His Nation’s Saving Face

So, where’s the best place to read about Mark E. Smith’s politics? Like, where did he stand on Brexit, for instance? What was that “obliguh-tree (n-word)” line all about? Have to admit, I’ve always been curious — But I’ve also always been either too lazy or too maybe-don’t-really-wanna-know to research it. I mean, I do… Continue reading His Nation’s Saving Face

Every Day I’m Shuffling

How much of the music you listen to digitally do you listen to on shuffle, random play, whatever? For me, give or take work necessities, it’s close to 100%. I only stream, never download, and almost never listen to albums all the way through on line. But my supposed extreme anti-rockist (he actually calls himself… Continue reading Every Day I’m Shuffling

Poker Face Soundtrack the White Christian Crypto-Nazi Dumbass Revolution

Have yet to identify any Upper Midwest Christian Militia Hard Rock bands (though they’ve gotta be out there — c’mon, Washtenaw County and Sandusky? I wonder if those vigilantes ever do maneuvers at Cedar Point.) But George Smith alerts me to a band named Poker Face “linked to by hutaree.com. You go out to their website, they have… Continue reading Poker Face Soundtrack the White Christian Crypto-Nazi Dumbass Revolution

150 Best Albums of 2009

Depending on who you asked about music at the time, 2009 was apparently either a year that everything died, everything changed, everything went wrong, or nothing happened. Well okay, maybe you can say that for pretty much every year. And most people, who understandably never cared much about music in 2009 in the first place,… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2009

Songs of the Days, 2008

Somehow I got paid to write these for Rolling Stone‘s website, where I’m still not sure anybody ever read them — including me, come to think of it. The Ted Leo song has the surprising distinction of being the only download in my life I’ve ever spent money on. Don’t worry, I got reimbursed. Then… Continue reading Songs of the Days, 2008

150 Best Albums of 2008

It was the Barack Obama of times, it was the Sarah Palin of times. In retrospect maybe we should have put two and two together and figured out where the potential first Black president on the top of one party’s ticket and the know-nothing Tea Party huckster on the bottom of the other party’s might… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2008

150 Best Albums of 2007

In October 2007 Sasha Frere-Jones published a 3500-word essay titled “A Paler Shade of White” in The New Yorker, lamenting how indie rock had forfeited the rhythmic and vocal inspiration from Black music that had made rock’n’roll special in the first place and later distinguished the post-punk Frere-Jones himself had fallen for during his own… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2007

Shielding Kids From Pop Culture

One good way to limit kids’ exposure to crass materialism — not 100% successful, in my long parenting experience, since peer factors will eventually come into play, but sometimes successful — is to bring them up going to lots of garage sales and flea markets and thrift stores, so they realize prices in places like malls are a ripoff.… Continue reading Shielding Kids From Pop Culture

150 Best Albums of 2006

Depending on what tastemaking machine you hitch your speedwagon to, the best album of 2006 was by Bob Dylan (Pazz & Jop, Rolling Stone) or TV on the Radio (Idolator, Spin) or the Hold Steady (Onion A.V. Club) or Arctic Monkeys (N.M.E., Q) or Decemberists (Paste) or the Knife (Pitchfork) or Ali Farka Toure (Metacritic)… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2006

What’s So Dramatic About 21st Century TV?

I’m not one of those people who thinks The Sopranos wrecked television, though I kind of get where they’re coming from. Tom Carson:  “I may be alone in this, but I could make a good argument that The Sopranos RUINED TV. The medium was a lot more original when it wasn’t ‘art.’ And I’d rather… Continue reading What’s So Dramatic About 21st Century TV?