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Philip Martin

Photo of Philip Martin

MovieStyle Editor/Columnist

MovieStyle Editor, columnist

Recent Stories by Philip Martin

Critical Mass: Groundbreaker: Singer known for country rock, his work with The Byrds eschewed labels

posted: 07/15/2018 2:19 a.m. Comment 1

The human impulse is to categorize, to sort and to label collections of things we imagine have something in common. When we encounter something new we tend to think it is like this or not like that. Maybe it is simply a mental convention, a dog-trotted path worn smooth on our collective cerebral cortex. Power comes from naming things.

On Books: Ace Atkins is no Larry Brown -- but he's not junk

posted: 07/15/2018 2:18 a.m. Discuss

I miss Larry Brown. We spent some time together here and in his hometown of Oxford, Miss. It's hard to believe he has been dead for 14 years.

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: News flash: Rich white guy doesn't want you to vote

posted: 07/15/2018 1:51 a.m. Comments 2

"I will do many things for my country, but I will not pretend that the careers of, say, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt involve serious philosophical differences."

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Leave No Trace' shows us that human beings — flawed and misguided — have an instinct for decency

posted: 07/13/2018 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Debra Granik's latest movie Leave No Trace opens in the braky, lush and verdant jungles of Oregon. A man and a girl are camping, going about essential tasks with wordless efficiency. He splits wood for a fire with a camp shovel, she uses a knife to carve curls on feather sticks. They forage for mushrooms, boil eggs, capture rainwater for drinking. They play chess. Somehow it emerges that they are not just here for the weekend, that they are homeless in paradise.

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: Not voting is not an option

posted: 07/10/2018 5:30 a.m. Comments 3

I used to think not voting was a viable option for an American citizen.

Critical Mass: Williams’ Vanished Gardens glows

posted: 07/08/2018 2:43 a.m. Discuss

Little Rock National Public Radio affiliate KUAR-FM used to feature a program called Haney's Jazz -- the host, Don Haney, died in 2015 -- that positioned itself as a showcase for "jazz that makes sense," which meant jazz that contained discernible melody lines. Oscar Peterson and Count Basie were staples of the show; Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis were not. Haney's Jazz meant to reassure and entertain its audience, not challenge them.

OPINION: A virtuous music listener

posted: 07/08/2018 1:55 a.m. Discuss

I'm grateful to the reader who alerted me to Chris Richards' earnest essay "The Five Hardest Questions in Pop Music" that appeared in the Washington Post last Monday. In the piece Richards worries about "questions about cultural appropriation, problematic lyricism, selling out, the ethics of posthumous listening, and the slippery white whale of 21st-century cultural criticism, 'separating the art from the artist.'"

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: The enemies of the people

posted: 07/03/2018 3:05 a.m. Comments 11

I hate it when people in our business start talking--or worse, writing--about how noble they are to do this work.

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: You have to catch the ball

posted: 07/01/2018 5:30 a.m. Discuss

I had a thing to do Wednesday night, so I didn't see the Razorback baseball game.

Critical Mass: Deconstructing the legend of a hit king

posted: 07/01/2018 2:49 a.m. Discuss

A dozen years ago I wrote about a four-volume biography of Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson, a 19th-century baseball player some believe is the most important figure ever -- bigger than Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson. Anson was not only the game's first great hitter, but the man primarily responsible for the color line that existed in major league baseball until Robinson and Branch Rickey broke it.

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