Pet Shop Boys, Critically (7)

A reader, Tom Scarlett, was kind enough to send me a copy of Simon Frith’s (once upon a time) much-ballyhooed Pet Shop Boys feature from the spring 1988 edition of the Voice‘s “Rock & Roll Quarterly” supplement. The piece, which I hadn’t read in approximately 23 years (when I lost for good two large boxes worth of Voice clippings) was brought up in my podcasts … Continue reading Pet Shop Boys, Critically (7)

Just Another Rolling Stone Top 500 List?

Well, sort of. Rolling Stone’s 500 Worst Reviews of All Time, a “work in progress” by someone named “schmidtt,” showed up recently on my Facebook feed, and though I instantly assumed it was something I wanted nothing to do with — and it is still something I will not likely ever find time to read in its entirety — it’s not an entirely unenjoyable ride. … Continue reading Just Another Rolling Stone Top 500 List?

Pet Shop Boys, Critically (6)

The Status of the Gay Question: Phil Dellio’s 1988 Interview with Neil and Chris of the Pet Shop Boys (audio) Getting this interview transcribed—or, even better, digitized and posted—was something Scott and I first discussed a few years ago, but there wasn’t any real context for doing so at the time. I wasn’t even sure I could still find the cassette where it resided—I knew … Continue reading Pet Shop Boys, Critically (6)

Rust, Still Awake

At his excellent blog, Can’t Explain, Jeff Pike assembles a small road crew to re-evaluate Neil Young’s 1979 Pazz & Jop-winning LP, Rust Never Sleeps. Jeff, Phil Dellio, Steven Rubio, Jack Thompson, and yours truly all pipe in, with reactions which, while positive overall, are surprisingly varied. The one perhaps not-so-surprising common denominator, mentioned at least once by everyone, is punk. (My original impulse, in … Continue reading Rust, Still Awake

Chart Review: Billboard Top 40, 11/23/63

In one of his usual Friday song roundups, Steven Rubio posted the top 10 songs in Billboard for the week ending November 23, 1963 — in other words, the most popular records in America the day John Kennedy died. I had a vaguely similar idea which I never got around to doing, so I’m glad he took it on. A few brief notes: 1) Steven … Continue reading Chart Review: Billboard Top 40, 11/23/63

Zappa 15: LIFE, June 28, 1968

“The ways in which sound affects the human organism are myriad and subtle. Why does the sound of Eric Clapton’s guitar give one girl a sensation which she describes as ‘Bone Conduction’? Would she still experience Bone Conduction if Eric, using the same extremely thick tone, played nothing but Hawaiian music? Which is more important: the timbre (color-texture) of a sound, the succession of intervals … Continue reading Zappa 15: LIFE, June 28, 1968