Brunette on Blonde on Blonde

In which I record the stats So amidst all the Pet Sounds ballyhoo I forgot that I should also commemorate the 55th anniversary of the release of the album I literally just called my favorite of Dylan’s. Which happens to be today. Among other reasons (its sense of humor, its drum parts), it’s my favoriteContinue reading “Brunette on Blonde on Blonde”

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!”

Why TURNSTILES Made Billy Joel Great

In which I say goodbye to Hollywood Today marks the 45th anniversary of the release of Billy Joel’s fourth studio album. This boils down to convenience; it simply gives me a chronological excuse to talk about something I’ve wanted to talk about for some time now. Mostly because I never hear anyone else doing it.Continue reading “Why TURNSTILES Made Billy Joel Great”

5 Times I Related Way Too Hard to Elton John’s ME

In which I say “oh God same” *CW: addiction* Last weekend I listened to Elton John’s recent autobiography on Audible, read in alternating chapters by the man himself and Taron Egerton, who played him in Rocketman. And let me tell you: you do not need to have had a sixteen-year cocaine habit to find atContinue reading “5 Times I Related Way Too Hard to Elton John’s ME”

It’s getting to the point…

In which it’s a matter of mind over music—or is it? Yesterday a favorite podcaster of mine who often engages in discussions of mental health issues—and who is herself studying to be a therapist—read out a message from a female listener who described her boyfriend’s unwillingness or inability to help her through an emotionally turbulentContinue reading “It’s getting to the point…”

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”

Stones Studies: An Overview

In which I introduce a thermostat-inspired trilogy Something happens to me as spring turns into summer. It’s been an annual occurrence since 2012. The change in the weather, the ratcheting-up of the heat, impels me to spend some amount of time (brief or not) absorbing everything the “World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band” did betweenContinue reading “Stones Studies: An Overview”