Pop as a Sickness

“People sometimes ask why a serious, well-educated, intellectual fellow such as me wastes his time and enthusiasm on the most insignificant passing trends and the most contrived, trashy music he can find. And I don’t know what to say. I just can’t get into George Harrison, Seals & Crofts or even Van Morrison and the Band. I like that stuff, but it simply doesn’t excite … Continue reading Pop as a Sickness

1967 Jazz & Pop Results

From Jazz & Pop Magazine (formerly Jazz), the results of a critics poll right at the dawn of rock criticism (would like to know who actually voted). Biggest surprise to me is Donovan at #3. (Thanks Michaelangelo Matos for the tip.) Continue reading 1967 Jazz & Pop Results

Quote of the Day (3/11/14)

“I think maybe I feel a little out of place in the critic’s world because a) I’m a scientist and, b) I’m damn handsome. I would have enjoyed being a medical researcher, I think. It’s a good thing I can’t go back in time, because I have about 89 careers I’d like to try.” – John Kordosh, interview in rockcritics.com, 2004 (still on the to-be-imported … Continue reading Quote of the Day (3/11/14)

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