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The Music Files: The Evolution of Robin Thicke

By Jason Kettinger | Jul 15, 2010 at 12:39 AM

The second of four releases by Robin Thicke in 2006, the Evolution of Robin Thicke made him a star. As a journey through sixteen tracks, this album is tantalizingly uneven. Even so, if the next releases ever add up to a total album, this guy will be on top of the world.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Pictures Need Captions if They're to Be Worth a Thousand Words

By Dennis Powell | Jul 07, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Who are these people? What is this place? If I had a dime for every time I’ve asked those questions in the last week, I’d be well-set financially.

The View From Mudsock Heights: A Dreaded Task Brings My Sister and Me in Touch with Long-Dead Relatives

By Dennis Powell | Jun 27, 2010 at 10:06 PM

The attic was hot, very dusty in a way that attics full of boxes can be, and peculiarly exciting. My family has usually succeeded in resisting an alarming tradition, that of getting rid of everything a relative owned as soon as possible after his or her death. When my mom died three summers ago, all her stuff got packed into boxes and taken to the attic of my sister’s house in Milwaukee. Now my sister was moving and my mother’s possessions needed to be dealt with.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Memories of an Old Vacation Spark New Appreciation of How Safe We Are Right Here

By Dennis Powell | Jun 20, 2010 at 12:38 AM

Looking at the old picture, I had to laugh. I took it in the summer of 1986 in the Texas panhandle, while on vacation with my girlfriend. She was from New England and had as much knowledge of the space between there and California as most of us have of, say, Madagascar. This is not a condition at all unusual in the northeast.

The Music Files: Memory Almost Full

By Jason Kettinger | Jun 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM

I found Paul McCartney's 2007 album, Memory Almost Full lying around my house. Though I am young and conservative after a fashion — having grown tired of the insipid statism and relentless conventional wisdom that emanates from the generation which gave us the Beatles — I thought this 2007 release would be intriguing. And it was.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Corporations are Insensitive to the Needs and Feelings of -- Me

By Dennis Powell | Jun 13, 2010 at 4:25 PM

We live in a time in which the greatest offenses one can commit include hurting someone’s feelings. A day does not pass that we do not hear of the need for “sensitivity training” for the “unenlightened” transgressors among us.

The Music Files: A Love Story

By Jason Kettinger | May 22, 2010 at 12:13 AM

Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was so omnipresent during the 1990s that I’m sure many fans of pop and R&B were sick of him. The soundtracks, the monster hits for every artist from Boyz II Men to Madonna to Toni Braxton to the 1996 Olympic theme song – he owned the music world. So, why did some of his best work ever end up never being released?

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Way to Deal With the Alien Invasion is to Find Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them

By Dennis Powell | May 06, 2010 at 12:43 AM

It was bound to happen, sometime. Indeed, two-thirds of the way through my sixth decade, with most of it spent near them, it surprises me it didn’t happen sooner.

The View from Mudsock Heights: We Have a Unique Place in the Legend and Lore of Mining

By Dennis Powell | Apr 15, 2010 at 1:06 AM

There’s something about mining, and miners. We view those who go deep in the ground in a certain way, the way the Irish think of the men who go to sea.

Talking Tiger

By Jason Kettinger | Apr 12, 2010 at 2:17 PM

The truth is I liked Tiger too much. I liked his youth, his ethnicity, his arrogance. Call me one who simply favors a front-runner, but I like excellence. At the least, I admire dominant athletes and teams as much as I hate them.

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