About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Liveblogging Whitney Houston’s Funeral

    By Kyle | February 16, 2012

    The ceremonies will be live-streamed. EW promises a live blog about it. And the slightly queasy feeling in my stomach grows. Ugh.
    I’d be sympathetic to genuine displays of emotion, if there are to be any. The staged, publicity-seeking variety is kind of revolting.

    Topics: Music | 1 Comment »

    Party for Whitney

    By Kyle | February 13, 2012

    The bizarrely festive atmosphere surrounding Whitney Houston’s death on Grammy weekend has me puzzled. This was the most successful female singer of the era, and a frequent presence on the Grammys. Did anyone consider postponing? Nah. Was there soul-searching, reflection on the excesses of the pop-star life, on the damage wrought by global fame at a young age, on the enabling that goes on around someone whose increasingly diva-ish and self-destructive behavior is shrugged off?

    Much the opposite. The music industry seemed to revel in the spotlight being cast on it, with Whitney’s death merely the unfortunate inciting mechanism. The party went on in the very hotel where her body lay. Rihanna said, “Make some noise for Whitney!” as though applause and whoops were the appropriate reaction to a decades-premature demise. The Grammy ceremony itself included only perfunctory mentions of Houston. And everyone went on jamming and jiving and preening as usual.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Topics: Music | 5 Comments »

    And the Most Depressing Song of All Time Is…

    By Kyle | February 2, 2012

    Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.? Nah.

    Topics: Music | 10 Comments »

    Banned from Zuccotti Park

    By Kyle | December 15, 2011

    It turns out not just anyone can promote a political speech at Zuccotti Park: pro-American rock band “Madison Rising” was denied a permit to perform on the same spot where Jackson Browne and Tom Morello of “Rage Against the Machine” played. Todd Seavey has more about what it’s like to rock hard while leaning right.

    Topics: Music, New York City | No Comments »

    The Conservative Case for Taylor Swift

    By Kyle | December 2, 2011

    Amity Shlaes takes a break from her superb financial-historical writing to make an argument for Taylor Swift as the pro-parent, anti-bully (and anti-Miley) role model for young girls. Interesting stuff. It’s touching that her song “Best Day” is about driving around with her mom laughing it off after suffering from Mean Girls at school.

    Topics: Music | 1 Comment »

    John Lennon Loved Reagan?

    By Kyle | August 18, 2011

    I’m not sure I believe this story from Lennon’s assistant Fred Seaman about the boss’s alleged love for Reagan.
    Lennon died a month after Reagan was elected. His last album was in some ways a rebuke to his own save-the-world-ism and a return to individual and family values, though, and his hair wasn’t a whole lot longer than Jimmy Carter’s when he died.

    Topics: Music | 2 Comments »

    Baby You Can Drive His Car

    By Kyle | June 2, 2011

    Paul McCartney’s 1967 Lamborghini is for sale, expected to fetch $200,000. Seems a little low, no? Kind of a unique item. Marlon Brando’s driver’s license and Jackie O’s fake pearls sold for tens of thousands, didn’t they?

    Topics: Music | 2 Comments »

    Bob Dylan, Legal Superstar

    By Kyle | May 13, 2011

    Via Instapundit: This scholar has compiled a study (one-click download up top) of all the times Bob Dylan has been cited in court opinions. I’m kind of proud that the first-ever Supreme Court cite was made by a Republican (John Roberts), who noted in 2008, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” I’m slightly ashamed that Roberts misquoted the line (from “Like a Rolling Stone”), which of course is actually, “When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.” Roberts’ clerk must have checked with Dylan’s Web site, which gets the lyric wrong in the same way.

    Topics: Music | No Comments »

    Keith Richards Dances About Architecture

    By Kyle | November 5, 2010

    An elegant and appreciative post by Mike Potemra explores Keith Richards’ love for music and appreciation of his blues forebears.

    Topics: Music | No Comments »

    George, Bruce and Steve, or: You Never Finish the Hat

    By Kyle | October 30, 2010

    A couple of nifty gifties to keep in mind are two projects that illuminate creativity. Anyone who has ever produced any creative project of note will report (often with bewilderment) that the question people most often pose of him is, “Where do you get your ideas?” “From my head” seems an unsatisfying answer; people want to hear about a secret path to a markdown ideas superstore that they, too, might patronize in order to bake up something of excellence or at least of profit.

    Both “Finishing the Hat,” a compendium of Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics (no. 16 on Amazon!), and “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town” are portraits of the obligations of genius. “Hat hat hat hat hat hat hat hat,” sings George Seurat, the obsessively punctilious pointilist who furnished Sondheim with one of his most Sondheim-ish heroes in “Sunday in the Park with George.” “Stick, stick, stick, stick, stick” intones Bruce Springsteen in 1978 in a farmhouse in New Jersey, telling his suffering drummer Max Weinberg that every beat he produces is accompanied by an irritating-to-Springsteen but-inaudible-to-others undertone of raw drumstick striking the drum surface.

    “Where do your ideas come from” is a question that presupposes there is some more efficient, more lovely, and much easier detour to artistic triumph than chain-gang-style hard work. As Seurat, Springsteen and Sondheim show us, it’s obsessive and even unhappy dedication — brain sweat — that make art. “More than anything, more than being rich or famous — or happy –” Springsteen says (I paraphrase) near the beginning of the HBO documentary “The Promise,” “I wanted to be great.” Springsteen’s crew exists in a black-and-white world of airless, womanless drab, going over and over dozens of songs in an effort to find enough great tracks to fill the album. One song, “The Promise,” involved three months of intense labor — and was ultimately discarded by Springsteen as not good enough.

    Sondheim’s Seurat paints a hat as his woman leaves him. Does he throw down the brush and chase after her?

    Yes, she looks for me-good.
    Let her look for me to tell me why she left me-
    As I always knew she would.
    I had thought she understood.
    They have never understood,
    And no reason that they should.
    But if anybody could…
    Finishing the hat,
    How you have to finish the hat.
    How you watch the rest of the world
    From a window
    While you finish the hat.

    Topics: Books, Music | 3 Comments »

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