So Long, Freddie

In which I prolong the goodbye Today marks thirty years since Freddie Mercury, or the former Farrokh Bulsara, left us for a world where everyone’s inner ear finally matches his. He had something like a four-octave range, he could play the piano upside down, and he rocked a fur coat better than he had anyContinue reading “So Long, Freddie”

In the Garage with the Revolver

Or, a breakdown This is the last spiel about a record turning 55, I swear. It’s my boys and it’s maybe their greatest album (the case has been made) and it’s one I’ve come to really love as an adult and I had to. Song I’ve loved from the start: “I’m Only Sleeping” Song IContinue reading “In the Garage with the Revolver”

Happy birthday, Bob!

In which I count a love minus zero On Monday the greatest lyrical poet of his generation turned 80. I’m going to eschew songwriter, although (or perhaps because) plenty call him that unhesitatingly—many artists of that generation, male and female, produced songs and/or albums that could justify their bid for the title. But his masteryContinue reading “Happy birthday, Bob!”

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”

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”

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”