East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lifeblog: Boys and Boys in Filmcritland

Last week I said that over the last three years, only Kanye had put out two better albums than Todd Snider. Well, the Hold Steady deserve to be in that picture as well, not for the decent warm-up Almost Killed Me, but for Separation Sunday and the new Boys and Girls in America. On my 2005 list, Separation Sunday was my #33 album, which was a mistake: cut that position by half, if not more. Playing both records back-to-back, Boys and Girls might be slightly weaker, but not by much, and anyway it's too early to be sure. As Norwegian blogger Chris Monsen (who has exactly the same taste in music as me) points out, Craig Finn is very much working in an American tradition, and yet projects a very distinct voice within that tradition, which not many artists can honestly claim.

But I thought you were the Mafia Dept: When David Edelstein joined the auteurist newsgroup a_film_by, it resulted in dozens of attacks (some by well-known critics) on himself and Pauline Kael, which he in no way provoked except by his presence. (The group's Statement of Purpose requires that members agree "that for the majority of great narrative films the director is the primary author". Who would argue with that?)

There's a new entry on my list of best cheap eating establishments in the Bay:
  1. Zachary's, College
  2. Cheeseboard, Shattuck
  3. Cafe Andree, Sutter
  4. Koo Sushi, Irving
  5. Barney's, various
  6. La Vie, Geary
  7. Dragon Well, Chestnut
  8. Le Bateau Ivre, Telegraph
  9. House of Curries/Naan 'n' Curry, various
  10. Asqew, various
At La Vie, I had mango chicken and prawns, not too sweet and with a kick. Marvelous.

Your Booker winner is Kiran Desai's "The Inheritance of Loss". I guess that means I have to read it.


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