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

Roxette profile, 1991

Similar to when I interviewed the Pet Shop Boys for the same publication four months earlier, in that both involved highly stressful trips from Philly to a New York that was still terrifyingly foreign territory to me, except that Per Gessle was warmer than Neil Tennant and Marie Fredriksson was colder than Chris Lowe. Though… Continue reading Roxette profile, 1991

German music Licks, 2003

RPWL, Stock Jetboys from Friesling, Germany, they started out six years ago as a Pink Floyd cover band. Their third CD still opens with a Syd Barrett song, which itself starts with rocket blastoffs, then drifts into deep space. The singer’s got the Central European softness and English-as-second-language everyday conversational tone of the guy in… Continue reading German music Licks, 2003

German album roundup, 1996

More evidence of my alleged Teutonophilia. Though it’s not like I’m entirely positive about all these schallplatten. And why the droney early ’70s Unidentified Flying Rock which by the mid ’90s was known far and wide as Kraut-rock so irked me all of a sudden, I can’t say. L.A. Weekly, 16 August 1996

Macarena Wins 1995

Presumably for a really long time, the Minneapolis-St. Paul City Pages arts section asked critics (and maybe normal folks) around the country to write short pieces on whoever they deemed the biggest-deal Artist of the Year. I contributed at least three times, I think — the cast of My So-Called Life (or maybe just Rayanne… Continue reading Macarena Wins 1995

Sonic Taxonomy: ’90s Eurocheese

Social networks and global economics of scale have since flattened the world –- Europe’s pop turned more soul-conscious, America’s more synth-conscious, and most everybody’s wound up occupying watered-down middle ground. But back in the ‘90s, before MySpace and iTunes (or Friendster and Napster even), continental Europe was free to be a happily clueless bubblegum island… Continue reading Sonic Taxonomy: ’90s Eurocheese