Browser: Peter Gabriel. Bad preachers. Leonard Cohen. White Stripes. Laura Gibson. Mark Helprin. Sonic Youth. Anti-antidepressants.

The Browser: News & links to raise your eyebrows & furrow your brow. New headlines may be added as the day goes on. Stay tuned.

Peter Gabriel has withdrawn from the Oscars, and I don’t blame him. They want him to show up and perform only 65 seconds of his nominated song? They’re cramming all the songs into a medley that truncates each song? Give me a break! Hasn’t WALL-E suffered enough already? The year’s most critically celebrated motion picture was denied a Best Picture nomination and now the show’s producers are chopping up Peter Gabriel’s contribution?

Who are the big screen’s “most scandalous preachers”? Here’s a slideshow, but I can think of a few who aren’t pictured. For example: The Bishop in Ladyhawke. And what about Paul Dano’s preacher from There Will Be Blood?

What’s the most expensive concert ticket you’ve ever purchased? I’ll bet it cost a lot less than the upcoming Leonard Cohen show.

On Feb. 19, Leonard Cohen will give a rare live performance at the Beacon Theater in New York. It’s only one night, and there are way more fans than seats, so it’s no surprise that the tickets run a little high. But when Bob and I saw the price range online, our eyes bugged out: Upper balcony seats start at $289, lower balcony seats are $495, and the best orchestra seats are — wait for it — $3,450. Seriously. More than three grand.

Okay, so you heard about U2 on Letterman. Did you hear that The White Stripes are playing on Conan’s last Late Night?

NPR will stream Laura Gibson‘s Beasts of Seasons for free on the 16th.

Adam Walter is reading one of my favorite novels, Mark Helprin’s A Soldier of the Great War. And he’s posting his favorite quotes, like this one:

To see the beauty of the world is to put your hands on lines that run uninterrupted through life and through death. Touching them is an act of hope, for perhaps someone on the other side, if there is another side, is touching them, too.

Paste has details on the next Sonic Youth album.

Jim Hill’s update on Spielberg’s Lincoln movie.

Now I know what to get for a few particularly happy people in my life.

Okay, so you’ve all seen Letterman’s visit with Joaquin Phoenix from last night’s show, right? I won’t bother linking to it, because I don’t want to join the feeding frenzy. I’m 99% sure that Phoenix is just pulling a Boart-style stunt, an Andy Kaufman joke, as part of an ongoing project that’s being made into a documentary by Casey Affleck. But that hasn’t stopped the entertainment media from falling right into the trap.

However, I did chuckle over this easy shot from Letterman’s monologue:

How about this? A celebrity birthday. Today is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s birthday. I’m not saying how old she is, but from her house, she can see 50.

7 Responses to “Browser: Peter Gabriel. Bad preachers. Leonard Cohen. White Stripes. Laura Gibson. Mark Helprin. Sonic Youth. Anti-antidepressants.”

  1. Gaith Says:

    I’ve been waiting for Spielberg’s “Lincoln” movie for years…

    And I’m not at all convinced that Phoenix is faking it. Haven’t we seen how celebrity can warp minds? Look at Tom Cruise, a seemingly very intelligent guy, spewing his Scientology claptrap. My gut tells me he’s not playing, but I hope for his own sake that he is.

  2. Jared Says:

    Oy vey. The Oscar ceremony is how many hours, and they can’t spare a full 8-10 minutes to hear the *three* nominees in their entirety? If they need to save time that badly, they should just lump the two “Slumdog Millionaire” songs together . . . they sound pretty much the same anyway.

  3. Julio Says:

    There goes the one remaining reason I would have watched the Oscars this year. So what are they going to do now, a two minute, two song medley? Seriously, has anyone listened to “Down to Earth”? It’s a great song, but compressing down to 65 seconds would probably kill it.

  4. David Says:

    Speaking of falling into traps, I have to admit I don’t get all of the giggling and snorting over someone misattributing a quote to Sarah Palin.

    Then again, 50 is even older than Dave’s significant other, so maybe he should stop trying to throw too many stones in that glass house.

  5. closerlooker Says:


    The point of the joke was to have some fun with a line that came from the Palin campaign. It wasn’t meant as a mean jab at her age. And that’s why I chuckled.

  6. Peter T Chattaway Says:

    I don’t think Letterman is “misattributing” the quote to Palin; rather, he is milking a satire of Palin that has lingered in everyone’s mind because it seemed to capture an important aspect of Palin’s persona. When Katie Couric interviewed Palin some time after that SNL skit, and asked why being governor of Alaska gave her foreign-policy experience, Palin’s answer wasn’t much better than what Tina Fey’s version of Palin had said.

    It is interesting, though, how satires sometimes come to be mistaken for the real thing. I was surprised to learn a few years ago that Michael Dukakis never actually said “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy” during his campaign against George H.W. Bush. That, too, was a line from an SNL skit that took on a life of its own.

    Makes you wonder how many of the statements attributed to people in the past were really just parodies that got mistaken for reality.

  7. Bryan Rust Says:

    Glaring omission from the “Scandalous Pracher” group: Brad Dourif in “Wise Blood”. Oh, and after the service charges, my ticket for the Police reunion was $275.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.