A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song”

In which I, well, never mind This week we arrive at something that has been on my mind all year: the half-century of the release of one of the most special songs in popular music. I’ll execute a smooth transition out of last week by introducing it as the song that prompted Lennon to say,Continue reading “A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song””

80 Years

In which I renew my vows I fell in love with John Lennon a few months after turning thirteen. This might not sound like much to people who grew up in an era when everyone and their cat classified themselves by their favorite Beatle, a question that echoes through subsequent generations. But it was pivotalContinue reading “80 Years”

Any Tom, Dick, or Karen; Any Tom, Karen, or Dick

In which I face the facts (i.e., the cold-hearted cynic I am inside) This title cleverly references not only a number from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, but also the one-time husband of Karen Carpenter, Tom Burris. He serves no other purpose in this post. It came as absolute and very recent news to meContinue reading “Any Tom, Dick, or Karen; Any Tom, Karen, or Dick”

Warren Beatty Reacts to “You’re So Vain” (A McSweeney’s Castoff)

In which I house a homeless monologue Here follows a piece which was rejected by not one but TWO online humor mags, one being the illustrious McSweeney’s Internet Tendency of Boston. Given the double distinction, I felt it merited self-publication. It is, I think, no meaner than the song. • It was a yacht party,Continue reading “Warren Beatty Reacts to “You’re So Vain” (A McSweeney’s Castoff)”

Album Review: SONGS OF INNOCENCE

In which I celebrate an uncelebrated curio Surprise! You thought you’d left this album in the dust, huh? Apple product users will remember it as the one that automatically streamed when U2 released it nearly six years ago. As an involuntary addition to millions of music libraries, it was also largely unwelcome; people griped aboutContinue reading “Album Review: SONGS OF INNOCENCE”

Singular Sensation

In which Broadway’s Broadwayest musical turns 45 There’s no shortage of subjects I could chase this week. The album Taylor Swift surprised us with that no one was emotionally ready for. The utter circus my expat life is becoming as I wait on important answers from oversaturated offices. The fact that I’m using my limitedContinue reading “Singular Sensation”

A Moment Alone in the Shade

In which I contemplate a pilgrim’s progress I would bet a ten-dollar-Founding-Father bill that you expected my title to refer in some way to the room where it happens. Well, kids, I’m full of surprises. Besides, there is no longer one ‘room’: everyone who has witnessed the production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton available on Disney+Continue reading “A Moment Alone in the Shade”

Stones Studies, Part III: The once and future Mr. Jones

In which I am blinded by one brief shining moment Let me tell you about my favorite member of the Rolling Stones (though I can’t seem to shut up about Charlie, so). He’s dead; he’s been dead a long time. Fifty-one years to the day, in fact. As the received wisdom among fans goes, “noContinue reading “Stones Studies, Part III: The once and future Mr. Jones”

Stones Studies, Part II: Character portraits, best practices

In which I dip into the cult of personality Welcome back. Or, if you’re new here, welcome (and go get up to speed). As I’ve mentioned, in paring down a fifty-plus-year career to what resonates with me, I arrived at the material spanning 1968-72, give or take a bit on each side; okay, let’s sayContinue reading “Stones Studies, Part II: Character portraits, best practices”

Stones Studies, Part I: Watts happening

In which I pay tribute to the single one of these people that I know what to make of Consider a band. They build a reputation on noise and pugnacity, in both their music and their behavior. One of them has wildly surpassed the once-improbable fantasy of upward mobility he set for himself. One has,Continue reading “Stones Studies, Part I: Watts happening”