Keeping Up (Vol. 36)

by Darren Paltrowitz

Here are some more quick picks for you, the loyal reader:

robertpollard_elephant_150MUSIC: Robert Pollard / Elephant Jokes – Best known as the frontman and songwriter of Guided By Voices, Robert “Bob” Pollard is as prolific as rock & roll musicians come. However, Pollard also rarely opts to promote his releases. As a result, after recently discovering his July 2009 Elephant Jokes album, I also learned that he has since released an album with Boston Spaceships and another solo release titled We All Got Out Of The Army. In any case, Elephant Jokes brings more of the Who-inspired guitar-rock that GBV fans learned to love. (robertpollard.net)

BOOK: Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner / Superfreakonomics – The sequel to Freakonomics, this book is subtitled Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. Ultimately, it is a collection of thorough, well-researched, and economically-minded explorations into why common assumptions are often wrong and/or why strange happenings aren’t so strange. Fans of recent books by Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Coyle will love this…and I promise that each part of the subtitle makes perfect and logical sense by book’s end. (superfreakonomicsbook.com)

FILM: Good Hair – While it is a well-researched and fact-oriented documentary, the presence of Chris Rock as the narrator, on-camera talent and co-writer helps make Good Hair a comedy. Inspired by Rock’s young daughter asking him why she doesn’t have “good hair,” the comedian explores the African-American hair and hair-care industries, exposing plenty of shocking details (e.g. geographic origins, profit centers) to outsiders like myself. Ultimately, this is the rare film that provides brutal honesty and hypocrisy without making the viewer uncomfortable. Now on DVD, although with minimal extras or bonus features. (goodhairdvd.com)

ARTICLE: Bob Baker “What Do You Pretend To NOT Know About The Music Biz?” – While writer Bob Baker is a participant in the music industry –- and part of the Music Think Tank collective -- one does not have to be in the field to learn something from his piece. Baker provides examples of how people may know the truth about particular things, but choose to ignore such, thus leading these people to miss out on successes that are within reach. Reader comments are below the article, which may provide further learning to readers. (musicthinktank.com/blog/what-do-you-pretend-to-not-know-about-the-music-biz.html)

As always, if I’m missing something that’s worthwhile and deserving of column space, please reach out with an e-mail: darren.paltrowitz@gmail.com.

In the meantime, stay tuned for another 5 picks...

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