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No Country for Old Men {2007}.

No Country for Old Men, a 2007 existential noir western thriller by Joel and Ethan Coen, examines the dilemma of Llewelyn Moss {Josh Brolin}, who somewhat inadvertently ends up in the crosshairs of, among others, sociopathic assassin/operative Anton Chigurh {Javier Bardem}, a most singular character with a ruthless code and nihilism to spare. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell {Tommy Lee Jones} wants to help Moss, but, though plenty smart and resourceful, he realizes with the likes of Chigurh, whom he wryly and despairingly describes as a ghost, he’s in over his head; he’s dealing with a new kind of human. New, yet as old and implacable as the unforgiving landscape.

It is the uncanny accomplishment of the Coens to have rendered an extraordinarily nuanced environment where everything means something, yet nothing means anything. The interface of chance and inevitability is front and center.

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Mr. Lee Hazlewood.

Lee Hazlewood came to be known as a songwriter for, and vocalist with, the wonderful Nancy Sinatra. His gravelly baritone was the perfect compliment to Sinatra’s pure-as-gold pipes. But he was far, far more than that. Listening to his solo material, it’s hard not to be won over by the deadpan idiosyncrasies that pervade his songs and delivery. Wry humour, outright quirkiness, and a wistful sense of loss are Lee’s calling cards. A wonderful musician, the leading light of “Cowboy Psychedelia”. But most importantly, he’s utterly, unapologetically himself.

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Nick Lowe: Underrated Pantheon Inhabitant.

“Ol’ Drain”, as Mr. Nick Lowe is called in some circles {i.e.: The None}—it’s his middle name, and a fine one—wears more than a few musical hats, and pulls it all off in such fashion as would create, probably, a dither of aesthetic paroxysms in any milliner or hatter. Earlier on, (than…??) Lowe, often with mate Dave Edmunds, in Rockpile, showed an uncanny talent for creating clever, charming, quite diabolically catchy songs that perhaps represented the very embodiment , the K2-like apotheosis, of Pure Pop Wonderment. Really…well, it was not fair. One had little to no choice but to come ’round to the man’s idiosyncratic ways. No one, however, minded, it seemed; either that, or such monumental courtesy was shown to Nick {OK, I’ll love it…} that it exceeded the amount shown to any other mammalian, extant or extinct.

Addendum: The Lowe classic Cruel to be Kind, in its promo video, features footage from Nick’s wedding in 1979, with Carlene Carter. There’s a reason that video is so genuinely touching.