Brown Eyed Breakthrough

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Van Morrison’s breakthrough solo hit, “Brown Eyed Girl.” Nowadays the song’s ubiquity and relative lightness have diminished its power in comparison to the rest of Morrison’s imposing catalog. But “Brown Eyed Girl” offers Morrison’s first great synthesis of imagery from Morrison’s Northern Ireland homeland with the propulsive [...]

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Bowie’s Secret

David Bowie was always ahead of the curve. Even in the 1990′s, when it seemed like the entire music industry got blindsided by digital technology and the internet, Bowie was way out in front of the pack: in 1996 he was the first artist to distribute a new song — “Telling Lies” — as an [...]

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Touchdown Baphomet

The other night I woke up before my alarm and started listening to a podcast on my phone in hopes of getting back to sleep for a little while longer. At some point the conversation on this ‘cast turned to the fact that artist, filmmaker, curator Harry Smith had been working on a movie about [...]

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Pink Animals

Over the weekend Roger Waters mocked Donald Trump with a satirical video display during a performance of the song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from the 1977 album Animals. Waters posted it on his Facebook page in time for the inauguration, but the Mexico City performance was recorded last September when Trump was only the Republican [...]

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Punk Playlist

I celebrated the 15th anniversary of 24 Hour Party People in a recent post. And over the weekend I discovered this great old BBC show called The Way They Were. On this episode you’ll find the real Tony Wilson presenting a selection of punk and new wave acts on his So It Goes television show [...]

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Bowie in Berlin

With the first anniversary of David Bowie’s January 10, 2016 death still fresh on my mind I thought it might be nice to point out that the first two albums in his “Berlin Trilogy” — Low and Heroes — are both celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year. With that in mind forget about trying to [...]

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Party On, People

So the mail wasn’t running yesterday and my girlfriend had the day off so I sort of also had the day off to hang out with her. I managed to post to this blog, hand in a column, edit an article, and meet with an editor, but I also managed to go for a drive, [...]

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Hey Joe Strummer

Over the holiday I missed out on posting about the 14th anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death from an un-diagnosed congenital heart defect on December 22, 2002. I celebrated The Clash’s 30th birthday with a slew of posts this last summer and I wanted to revisit this Joe-centric notice to recognize his passing last week. Here’s [...]

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Sun Ra Christmas 2016

Well it’s starting to feel like the year is really winding down as we’re swinging into the last days before Christmas. If you are travelling be safe. If you are staying put be grateful and generous. Thanks to everybody who reads these rants and comments and shares them. Every time we interact over these peculiar [...]

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Cowpunkgirl Blues

Trying to sneak in a few more birthday notices before the year’s up, 2016 marks the 40th birthday of Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. It’s also the 30th birthday of John Cale’s third album which borrowed its title from Robbins’ novel. Cale’s Cowgirls is a live record/time capsule that captures the New York [...]

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