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What's Gotten Into Alex Ross?

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , ,

I don’t mean to embarrass him, but he’s on fire lately, and read that aloud the way Peter Gallagher says it to Laura San Giacomo in sex, lies, and videotape. I just finished Ross’s piece “Appalachian Autumn,” which is wrongly not online, and that’s two in a row he’s knocked out of the park—and I don’t use baseball metaphors. This is not classical music reviewing. This is serious essay-writing almost not of this century, with enough pop-culture references woven in, like a subtle gold thread rather than crude paisleys of hey-kids-the-YouTubes, to satisfy the most egalitarian omnivore. If Justin Davidson can start doing more music-themed reporting for the magazine to complement Ross’s reviews and meditations, I’ll be playing very happy tunes on my new ukulele.

Also, since this is a special Alex Ross post, which I do less often than I should, I should mention that Farrar, Straus was handing out an advance pamphlet sort of thing at the BEA for the forthcoming The Rest Is Noise (smart thinking, to call your blog something that actually works as a book title!), and the book looks incredibly elegant. It goes without saying that the writing within will match the cover, but I’m in the business of looking at stuff like book covers, and yow, exciting, wow.

Unrelated: This seems like as good a place as any to say that I saw and dug Superbad (as did David Denby); when I saw it, the whole theater full of remarkably varied people of both sexes laughed delightedly almost as one. As regular readers remember, there was a wee debate here not long ago about all things Apatow, romantic comedies, and gender generally. And I’m here to say: Give me the Seth Rogen of Superbad over the Rogen of Knocked Up; give me the Jack Black of School of Rock over the Black of (shudder) Holiday. Let these guys be who they are in all their raunchy innocence, and don’t insult filmgoers’ knowledge of the world by tying bonnets on adolescent boys like piglet Wilbur in the baby buggy.


Hm. Appalachian Spring. I didn’t get all the way through this and I thought there was something a little “slight” about the history. But then, I was reading it while waiting to see if my laptop was dead dead, or just partially dead. It wasn’t him, it was me. My attention was elsewhere. Because you know I’m in the Alex Ross claque, for sure.

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