Posts Tagged ‘America’

“I spent my first 19 years trying to escape my hometown of Neptune, made it out, then after a decade away, decided Neptune needed me and I needed it. I was wrong on both counts. Neptune didn’t need another private investigator. It needed an enema.”

Thus opens Season 4 of Veronica Mars, an eight-episode arc that is as enthralling and involving as the noir mystery’s first three seasons, which aired on UPN and CW from 2004 to 2007 (and now, like S4, are available only on Hulu). In Episode 1, Veronica struggles to pay the bills, mired not in the intriguing mysteries of yore, but the routine muck of private investigation: infidelity cases. I’d say that the tawdry has become commonplace, but to an extent the tawdry has been commonplace since she began helping her P.I. dad way back when.

In the original series, Veronica was a cynical gal toting more baggage than most; fifteen years later and that cynicism has hardened like the scar tissue it is. She thinks nothing of drinking too much, dropping ecstasy, or bugging a new friend, and enjoys her status-quo relationship with on-again boyfriend Logan less for the relationship and more for the status quo. (Commitment means trust, after all, and trust, due to that scar tissue, is beyond her.) Now, some of that does seem out of character for the Veronica we knew – but that Veronica occupies a different point on the spacetime continuum.

The multilayered mystery that plays out throughout Season 4 is well worth one’s time, whether one is new to the series or, like myself, a longtime fan. (If you’re new, double back and watch the series in full, then hop over to HBO and watch the film. It’s a great way to chase the August blues away.) Also, ignore those crying over its ending, which saw Veronica miss an important clue to detrimental effect. Without giving anything away, it sets up what should be – fingers crossed – an even better Season 5, with Veronica haunted by the miscue.

And, with that, here’s today’s Top 5: Veronica Mars, Season 4 (aka Songs Heard Therein).

1) Chrissie Hynde – “We Used to Be Friends.”


2) Mac Davis – “In the Ghetto.”

3) Mirah – “Counting.”

4) Idyll – “Trouble.”

5) America – “A Horse With No Name”

And one bonus…

6) Captain & Tennille – “Love Will Keep Us Together”

Yeah, yeah, yeah: I borrowed the title from S.E. Hinton, whose 1971 novel charts the different life paths that two close friends choose to take. Or did I borrow it from the Monkees, who had a Top 20 hit with a song of the same name in 1986?

You be the judge.

After this weekend’s prior Top 5s (March 1983 and January 1994), I think it only appropriate to feature some new music – what I’ve been grooving to for the past week, basically.

1) Courtney Marie Andrews – “Put the Fire Out.” As I wrote last week, Courtney’s album Honest Life is simply stunning – everything good about music can be found in its grooves (or bytes). Earlier this week, she released a video for “Put the Fire Out”…

2) Lucy Rose – “Floral Dresses.” The British singer-songwriter released this gem of a song, which features the Staves on harmonies, just a few days back.

3) The Staves – “Tired as Fuck.” And speaking of the Staves, who we’re slated to see this Thursday, there’s this single, released on Feb. 10th. It goes to show that even a profanity can be made to sound heavenly….

4) The Staves – “America.” And here the Staves are again, in a video released just two days back, singing this wondrous song (from their 2015 Blood I Bled EP) in a recent soundcheck.

5) Savannah Phylaw – “Love Remains.” The San Diego-based singer-songwriter, who I discovered via Twitter, released this song at the end of last year.

There is much to be said about Tuesday’s presidential election, but the biggest takeaway is this: For the second time in 12 years, and only the fifth time since America’s founding, the candidate who received less votes won.

The outcome is a result of the arcane Electoral College and per-state approach of the founders, who had little faith in the will of the people. As Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist Papers, the final decision on who should be president was the domain of “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station.” He and his brethren wanted to insure that “the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

(That same lack of faith is why senators also weren’t directly elected. Until 1913, state legislators selected them.)

In practice, however, the Electoral College is a rubber-stamp vessel whose voters almost always cast their lot with the will of their states. And that’s why crooked carnival barker Donald Trump will be the next president of these United States.

It is what it is, unfortunately.

While there is much more that I could say, I’ll leave it with this: the first order of business Trump and the congressional Republicans should do is to dismantle the Statue of Liberty and ship it back to France. Their America is not about liberty, freedom or welcoming “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” As I wrote last week, to them, it’s not a land made for you and me; it’s a land of us versus them.

Anyway, for today’s Top 5: Freewheelin’ First Aid Kit.


(I borrowed the photo from FAK’s official Facebook page.)

1) First Aid Kit – “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

2) First Aid Kit – “With God on Our Side”

3) First Aid Kit – “It Ain’t Me Babe”

4) First Aid Kit – “One More Cup of Coffee.”

5) First Aid Kit – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

And one non-Dylan bonus:

First Aid Kit – “America”


We have not been here before, though our communal maps app has certainly brought us nearby. Heated elections come and go, and people on both sides of the divide become riled up and positive that the opposition is condoning no less than the destruction of these United States of America. That’s par for the course… but openly advocating rebellion and assassination if one’s candidate loses?! That’s sheer insanity.


… and I wrote the above as part of a rather lengthy critique-endorsement (and, of course, Top 5) that I’ve decided to hold off on publishing until the end of this month, when its appearance will undoubtedly sway the legions of undecided voters – or, at least, my cat – to my way of thinking. Until then, here’s this top five; make of it what you will.

  1. Peter, Paul & Mary – “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

2) Lone Justice – “Fortunate Son.”

3) Stephen Stills & Manassas – “Fallen Eagle.”

4) Bob Dylan – “Idiot Wind.”

5) Neil Young – “Rockin’ in the Free World.”