Archive for the ‘Nell Freudenberger’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: BARENAKED LADIES-“Fight the Power” (1993).

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” is one of the greatest anthems of the late 80s and 90s.  It’s got everything: noise, strength, rebellion great lyrics and Chuck D.  So, what can five white Canadians do with it?

Well, they keep the intensity of the song very strong–even in an acoustic setting–by overloading their version with a whole mess of music.  Between the noisy piano, the occasional sound effects and the fantastic noisy drumming, they manage to really capture what a great “song” this is (as opposed to being a powerful anthem and protest).  Divorced from the awesome cacophony of the original, you realize that it’s really catchy, too.

BNL are usually goofy, and they do put a bit of nonsense in the song (during the Elvis was a hero to most section).  And they clean up one of the words, with a great twist (changing “motherfuck” to David Duke” in “David Duke him and John Wayne).

BNL has been performing this song for years.  Their first version appeared on The Yellow Tape [1991] (a much simpler version with drums, bass and two vocals).  But this version (which as far as I can tell only appears on the Coneheads soundtrack, ugh) is really solid and (aside from the fact that nobody’s voice could ever compare to Chuck D’s) sounds like an good Unplugged version of the track.

[READ: September 14, 2010] “An Arranged Marriage”

Freudenberger is one of the New Yorker‘s 20 Under 40.  I have to say I was (unfairly) surprised that a story written by a woman named Freudenberger was about a woman named Amina who lived in Bangladesh.

Nevertheless, the story was a good one and was an interesting twist on the concept of the titular arranged marriage.  Amina meets George online at AsianEuro.com (after having met several men who were not what they said they were).  Amina (and her parents) had always planned for her to move to America.  Somehow.   She had considered applying for a college degree, but found that even that was prohibitively expensive.  So why not, as the Voice of America radio suggested, find a mate? (more…)

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This week’s New Yorker contains a list of the 20 authors under age 40 that they predict we’ll be talking about for years to come.  Their criteria:

did we want to choose the writers who had already proved themselves or those whom we expected to excel in years to come? A good list, we came to think, should include both.

They have published eight of these authors in the current issue and are publishing the remaining 12 over the next 12 weeks.  I’m particularly excited that they chose to do this now.  Since I’m currently involved in two big book projects, it’s convenient to be able to read a whole bunch of short stories to intersperse between big posts.

I’ve read half of the authors already (likely in The New Yorker and McSweeney‘s).  And have heard of many of the others.   The list is below: (more…)

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