Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
What should we talk about? The weather? Even after the winter-long cavalcade of wild cats, this is the March that came in like a lion and is leaving like one too.
Music? R.I.P. Chuck Berry. I can’t pretend I was a huge fan—among early rock ’n’ rollers, I prefer Bo Diddley and Little Richard, among others—and Berry was definitely one of those people where you have to separate the art from the artist, but his influence on popular music is incalculable. It’s almost always a mistake to say someone was the “inventor” or the “first,” and I won’t credit Berry with anything like that, but musicians all around the around the world are still writing books with the musical vocabulary he conjured some 60 years ago. And he could write a great song. “Memphis, Tennessee” is my favorite—a poignant little story with a good beat, and you can dance to it.
Movies? Go see Get Out. Our movie guy, Bob Grimm, reviewed it a couple of weeks ago, and his piece is pretty spot on—although I think I liked it even more than Bob did. I love how it uses classic horror movie storytelling techniques to examine some hard truths about race relations in this country. It’s not preachy or anything. It’s actually really funny—and the humor never undercuts the horror. There are neat allusions to classic, socially minded horror flicks like Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby, but it’s a totally original creation. One neat twist is that it actually gives a little heroism to the most universally disparaged law enforcement agency in this country.
Politics? Yep, Trump is still a liar. That tweet about Obama wiretapping him was straight-up BS. His budget and policies are great for defense contractors and oil companies, and bad for poor people, artists, scientists, immigrants, the sick, the elderly, the environment, Muppets, historians and the future. But FBI director James Comey confirmed that his ties to Russia are the subject of an official investigation. It’s only a matter of time.