.) I have adored, without shame or apology, some genuinely pathetic popular music in my day. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again Naturally”, for instance. Closer to this millennium, I consider Hanson’s “Mmmbop” to be a brilliant piece of pop record-making—even if they did lift the hook, note for note, from the … Read More

The Messiah Complex

March 17, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

(ANOTHER FABULOUS DAVID BROOKS EDITORIAL) Every age produces its own sort of fables, and our age seems to have produced The White Messiah fable.This is the oft-repeated story about a manly young adventurer who goes into the wilderness in search of thrills and profit. But, once there, he meets the native people and finds that … Read More

Darwin Was Right!

March 1, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Faith, Uncategorized

Flipping through channels the other day, I stopped briefly at PBS’s latest ode to Darwin. After a couple minutes, it hit me: That whole hypothesis about adaptive behavior and natural selection is so true! Witness, for example, how adeptly a biologist camouflages his conclusions against that vast body of fact which utterly undermines the theory … Read More

Nonconformity Is Skin Deep

February 5, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

NOTE: Sadly, The Birmingham News has dropped my favorite Editorial Page columnist, David Brooks. Below is a condensed version of a column of his I saved years ago. We now have to work under the assumption that every American has a tattoo. Whether we are at a formal dinner, at a professional luncheon, at a … Read More

Dome And Dumber, or Return To Larryland.

January 18, 2010By FrancisCULTURE, Rants

There is a pivotal scene in the 1984 mockumentary classic “Spinal Tap”—the comic history of a band’s slow decline from second-rate psychedelic hucksters to fourth-rate thud-rock has-beens. The band’s members are discussing ideas for rebounding from yet another career low, when someone roars, “I’ve got it!—Let’s bring back ‘Stonehenge!!’” (an atrocious rock opera Spinal Tap … Read More

Sounds Good To Me #16

July 16, 2009By francis-adminCULTURE, FUN, Music

A No-Apologies Feelgood Thang (playlist at bottom of page) CLICK ARTWORK BELOW TO PLAY Playlist Donna The Buffalo NEED YOU MORE AND MORE Rufus TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD   The Real Kids DO THE BOOB Fleetwood Mac HONEY HI   Roberta Flack NO TEARS IN THE END Desi Young I DON’T KNOW WHY I LOVE … Read More

Smoove B – Get Busy

November 26, 2008By francis-adminCULTURE, FUN, Music

The finest in 70s Funk and R&B (playlist at bottom of page) CLICK ARTWORK BELOW TO PLAY Playlist Curtis Mayfield  MOVE ON UP Marvin Gaye  YESTERDAY Sly & The Family Stone IF YOU WANT ME TO STAY Brick DAZZ James Brown TALKIN’ LOUD AND SAYIN’ NOTHING War SPILL THE WINE Michael Jackson DON’T STOP TILL YOU GET … Read More