The Age of Coherence, the Time of Decay

After years of discovery and pondering, I have come to the clear decision that my favorite age of life for me, and for everyone else, is in The Year Twenty-Six. We aren’t in the Mozart Syndrome era yet — 26 is the imperfect and unsafe conflation of beauty and minding and of destruction and dismay.

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When Gwyneth Paltrow Sings, Ears Ache

It’s always an immensely sad moment in entertainment history when a movie actor steps forward to pretend, and then claim in an unfortunate public, on-the-record, performance, that they can sing when they cannot.  We last saw that sort of faux singing in Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash movie and now, today, we have the same inglorious example in Gwyneth “The Goop” Paltrow’s incredibly bad turn in her new movie, “Country Strong.”  Here is a screenshot of Paltrow recently “singing live” at the Country Music Awards.  She closes her eyes throughout most of the song as she tries to land the right notes in a simple melody.  Gwyneth sings.  We cringe.

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Feeling the Needle and the Damage Done

For the most part, when a musician/band sets out to record an album, there is much deliberation involved as to what songs are going to go onto the album. Do they write songs for the album or do they put together songs that they have been performing live and just have not yet recorded in a studio setting? I have been listening to Neil Young‘s masterpiece of an album Harvest quite a lot recently and the question of how songs came into place comes up for me — specifically when I hear the song The Needle and the Damage Done.

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Joaquin Phoenix is No Johnny Cash

Joaquin Phoenix plays the genius country singer Johnny Cash in the Hollywood production of Walk the Line and Phoenix is getting rave reviews for singing Cash’s songs and “sounding just like him.”

If you have spent any time at all listening to Johnny Cash, you know just how much Phoenix DOES NOT sound like Cash at all. It isn’t even close!

There is no terror, depth of despair or rain in Phoenix’s voice and the movie would have been better served if he had lip-synched the great Johnny Cash instead of just aping him.