Back in the seventies I listened to quite a few singer-songwriters as I made a feeble attempt to be one myself. Wrote a few tunes, performed at a few threadbare church-connected coffee shops, gave it away (both the church part and the songwriting). But along the way, I listened to some artists who really were […]

When looking back at a year in pop, there’s a strong pull to pick out the gems, the keepers, the game-changers. All well and good, but such a focus ignores what the record buying public actually forked out for. Recall how The Beatles crowning achievement “Strawberry Fields” b/w “Penny Lane” was kept from the UK […]

Disconsolate piano notes descend in a maudlin trickle; the guitar squawks like a tortured chicken. Then the band hits a catchy riff, though it’s not the spine of the song. The central nervous system is a four chord descending figure in counterpoint to a rising vocal line. The music is powerfully rocking, the words gloomily nihilistic, […]

For more than four years I’ve wanted to write about the first LP I bought. Over a year ago I finally squeezed out a first draft. Didn’t really like it and the file sat there on the desktop staring dolefully back at me whenever I glanced around for blogging inspiration. The second version stripped back […]

Here’s a poser for you. Link Nirvana with The Grateful Dead in three steps. Time’s up. 1. Kurt Cobain’s partner was Courtney Love. (Some implicate her in his death) 2. Courtney Love is the daughter of Hank Harrison. (Estranged daughter. Dad is one of those who blamed her for Cobain’s suicide) 3. Harrison has written […]

Back then, Brothers and Sisters was a notable purchase: a new record, still on the charts. What led to this profligate expenditure? Perhaps the infectious boogie of the radio single “Rambling Man” demanded more frequent playing than AM radio offered; doubtless hearing the instrumental “Jessica” on 3XY’s Sunday night Album Show fanned desire. A late […]

The idea of a brief album review is quite appealing. Can a meaningful commentary be jammed into, say 200 words? A little while back, a number of bloggers took up that challenge, with interesting results. Vinyl Connection’s contributions are here and here. But what about reviewing an album using no words at all? That was the gauntlet […]