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Good morning, Andrew Alexander, ombudsman of WaPo and all-around good guy. Read your column this morning about WaPo’s decision to offer movie listings “free of charge”—meaning that you will no longer be charging AMC Entertainment and Regal to provide you with editorial content. Welcome to the club, I say! But also, know this: Paying for movie listings—even as smart phone users switch to Fandango—isn’t a “public service” (though I suppose those are Romenesko’s words, not yours). Listings are genuine editorial content, like weather maps, baseball scores, gossip columns, and bogus-ass Global Warming Denialism op-eds. So maybe let your people know that as long as they expect to put out a paper, they need to give moviegoers with old-person phones and no interest in the ramblings of M. Pantsuits With Wolves a reason to plunk down TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY FUCKING CENTS for your paper. Cheers!
–Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs has had a helluva a time of it in the music industry. Check out this anecdote about his A&R guy at Virgin, courtesy of Post Rock: “I’d go to the office and play him new stuff and he’d literally have a guitar in his office and pick it up and play along with the songs. Upon first listen, playing along! Not even really listening. I don’t know. It was belittling. Like, what are you doing? Just [expletive] put the guitar down and listen. Or else I’m leaving! I’m not sitting here while you learn my songs. It was ridiculous. It was really weird. It was a power play. I think it was all just a power trip.” (NOTE TO POST ROCK: QUIT DELETING EXPLETIVES!)
– Robert motherfucking Christgau profiles the XX at NPR: “As a rule, minimalism can be a bore, a con or both. But The xx’s minimalism captivated me right from the spare instrumental opener. And I’m not the only one.” No, Bob, you’re not. I heart XX.
– The VQR talks Nabokov. The rest of the world, filled as it is with shameless gawkers and slack-jawed tools, is still talking Tiger. If you must read about Tiger, read Chris Jones on how the scandal hit home. Spoiler alert: Jones’ mom did not bone the golfer.