Thursday, September 4, 2008

Although I'm still absorbing Randy Newman's Harps and Angels (he's still relatively new to me; he's one of the few artists whose critical adulation has scared me), my ears perked up at "Korean Parents," which, like "Sail Away" and "It's Money That Matters," is one of Newman's trademark submersions into minds so different from his that the line between possession and description gets roughened by his pseudo-lachrymose Ray Charles timbre. Alluding to Barbara Ehrenreich and Lady of the Tramp, Jeff Chang's exegesis reminds me of the country that Rich Perlstein described in Nixonland: a place where resentments often bloom into an unexpected acceptance of differences -- as long as you don't threaten the existing order. Just listen to a certain vice presential nominee's acceptance speech last night.

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