Pandemic Pessimism

Happy belated Vernal Equinox everybody! Trigger warning: Two dark thoughts. 1. Am I the only one who’s been having trouble mentally separating the current pandemic from climate change? As far as I know, there’s no concrete connection. But my intuition says there just has to be, especially since global warning is how we’ve long grown… Continue reading Pandemic Pessimism

Luddite to My Own Devices

By the way everybody, I’ve avoided mentioning this until now but feel I must note this major landmark in life: I am embarrassed to report that two weeks ago I finally threw up the white flag, capitulating to the 21st Century by purchasing one of those smart phone things, mainly because the dumb-phone technology I… Continue reading Luddite to My Own Devices

Glitter Rock beats Glam to the NY Times

I haven’t held under a microscope all 687 pages of the copy of Simon Reynolds’s 2016 tome Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century that I picked up at the late great Ed Ward’s estate sale to verify this, but I’m more and more convinced that almost… Continue reading Glitter Rock beats Glam to the NY Times

Dropping “Acid Rock” in the NY Times Etc.

As far as I could tell at the time, “acid rock” was a term already falling fast out of favor by the time I actively started paying attention to music in 1979. By the mid ’80s, I’d tripped over it somewhere deep in my memory’s crevices without comprehending precisely what it had referred to —… Continue reading Dropping “Acid Rock” in the NY Times Etc.

Rock & Roll Hall of Facebook

I have never actually cared who gets into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; never will. Made fun of it for years — still think it’s meaningless. But they started sending me ballots several years back, and hey, voting’s kinda fun. As is letting facebook friends try to guess who I’m voting for. For… Continue reading Rock & Roll Hall of Facebook

No More Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Schoolly D

Schoolly D got to Gangsta Land before N.W.A and was better and funnier about it and Led Zeppelin have hip-hop connections (see also Beastie Boys, Puff Daddy, etc.) and it’s not called the Rock Hall of Fame anyway and rock & roll isn’t the same as rock and actually it’s spelled rock’n’roll and rock’n’roll included… Continue reading No More Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Schoolly D

The NY Times Discovers Rap and Hip-Hop

My goal was to unearth the earliest writing about rap music in the daily paper of record serving the metropolis that gave birth to said form. Like the term “punk rock,” prehistoric New York Times appearances of which I catalogued last week, It’s fairly simple to archivally search “rap music” or “hip-hop.” But not so… Continue reading The NY Times Discovers Rap and Hip-Hop

Pre-Punk Rock “Punk Rock” in the NY Times

Alice Cooper, ’60s garage bands, Slade, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, whatever ’60s rock Manhattan Transfer covered, Suzi Quatro, Tuff Darts, (Un)holy Modal Rounders, Runaways — Those took us through the the middle of 1976. On July 2 of that year, a John Rockwell “Pop Life” column about CBGB bands noted their “tendency toward Velvet Undergroundish… Continue reading Pre-Punk Rock “Punk Rock” in the NY Times

150 Best Albums of 2013

Complaints about Beyoncé not taking home the Album of the Year Grammy the same year she broke the record for Most Grammys Ever remind me a lot of Public Enemy (who didn’t give a fuck about a goddamn Grammy but graciously wound up performing this year anyway) complaining about being treated unfairly by music critics… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2013

120 Best Albums of 2022

“For now, [Matt] Gaetz seeks to project a victor’s air of comity. ‘I am not some Lord of the Flies nihilist,’ he said in a recent interview.” –New York Times, 29 January 2023 Presumably Times reporter Robert Draper means “comity” in the sense of “courtesy and considerate behavior toward others” rather than “an association of nations for… Continue reading 120 Best Albums of 2022