Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Little Pre-Xmas Pop for You

Not sure how I could have missed this...

Jon Brion plus Pete Thomas plus dreamy amazing pop songs.

And Paul Simon's kid.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nothing To Hope and Nothing to Fear

I'd Sign It For You Dude If You'd Only Request

Presented without commentary from me.

But with a tiny bit of commentary from Mr. Hitchcock.

Because, you know, it's his song.

But I'll say that I read on a long-gone listserv from the era that a Robyn Hitchcock fan mentioned asking Robyn to sign weird things after a concert and joked that he almost brought an Indiana Jones poster for him to sign. A few years later this song appeared.

Coincidence? I think not.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thirty Five

Get your healing from a song...

Written and recorded 35 years ago tomorrow.

In the face of great tragedy, you can only turn inward.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And Some Days All You Can Do is Listen To This Over and Over

Days like today.

Fucking days like today.

More and more of them.

Almost every day it seems.

A time to dust off the vinyl. And listen to this 30 times in a row or so.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Now With More Lion

Another nearly perfect pop song.

Now with 100% more lion.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sometimes I Think I've Been Doing This Forever

A vaguely sad song for a vague and sad day.

Goodnight and stay safe, whatever strange places you may go and whatever strange company you may keep.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Take Me Back

Because things just mean different things decades later.

The sweet confident rush of youth, replaced by an appreciation. Maybe an understanding. Add some silent awe and a recognition that things never go as you planned. But if you try sometimes you get what you need.

Or so I've heard.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bringing it on Home

Two different takes on Sam Cooke:

Now imagine them fused together.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dance on the Edge of the Dark

The World Don't Stop Every Time That You Call

It's slightly off-balance. Slightly discordant. Slightly syncopated.

In the way it is. In the way things get when it's late.

And make no mistake -- it's late.

It's only later that you recognize it's late.

Only much, much later.

For now, it's a lot of noise. A lot of motion.

A lot of people doing a lot of things to keep from feeling the things that they're feeling.

And if you concentrate you can see this, but you never concentrate.

You're busy. Hanging out. Meeting people. Imagining a future.

Imagining the future of the other people you're with and drawing Venn diagrams of how those futures intersect.

And you're doing things you hate with people you like hoping you'll find someone to love.

And hoping you can find the right song on the radio that will bring you all together so you won't see how very, very, very far apart you are.

Because it's late. And you should be asleep.

But you want desperately to be awake.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ragged Jagged Melody

How for the love of God have I never heard this before? Greg Kihn transforms an early Springsteen travelogue of the Jersey shore into a piece of pure pop wonder.

This one, on the other hand, I've heard about a million times.

But as my grandfather used to say "it's Thursday, kid. Time for a million and one."

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Morning Lasted All Day

Like Sinatra in a Younger Day

The fog rolls in.

Always the fog rolls in.

The hill up from the ferry landing is quiet.


Until the church bell rings.

Crackling through the morning.

The ground is wet. Always wet. From dew. And rain. And snow that never quite sticks and never quite freezes.

Soon the coffee shops will open. Serving strong espresso.

Double shots of everything.

But not yet.

Not quite yet.

For now it's quiet.

For now, there's just possibility.

Just a sense that something is about to happen.

Something very important.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Got to Leave The Old World Behind

I Can't Explain

Sometimes you know.

The words are so general that the don't really have much meaning.

The voice is thin and high -- as if to make it clearer that the whole thing just isn't very good.

But then something happens.

A great hook. An amazing chorus.

Even though there's nothing really there.

Except the feeling.

Which soars. Inexplicably.

And then the next verse starts and it dips again. And you want to turn away because there are more important things to do and better songs to listen to.

But you don't. Because you want to soar again.

You want the chorus to take you places you didn't think the song or the singer could go.

And it does. Again.

And you wonder if you're just overlaying your own feelings onto the song.

Or the feelings you had decades ago when you first heart the song.

And in that moment, you go inside the song.

And the lead guitar grabs you. And takes you someehwere unexpected. Somewhere you don't have to worry about whether there should be an apostrophe in the title.

And all at once you're back in the past, far in the future, and somewhere else in the present.

Imagination made real.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brand. New. Squeeze.

Out already in the UK, early November in the US.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Three Decades and then a Fourth

This was recorded in the early 1970s, then went unreleased for three decades until it finally came out about ten years ago.

David Ruffin, former lead singer of the Temptations, with Stevie Wonder.

It sizzles and pops and is just freaking amazing.

More info here.


Sunday, August 16, 2015


Hands down my favorite song that refers to mathematicians in a cool cover version I'd never heard until now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

For the First Time in 17 Years...

New music from Squeeze!

Here's hoping the album has some real rockers and not just the endless mid-tempo stuff that characterized most of their output from the late 80s and 90s...

Monday, August 10, 2015

It Was 35 Years Ago Today

Holy hell, this is great.

Try to ignore the logo on the video, listen to the power (and dig that weird looking guitar)!

