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?
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.Here's the conclusion:
In recent years it has all been a bit one-sided. They gave us hip hop, grunge, R&B and the überpop 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.
American pop is in danger of becoming as inward-looking as its politics, and local acts are more than willing to fill that vacuum.You'll have to read the whole thing to see how he got from one to the other.
One result is that Britain is exporting music to America once again.
Metacritics has a comprehensive collection of top ten lists from critics:
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.Can't he just work on his acting? Or more importantly, his script selection?
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
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.