Always hoped that I’d be an Apostle…

In which I dive down the rabbit-hole I warned you about way back when Holy Week is one of my favorite times of year, ostensibly because it’s the high point of the Church calendar and all that, but really because it grants me total immunity to have Jesus Christ Superstar—the original 1970 concept album—on anContinue reading “Always hoped that I’d be an Apostle…”

Life During COVID-19

In which a global health crisis is explained by the lyrics of Talking Heads Every so often there is an event which inspires worldwide dread. (By ‘worldwide’ I really mean that the dread which exists constantly in less developed portions of the world is acknowledged by the developed West, and especially the United States, whichContinue reading “Life During COVID-19”

The Beatles Play Ed Sullivan

In which I look back to possibly the biggest Sunday 9 February in history On Friday 7 February 1964, everyone’s favorite quartet landed at JFK to famously deafening support. Two days later, they made their live American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Equally deafening, but not because of the music. This was allContinue reading “The Beatles Play Ed Sullivan”

Liverpool, Remembered

In which I reminisce on one of the places I’ll remember all my life (though some have changed) A year ago I made a pilgrimage up from London, where I was living at the time, to the holy musical mecca that is Liverpool. This was a pilgrimage in the truest sense. Spiritual fulfillment for aContinue reading “Liverpool, Remembered”

Anti-Show-Ponying

In which I ponder the virtues of not playing to the room Lately I’ve stumbled upon a wealth of bootlegs (audio and video) of early R.E.M. shows. As the kids say, it’s giving me life. This owes partly to the sheer volume of the catalogue: there are so many songs, some popping up years beforeContinue reading “Anti-Show-Ponying”

Album Review: FINE LINE

In which a former boy-band darling goes in yet another direction Harry Styles has become a god. This was clear enough on his solo debut back in the spring of 2017; now, on the eve of his sophomore release, it’s only getting progressively clearer, what with the imaginative glimpses we’ve been treated to. And yetContinue reading “Album Review: FINE LINE”

Five Observations on “Take Five”

In which I honor a jazz classic To remember the illustrious musical pioneer Dave Brubeck on what would have been his 99th birthday, I present five thoughts on his quirky hit, both my favorite piece of his and my favorite piece across all schools and eras of jazz: It makes an unconventional time signature soundContinue reading “Five Observations on “Take Five””

The Best Song Choruses

In which I test the ideological power of a pop chorus A song is, ultimately, a machine, a collection of cogs with their own functions. Possibly the most conspicuous cog is the chorus, which, by its nature, is an aural focal point where the artist communes with the listener. People who do not know theContinue reading “The Best Song Choruses”

Write Your Own Eagles Song

In which I record a recipe of sorts You will need: A healthy dose of ennui A thorough knowledge of California Access to incomprehensible amounts of cocaine (think enough to have to scrape out of a mixing board post-session) Instructions: Begin on the topic of a female—specifically a “woman,” never a “girl.” Create as manyContinue reading “Write Your Own Eagles Song”

My Favorite Musical Theatre Opening Numbers

In which I lay out some cherished expository songs and scene-setters The opening number of a musical carries by far the most responsibility. It is the means by which the audience is familiarized with the world onstage (and arguably vice versa, as the performers have to judge the sort of crowd they’ve got). It isContinue reading “My Favorite Musical Theatre Opening Numbers”