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Author Archives: Howard Owens

More than an Idol

If Fantasia Barrino doesn’t win Idol, America has proven itself once and for all that it can’t judge talent. It’s something I long suspected, but now we’re down to proof time. Fantasia isn’t just an American Idol. That title falls to the Ruben Studdards and Kelly Clarksons of the world — mere mortals meant to merely compete with the Britneys ... Read More »

American Idol Needs Fixing

If Fox isn’t careful, it’s going to destroy the American Idol franchise. Attitudes like this will get Fox nowhere: Fox said both it and the show’s producers have “gone to great lengths” to ensure the integrity of the voting process. “While acknowledging that dedicated fans may be unhappy with the outcome, the system only reports the decision of the voting ... Read More »

Disrupting the two-party system

Kevin Featherly has a nice post up on Bill Hillsman’s new book, “Run the Other Way,” which is both about his time as a campaign advertising executive in Minnesota and his gripes about the two-party system. At the heart of Hillsman’s book is an indictment of what he calls “Election Industry Inc.” Among these he includes political parties, pollsters, political ... Read More »

The other big news story

Much has been made in the blogosphere about the media coverage (or alleged lack of coverage) of the Nick Berg beheading, but in the same week as that traumatic event, an equally significant, and far less violent event took place in Iraq, and it got scant notice, even among pro-liberation bloggers. Thomas Friedman draws our attention to it: There is ... Read More »

Greg Brown takes on America

When I hear music as soulful, heartfelt and immaculate as Greg Brown’s, I want to find some shimmering and honest way to tell you about it. But finding the right words to get to the gritty truth of performers like Brown requires more poetics than I can muster. Greg Brown has been making music for more than 25 years and ... Read More »

Gripping noir

In A Lonely Place is classic Noir. Set in 1950 Los Angeles with all the murder and intrigue a mystery fan could hope for. It's also a love story. If you think every Hollywood film has a happy ending, you haven't seen In A Lonely Place. Read More »

Fought Down — a keeper

If you like good music -- even if your tastes doesn't always run to country or rock -- you will thank yourself from now until the freezing over of the Gulf of Mexico if you buy "Fought Down." Read More »

How’s this for a New Year’s resolution?

How desparate is the recording industry? Check out the current poll question on the Grammy site: My New Year’s resolution Pay for my downloads Investigate the new online music services Watch the Michael Jackson trial More music, less Grand Theft Auto The obvious hope of the industry is that you’ll only consider these options, that even on a subliminal level ... Read More »

Merry Christmas

I was thinking yesterday about how hardly anybody said to me, "Merry Christmas." It was all "Happy Holidays." But let me ask you this -- do you call your tree a "Holiday Tree"? It's Christmas people. If an atheist can celebrate Christmas, can't everybody else? Read More »

Thanks, TIVO

I like 1950s detective stories based in Los Angeles, with lots of fast talking, wise-ass attitude, men in grey suits and dames that would make your gin fizzle. Read More »