popular music

This Is the Story of Johnny Rotten

This Is the Story of Johnny Rotten

To paraphrase Public Enemy, “The Sex Pistols were heroes to most, but they didn’t mean shit to me.” OK, I’m exaggerating, but it was a matter of bad timing. As recording artists, the band came and went while I was still in elementary school—a few years away from really caring about music. So while the […]

The Track List

1. Noah & The Whale – Five Years Time2. Go! Team – Bottle Rocket3. The Owls – Air4. Apples in Stereo – Same Old Drag5. Texas Governor – Faith, Hope, Love & Jesus6. American Analog Set – The Postman7. Rose Melberg – Cast Away the Clouds8. Kissing Book – Selfish9. Tullycraft – Twee10. Zero 7 […]

On with the countdown!

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My top 40 songs of the decade (with commentary)

Inspired by my friend Dave, who preceded me as music director at our college radio station in the 1980s and who just published a list of his top 300 songs of the decade (!), I assembled a more modest top 40. These are songs, not artists (indeed, there are a few artists here for whom […]

The Gazetteers

We’ve decided to release our new album, We Are Here, online, for free, two songs at a time, as if they were singles. Go to it already!

Henry the Eighth I Am!

At Busch Gardens in Tampa a few months ago, I noticed that Herman’s Hermits were playing. More precisely, Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone, the sort of band name that screams of interminable lawsuits. But since Peter Noone had been the singer in the original band, I figured this should at least be an above-average version […]

Recurring themes

Keenan told me that a kid was belittling him for not knowing who the Backstreet Boys were, or any other hip hop or rap groups. (The Backstreet Boys fit into neither of these categories and peaked when he was 2, so he gets major points for not even being able to come up with a […]

The Gazetteers

Over the weekend, the Gazetteers recorded their third album. Our previous release, Landlocked!, was issued by the Salt in Wound “collective”. This one features “Trapped Inside a Skill Crane”, once performed at John and Bernie’s wedding.