3 Broklyn Beats 45s

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

4 Indie 45s From the ’90s

Excerpts from a short-lived monthly column called “Singles Again” (should’ve been “Singles Again Again,” since I’d previously used the same title at the Village Voice) in the online magazine Blurt (after two installments on the Idolator website) in which I started to comb alphabetically (as you can see, I didn’t get very far) through my… Continue reading 4 Indie 45s From the ’90s

3 Indie Rock single reviews, 2004

Grandaddy: “The Rugged and Splintered Entertainment Center” Over repeated Casio tinkles playing an organ-grinder/boombah-stick oompah, and opening appropriately enough with a fake warp (unless that’s just my own worn-out turntable belt fucking up), a lonely where-oh-where-are-you-tonight campfire hymn to man’s best friend—namely, the trusty cabinet containing your TV, VCR, crappy receivers, eyesore knickknacks, and gallons… Continue reading 3 Indie Rock single reviews, 2004

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

Lou Gramm single review, 1987

When I interviewed him for Creem a month or two later, Lou Gramm told me he appreciated this review, but wondered why I ended it calling him a “hack.” I told him, “But Lou, you sing for Foreigner!” As for suggesting they’re “the greatest postpunk 45-rpm band,” I was partly being provocative no doubt (they… Continue reading Lou Gramm single 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

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

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