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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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  • The Mad Genius of Brian Wilson

    By Kyle | June 25, 2012

    George Will has the Beach Boys as avatars of freedom, of a glorious sunshine-y Reagan/Goldwater individualism that could not be farther from today’s California, which is more or less an organized conspiracy of the careless rich and the government-dependent poor, abetted by an influential middle of government workers….Michael Anton of the Claremont Review of Books has a wonderful long-ish essay about Brian Wilson, “Smile” and the politics of the Beach Boys. Says Anton:

    Yet despite their incomprehensibility, the lyrics for Smile remain fresh because of the music’s optimism and exuberant innocence. That beneficent Southern California sun shines through in every word. Though penned in the mid ’60s, there is scarcely a trace of the America-bashing then sweeping the intellectual and artistic classes. The Boys—and especially Brian—certainly succumbed to the carnal temptations of the time. But they never bought into the dystopic New Left vision of “AmeriKKKa.” In 1983, President Reagan’s buffoonish Secretary of the Interior James Watt canceled a planned Beach Boys concert in Washington, claiming that the Boys drew “the wrong element.” Both the president and the vice president publicly demurred; Watt was forced to relent. President and Mrs. Reagan warmly received the Boys at the White House. They later performed—gratis—before more than half a million fans on the National Mall. Front man Mike Love described singing on the Fourth of July in the heart of the nation’s capital as the greatest moment of his life.

    Topics: Music | No Comments »

    “Blood on the Tracks” the Movie

    By Kyle | April 5, 2012

    I don’t think it’ll work but someone is giving it a try. By the way: Has anyone ever noticed that despite the raging genius on side one, side two of the album is … not that great?

    Topics: Music | 1 Comment »

    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 »

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