How We Wrote

Inspired by a December New Yorker piece on “distraction-free devices” — i.e., apps designed to help writers focus — longtime Boston music writer and critic Jim Sullivan asked on facebook this morning about his fb friends “old-school linear writing” experiences: “I look at some of those stories now and wonder how I put them together… Continue reading How We Wrote

Writerly Wroots

Raymond Cummings just asked his facebook friends an excellent question that I’m amazed nobody has ever asked me before: “Who were the most important writers of your youth? Let’s make the cut off point age 13 or so (13 is the intended ceiling).This can mean: Novelists Comedians Cartoonists Lyricists Poets Comic book authors Etc” This… Continue reading Writerly Wroots

Cassettes! The Wave of the Future!

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!

DOR! 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!

Algorithms! The Wave of the Future!

Recently stumbled upon a 1980-’84 archive I had no idea existed for the Missourian, Columbia, Missouri’s daily paper staffed exclusively by University of Missouri journalism students (and professors, who as I recall did the editing.) The piece below is written in what the people teaching us called Wall Street Journal-style: Specific example into general trend,… Continue reading Algorithms! The Wave of the Future!

Eve Moon review, 1981

Stupid, sexist, and wrong-headed in so many ways, except the way that says this guitaring New York singer-songwriter’s one and only album (which I assume must’ve just arrived randomly at the college newspaper office) wasn’t especially good. Also, inadvertently funny. maneater, 1981

What is New Wave??

And now, something completely ridiculous for the time capsule: Written in straight grey pseudo-objective journalismese, an attempt to explain to squaresville suburban Detroit weekly newspaper readers what exactly is this new wave punk rock stuff they keep hearing about. Some of the predictions are pretty amusing: “no new wave band will ever achieve the mass… Continue reading What is New Wave??

Blondie review, 1981

College, senior year. I guess I just liked the exercise of reviewing a best-of collection — especially one I didn’t technically own. In retrospect, given the essentiality of their first four albums, seems like it’d be pretty redundant. As for Autoamerican, I’ve always been fine with a 45 of “Rapture.” Not sure I’ve ever even… Continue reading Blondie review, 1981

A Tale of Two Ballplayers

My first journalistic focus was sports, which I got the opportunity to cover during two college summer breaks for an upper Oakland County, Michigan suburban weekly inexplicably known as the Spinal Column. (Years before, even before I delivered the early-morning daily Detroit Free Press, my first hired job was carrying the Spinal Column on Wednesday… Continue reading A Tale of Two Ballplayers