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Fab Four Plus Fifty, the Hard Way

10 August 2014

The power of the Beatles was not immediately obvious. To those of us who first heard them in 1964, the nasal accents and plagal harmonies seemed a logical extension of our rock sensibility.

Spies Like Us

26 July 2014

Walter Isaacson's review of A Spy Among Friends, the latest study of British double agent Kim Philby, is itself a study in meta-narrative. Philby led a notorious ring of Cambridge-educated spies and distinguished himself as the best Soviet mole ever to penetrate the U.K.'s intelligence leadership.

Begin Again - Music for the Disingenuous

12 July 2014

Keira Knightley plays the latest incarnation of this well-trodden character, a disturbingly photogenic singer-songwriter whose caddish boyfriend-collaborator first feeds from and then genuflects before her tentative accomplishments.