With Cheap Trick, who were fired when they asked to be paid for the sessions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ten Years After

A reunion tour.

Ten years later.

Singing the same political songs.

But it's ten years later.

Everyone's older.

Stuff changed.

And why not? Ten years went by.

So you can't sing the old songs the old way with the old words.

And maybe, being older, the new words make more sense. Resonate more.

And maybe, just maybe, it's even better than the original.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sit By And Watch The River Flow

Debbie Harry is 70 years old.

Thank about that for a moment...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Preacher Like the Cold

Please Enjoy

Here's Barry McGuire singing "California Dreaming."

If it sounds familiar, that's because producer Lou Adler used the exact same backing track for the Mamas & Papas version, just wiping McGuire's lead vocal and slotting in Danny Doherty. Because efficiency.

Sometimes the wrong version of a song becomes a hit... but not this time!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Make It Easy

Every Second Is A Second Chance To Get This Right...

Missed this when it first came out...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Travel + Lack of Sleep + Recirculated air = horrible lingering cough that turns into sinus infection that leads to unbearable jaw pain.

But I'm on the right meds now, so hopefully I can finally shake this thing.

Meanwhile, here's this.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Notes From Periods Between Throat Coat

I've been sick. Hellishly sore throat. Mild temperature.

Muddled through. It's going around.


I hate being sick.

I hate the loss of control.

I hate coughing so much I pull a muscle.

I hate the feeling that I can't quite swallow.

That my progress ebbs and flows and when I feel I have a good day it is gone by evening when I can barely speak.

Did I mention I hate being sick?

There's a feeling of being trapped inside something you can't control and didn't ask for and don't like.

There's a brisk perception that all solid objects are waiting for you to close your eyes so they can turn into liquids and drip down into messy puddles on the floor.

And then there's always a single song that pops up all over the place, that is playing on every radio station you happen across in your feverish state.

The good news is I'm almost completely better after nearly a week.

The better news is that song was this:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Early Morning

The silence in the early morning, buzzes and crackles
Static electricity conveying too much possibility and not enough sleep
Too many secrets sent out into the night air
Cold and ripe, waiting for answers that never come
Hoping for sleep that pushes the possible aside
Leaving behind what was
What is
And what will be.

But the night doesn’t listen.
The night whispers desperate truths through the breezes
Calls out in silent protest that you feel
That you feel only when it buzzes
Only when it rings
Only when the first probing prongs of daybreak are safely in the future

It’s the darkness that calls us
The darkness that fills us with dark futures
That seem light only in darkness and dark in the day.
“But what if that’s all reversed?” the night whispers.
And dares you to listen.

-- Early morning, The Netherlands/Belgium, 2 May 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Interesting If Not Completely Successful

What do you prefer -- something boring that totally works or something interesting that doesn't completely work?

Or this?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Some Day Your Name Will Be A Verb

Dr. Frank from the Mr. T Experience, aka Frank Portman, has written a great angsty teen novel called King Dork.

The protagonist is a teenage boy who plays a little guitar and is forever starting bands with his best friend, who plays a little bass. They name their bands, adopt stage names, design logos and album covers, then move on to a new band... without bothering to rehearse, write songs, learn material, or perform.

As part of the audiobook for King Dork, Dr. Frank wrote and recorded versions of a few of the songs his hero eventually writes in the book.

And here are a few:

The book's plot fizzles a bit by the end, but I highly recommend it because of how well it captures how it feels to be a male teenager trying to figure out life, love, sex, family, and friendships.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Middle Bits Are So Predictable

It was twenty years ago today...

Sheesh, look how young they are.

Then again, we were all probably a lot younger back then, too....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Exceedingly Vivid

There is no turning back...

The rhythmic late-night thump of tires on the smooth surface of a highway.

The promise of adventure: earned, unearned, and not quite delivered.

The glint of possibilities far in the distance. Never quite realized. Shimmering, shiny, ripe.

And always just out of reach.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Music To Drive Out Snakes by

Not to be confused with World Party the band (or the other song "World Party" by World Party). I guess Karl Wallinger likes the phrase "World Party," huh?

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Back Pages

Please enjoy Roger McGuinn, Neil Young, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Breaking on Through To The Other Side

Coming off a couple of months of zero time.

Much accomplished. Much left to do.

Tighter focus.

Longer reach.

Slightly more nimble.

And a lot more grounded.

A month late, but it's finally feeling like 2015.

Who's with me?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

No Talking, Just Andy

Andy Partridge + Jerry Harrison + Tina Weymouth + Chris Franz.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meanwhile about 35 Years Ago

A Week Before Badfinger

But I guess that wasn't enough.

So here's Denny Laine (the barber shaves another customer), Trevor Burton, and Gary Wright:

More info here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This (Unfortunately)

Fueling Power and Glory Fever Makes For a Sicker Union, Jack

Monday, January 5, 2015

Love is All You Need

With a little pastiche thrown in at the end.

Because technology.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy 2015

Looks like it's gonna be noisy. And messy.

And hopefully a lot of fun...