"The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition."
"cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies"
Review reminds me of this well-worded Guardian review of Superfreakonomics. Contrarianism in overdrive.
I seem to have a thing for songs with lyrics that just keep tumbling on and on.
I have always enjoyed Jollie Holland’s “Mexican Blue,” a long ribbon twirling around someone loved and remembered and recalled and lost and mourned and celebrated. There are the usual threads of Holland’s bitter and wry persona, but this is the least “conflicted” she has sounded on record.
I’d also make a similar case for Gillian Welch’s “I Dream A Highway”. A fifteen minute meander that always feels like it could go for at least another fifteen. I was shocked and happy that she chose to play it when I saw her live. Its fifteen minutes somehow felt like five.
On Grand Salvo’s most recent record, Soil Creatures, he does a similar thing on two songs at either end of the LP. One of them, “Sea,” is posted above — and the other, “Needles,” can be heard on YouTube.
Where Holland feels selective of the images she’s recalling, these Salvo songs (salvos?) feel close to stream-of-consciousness observations. Paddy Mann seems to be staring out a window, half-awake, singing to himself. (And, yes, the string players.)
Both of these Grand Salvo songs have a resignation to them, as if the tale they are turning was inevitable. When I hear them, I imagine a wheel, tumbling down a hill; a spool of cotton, trailing off out of sight. I like that they fade out, as if the song goes on forever. How long is a piece of string? How long can one person strum?