So, let me get this straight…. Lemonade has a whole lot of bad indie rock samples and/or collaborations, plus “characters”? Honestly intrigued by the marital strife angle (though I have no real interest in Beyoncé’s personal life one way or the other), but the more I hear about it, the less I want to hear… Continue reading Turning Hype Into Lemonade
Just noticed Megan Thee Stallion is suing her label over the definition of an album, which I find fascinating since I’ve had arguments with people for decades over the definition of an album. I always stubbornly went with the old Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll rule (album = 3 or more songs adding up… Continue reading What’s an Album?
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
18 years later, Department of Eagles is still easily the dullest of these three records (I checked, last week), though 18:51 of Mr. Dibbs’s “Porntablist” is quite the unbearable endurance test. (In immortal words of my friend Michael Hall when he was in Wild Seeds, “I’m Sorry, I Can’t Rock You All Night Long.”) As… Continue reading Collage Licks, 2004
Now think I underrated both rap albums. Still love the techno album. PIMP DADDY NASH The New Jazz Science Orlando oddball whose seventh-grade fave rave was “Pop Muzik” by M breaks New Year’s resolutions, bites “Tom Sawyer,” pays blatant homage three times to early-’80s Prince, quotes Götterdämmerung in a film-noir cadence recalling fellow Florida Wagner buff Bob… Continue reading Eccentric Electronica and Backpack Rap Licks, 2003
From a column called “Singles Again” (explained here), obscure little vinyl records picked off my shelf and decoded, with years of hindsight. Broklyn Beast: “March of The Oil Barons”/”The Vampire Strikes Back” (2002) Clearly there’s a concept of historical importance here, not to mention a craft project: The label – featuring a photo of George W.… Continue reading 3 Broklyn Beats 45s
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!
Published a full decade before Carl Wilson’s acclaimed 33 1/3 book about Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love. Just saying. Which isn’t to say I was the first critic to put in a good word for the lady — Simon Frith and Frank Kogan may well have preceded me. Should also note that I overstate my… Continue reading Celine Dion defense, 1997
One of those reviews that periodically gets Twitter jerkwads and other busybodies cackling about how devastatingly “wrong” history has proven me, as if there’s a right or wrong when it comes to reviews, as if winding up on other people’s best-of-all-time lists proves anything. I gave the album three stars out of five; I might… Continue reading A Tribe Called Quest review, 1990
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