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Arthur Schmidt


  • Surf's Up

    I've been waiting impatiently for this record since Sunflower, and the small letdown I feel could be the other side of that impatience: the wish that they could have kept it a little longer to make it perfect. In this case that would not be a matter of production (why not expect technical perfection from […]

    • Music
  • Songs of Love and Hate

    Songs From A Room, Cohen's second album, was for me a great improvement over his first because of restraint in the use of strings, clarions and angelic choirs, and because the compositions themselves were fairly even in quality (with "Bird on the Wire" and "Story of Issac" two really tight, clean stand-outs). And short — […]

    • Music
  • 20/20

    The Beach Boys are one of the stranger phenomena of rock. In 1963, they were responsible for some of the best rock by whites before the Beatles. They created a style, now dated, more sociologically than musically. The style has altered (improved, even), though not as much as the music itself. The current album is […]

    • Music
  • Friends

    The Beach Boys have tried faithfully to render who and what they are. That what they are is in some ways a simply (existential but) foolish denial of reality, that Hawthorne is not the world that Watts is, is nothing other than the fact that art, like human action, when it impersonally duplicates reality, is […]

    • Music
  • Bookends

    This record is worth getting, if only for the cover, which captures the amazing resemblance of Simon and Garfunkel to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, respectively. Or maybe Avedon has merely captured them at their high-fashion best. It is hard sometimes, to find out who is putting whom on. Someone has succeeded. The music […]

    • Music
  • Songs of Leonard Cohen

    There are, in The Favorite Game, Leonard Cohen's first novel, several scenes in which people ask the hero (presumably Cohen, since everything else fits) to sing. A friend of mine read the book and finished with one question: if the guy was Leonard Cohen, why did they keep asking him to sing? I think that […]

    • Music