Haven't done one of these in a while …
- The Ryan Montbleau Band is really, really good. Montbleau's from Peabody, but the music is world-class eclectic. They sound a little like G Love, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Stevie Wonder, David Gray, Maroon 5 (only better), etc. etc. — and are therefore totally their own thing. I heard the song “Maybe Today” on WERS a few weeks ago — it's one of those lightning-in-a-bottle songs, where all the good things that a musician does are captured and summarized in 5 minutes.
Do note that it's the Ryan Montbleau Band. Keyboard player Jason Cohen is particularly terrific, skating fluidly between styles and instruments: Over here it's the bubbly, Muscle Shoals style Hammond organ on “Walk the Line”; over there it's the louche, Liberace-esque piano lick in “Maybe Today.” And it all fits somehow.
Anyway, I bought the album, and it's fun for the whole family. My two-year old cried when I had to turn it off.
- “I'm not sexist — my wife is a woman!” I think all the commentary that treats women as if they're some specialized, special-interest sub-group of American politics is really hilarious. Guys — and I do mean guys — they're 50% of the population. Don't you listen to your moms, sisters, girlfriends or wives?
- Hey, so Jon Keller says … Ah, never mind.
- The emotionalism of the Dem primary this week has been downright operatic. The question by the WMUR guy to Hillary about the “likeability issue” was an embarassment to the profession of journalism. I thought the response by Hillary and Obama was properly light-hearted, but everyone seems to agree it was a high-tension turning point in some frickin' Strauss opera: The debate as a noisy trio (cue cackling oboes and uproarious horns), and Hillary's tears as her Act I-ending aria.*
- On the ground, people are still asking the candidates how they stand on issues, and trying to suss out if they could actually deliver. The Globe obliges with an op-ed that suggests that people might have actually voted on issues — a rare, non-condescending and non-reductionist look at the primary.
- OMG, Jeff Jacoby sa—
Now, seriously — really now, honestly … Who cares?
- Can we just put it on the table? The MBTA — the commuter rail in particular — is in a death spiral. Bad service => low ridership => crumbling finances => bad service. Hello, Governor?
- While I'm pretty sure that South Carolina isn't plastered with “Don't blame me — I voted for Kerry” bumper stickers, his endorsement of Obama adds to the list of people with experience who have endorsed a fellow with supposedly little of it. I don't think any individual endorsement means much, but it contributes to the general impression that Obama is a substantial guy. And I think he is.
- Many have noticed the similarities between Obama's and Deval Patrick's campaign rhetoric. Those disinclined to say nice things about Patrick extend those misgivings to Obama.
Do I need to point out that's silly? First of all, it's argument by analogy: If two people are similar in one way, they must be similar in others. BZZZZZZ!
If anything, my partial disappointment in Patrick stems from how little he's used such language in office, since he's so well suited to the bully pulpit. Charisma, idealism and high-flown rhetoric are terrifically useful things; I just wish our Gov. would get out and use them more often — preferably to some good purpose, and not just to get us to put baby's college money on “red”.
- Someone here wondered what's the Edwards plan from here on out. Honestly, it's somewhat like what he was doing before NH: Gang up with Obama against Hillary, and hope Obama screws up. Could happen. He's got enough money — and ample desire — to stay in the race, and Feb. 5 is a lifetime away.
- *Can you tell I've been reading this book? Awesome.
- Trains! (check out the video)
What've you got?