A Bubblegum Top 40

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

John Cougar Mellencamp live review, 1987

Maybe the third best thing I’ve written about the Cougmeister (check my third and fourth books for the first and second best), and still not horrible I don’t think. Surprised I didn’t point out in the corporate sponsorship hypocrisy paragraph that his greatest song is free advertising for Tastee-Freez. My opinion of The Lonesome Jubilee… Continue reading John Cougar Mellencamp live review, 1987

Singles reviews, 1988

A very short-lived (only one installment, if my memory serves me) Creem column. Good variety. Some parts wound up in a couple of my books, but most parts didn’t. The editors carelessly shuffled the order somewhat — I clearly mean to end with the Spagna blurb. Creem, 1988

Died Pretty review, 1986

First paragraph, at least, is a textbook case of seasonal affective disorder. One of the more depressed reviews I’ve written — A side of myself I’ve mostly managed to hide, in 40 years of writing. Which is kind of amazing, given how much of my life that side has occupied. Compartmentalizing, it’s called. These days,… Continue reading Died Pretty review, 1986

Rosanne Cash review, 1987

I’d like to take credit for the caption, but I didn’t write it. Most likely, Bill Holdship, John Kordosh and/or Dave DiMartino did. As for Ms. Cash’s career, this was just before I disboarded — When her songs and sound turned inward on 1990’s Interiors, at #8 Pazz & Jop easily her most critically acclaimed… Continue reading Rosanne Cash review, 1987

Loud Rock EPs reviews, 1986

A regular column for Creem‘s monthly metal magazine — ostensibly “metal” “singles,” though these are all EPs, mostly by noisy post-hardcore indie art bands that might theoretically appeal to some extremely open-minded metal fan of my imagination. Kind of doubt any other metal mag on the racks was stretching the genre’s definition this far in… Continue reading Loud Rock EPs reviews, 1986

Singles reviews, 1990

Written for the tabloid-sized glossy Creem-in-name-only after evil new owners revived it in Los Angeles. Subsequent installments of the column were worse, not that this one is a work of genius or anything. I mean, that Tommy Conwell song is pretty good, but no way is it better than everything on The Lonesome Jubilee. And… Continue reading Singles reviews, 1990