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”

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”

Songs I Love to Hate to Love

In which I admit guilt Popular music is fraught with problematic songs. There’s just no way around it. They express a sentiment which was commonly accepted in its day but hasn’t aged well, or they start out edgy by expressing a risky sentiment which really hasn’t aged well, or something else feels off-color or ickyContinue reading “Songs I Love to Hate to Love”

Jai Guru Deva Om

In which I mark the last major moment in the ‘Beatles 50’ decade The past ten years have been one long fiftieth-anniversary party for Beatles fans. Album after album, moment after famous (or infamous) moment, has celebrated its half-centennial. On Friday, we celebrated the last one, or at least the last of the official releases.Continue reading “Jai Guru Deva Om”

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”