Monday, December 26, 2005

MEDIA MONDAY
2 Questions this Media Monday:
1. What have you been reading, listening to, watching?
2. What media did you get for Christmas that you're excited about reading, listening to, or watching?

British Intelligence
From The Telegraph:
Here's the setup:
Ever since America gave us rock and roll and we gave them back beat music, the ebb and flow of ideas and talent between these two great musical powers has been the creative engine of pop culture. But my recent encounter with Floetry, a British group apparently unwanted in the UK but lauded in the US, has led me to wonder if the special relationship is still special.

In recent years it has all been a bit one-sided. They gave us hip hop, grunge, R&B and the ├╝berpop of the mouseketeers (Britney, Christina and Justin) and, in return, we gave them Dido. Actually, they gave us Dido, too, because she was signed and developed in the US and rose to fame with Eminem. But lately there have been signs of an even more pronounced continental drift.
Here's the conclusion:
American pop is in danger of becoming as inward-looking as its politics, and local acts are more than willing to fill that vacuum.

One result is that Britain is exporting music to America once again.
You'll have to read the whole thing to see how he got from one to the other.

Top Tens
Metacritics has a comprehensive collection of top ten lists from critics:
Film
Music
Books

Why, Jamie?
The NYTimes reviews 2 new CDs; one gets a nice long deserved write-up, a box set of Miles Davis live recordings from the musically turbulent (for him) 1970 period. The second review is new music from Jamie Foxx. Yes, the actor/comedian. Apparently, when he's not sounding like Ray Charles, Jamie's musical taste, and his inspiration, are a bit lacking.
Between takes on movie sets, Jamie Foxx must have been studying the Kama Sutra. His debut album, "Unpredictable," is nearly all about sex. As he sings in "Three Letter Word," the album's strangest and most obsessive song, "Sex, all the time, sex, on my mind." Despite an occasional mention of love, what really fascinates Mr. Foxx is the mechanics of sex: which room, which surface, which limbs go where. Perhaps it's a movie actor's approach to romance, working on the assumption that if the blocking and angles are right, the scene will take care of itself.

As he proved in the film "Ray," Mr. Foxx can sing. But the Ray Charles voice he revealed in that movie (and on Kanye West's song "Gold Digger") is not what he uses on "Unpredictable." He moves to the higher end of his range, setting out to be a smoothie like Usher or R. Kelly
Can't he just work on his acting? Or more importantly, his script selection?

My Xmas Media Gifts
The new Al Franken book, David Shipler's "The Working Poor," Martin Amis' "Yellow Dog," and a CD, Sleater-Kinney's "The Woods." I'll recommend them or not when I can.

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