“This is the age of Genesis, the beginning. Of Genesis, of ‘Where’s the beef?’ and Cabbage Patch Dolls. Of benefits for Ethiopia, & Ethiopia jokes. Of Prince and the Revolution, David Bowie and the Police (always the age of the Beatles of course). Of teenage sex movies (Porky’s, Class, etc.) and of horror movies (Friday… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 1984
Have been wanting to post this for quite a while now, but my hard copy is too blurry to be legible. Now that the Boston Phoenix archives are on line, though — problem solved! I hope. As for Salt-N-Pepa, one single I write about here became their first pop hit — and, let’s be honest,… Continue reading Two Salt-N-Pepa singles, 1988
What’s most surprising now is that eight-track tapes were even still available at all by New Year’s Day, 1982 — or that eight-tracks were ever considered “venerable” in the first place. Nonetheless, plenty of good quaint context in this journalistically written college feature: Bow Wow Wow, R.O.I.R., Walkmen, “ghetto blasters,” smaller cars… Plus I like… Continue reading Cassettes! The Wave of the Future!
Posted more for socio-historical interest, than because it’s any good: A confusing college-daily-paper trend piece, conflating at least two different kinds of music (am I talking about new wave or talking about funk? why can’t I make up my mind?) and tossing in a questionable anti-disco subtext to make things even more disingenuous. Rap and… Continue reading DOR! The Wave of the Future!
To be honest I have no opinion at all about the band, who I’d never given more than 30 seconds thought to before this week. Though I did mention them in print once, 31 years ago — hence my current quandary. I vaguely remember confusing Long Island’s Psychotic Frogs with the Psychedelic Furs when I… Continue reading A Psychotic Frog Hates Me
Most of the music Joshua Clover (a/k/a the Associate Professor Formerly Known as Jane Dark) writes about in his 2009 book 1989 did not technically come out in 1989. The book explores music at the end of history — which is to say, circa the revolutionary collapse of communism across the Eastern Bloc and less-successful… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 1989
Three of the five albums focused on here made it into Stairway to Hell a few years later, which means plenty of the writing did, as well. But not all of it — including, I’m fairly certain, the battle of the bands between Mötley Crüe and Pussy Galore, and the too-soon Peter Tosh (R.I.P. 9/11/’87)… Continue reading False Metal Roundup, 1987
I listen to jazz, particularly of post-bebop persuasions, much more than my writing would imply — check just about any of the “150 Best Albums Of…” posts on this site for specifics. But honestly, I just never really figured out how to write about the stuff. I did try some though, mainly in the late… Continue reading Ronald Shannon Jackson review, 1987
Not my most famous piece about the band. That came a couple of months later. Here, they hadn’t quite broke out yet. Pretty much the unbowdlerized original version of what became the Licensed to Ill entry in Stairway to Hell, if only because with alt-weekly reviews you don’t have to get permission to reprint multiple-lined… Continue reading Beastie Boys review, 1987
Reprinted in the 2001 Kim Cooper and David Smay-edited anthology Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth; possibly excerpted and/or cannibalized in scores of things I’ve written since. But this is how the original version looked on the page. A year later or decades later — after Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, the Spice Girls, Radio Disney, Aqua,… Continue reading A Bubblegum Top 40