Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The wrap is digging January sunrises

Payola, bling bling, Columbus Ohio, Brendan Harrison, trolls, red carpet politics, the death of the critic (again), air-horns etc

Circus elephants crossing New York's Queensboro Bridge in 1959. Photo: William C. Eckenberg/The New York Times

Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 09:55


(1) You’ve come to the wrong place if you want alternative facts, but what about some real facts on new US prez Donald Trump? Politico’s Michael Kruse brought together the new White House resident’s biographers Gwenda Blair, Michael D’Antonio and Tim O’Brien for a deep dive into Trumpology. “He won’t listen to anyone in a meaningful way, and he never has listened to anyone outside of his core group and family at the Trump Organization for decades, and that’s not going to change.”

(2) The best sports pieces are the ones which introduce you to a world and characters you usually have no interest in. I wouldn’t recognise Mayo football back Brendan Harrison if he came up and tackled me for a chocolate biscuit, but Keith Duggan’s profile of him from the paper on Saturday is a pretty ace piece of sportswriting which colours in the lines and fleshes out the shapes.

(3) It’s the red carpet season and here’s a guide to who is making cash from who wears what. Plus, more from the image department, the science of selfies.

(4) You’ll miss us when we’re gone, right? “Critics at newspapers are dying off even faster than print journalism. Theatre critics, film reviewers, A&E editors, and arts writers of every kind have been stripped from dailies and weeklies around the country.”

(5) Trolls department: how it took less than a decade for the internet to become unmanageable

(6) Kirk Franklin was one of the dudes who shone on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”, but there’s a lot, a whole lot, more to him than that guest spot as Vinson Cunningham’s fanastic New Yorker profile shows.

(7) Oral history department: how “bling bling” went from the projects of New Orleans to the pages of Merriam-Webster.

(8) The story of how Columbus, Ohio of all places became home to many of fashion’s biggest brands.

(9) I came across Fredric Dannen’s Hit Men at the weekend while moving books around the gaff, that superb tale of the hustlers, chancers and crooks who ran the record business for years and createed hits by paying radio DJs or station bosses to play certain records. Payola is still around, albeit of a different stripe as Allyson McCabe reports for NPR

(10) How the air-horn became a hip-hop staple