“AFI’s Sing the Sorrow Still Stands as the Last Great Statement in American Punk Rock”

In 2003 I was in college and all of a sudden lot of people started talking about this AFI band. I envisioned them as kind of a snotty entity deliberately designed to pi** people off or make them uncomfortable, like their fellow Cali brethren NOFX and No Use for a Name.  I was pleasantly surprised, … Read more“AFI’s Sing the Sorrow Still Stands as the Last Great Statement in American Punk Rock”

“Mapping the Musical Trajectory of Beck’s Career as Elliptical and Not Linear”

Something hit me recently about “Loser,” Beck’s big single from 1994 that put him on the map. It’s like a trick you can only do once. I mean, if an artist were to issue “Loser,” and then another song that was that overtly suicidal (obviously I know the lyrics are meant tongue-in-cheek but the very … Read more“Mapping the Musical Trajectory of Beck’s Career as Elliptical and Not Linear”

“The Creepiest Album I Could Think to Listen to on Halloween Was The Dandy Warhols’ Why You so Crazy.”

There’s typically a point in a listen to any Eminem album when you have a little conference with yourself and come to grips that you’re just existing in a dirty sort of realm. On The Slim Shady LP, this probably comes on “As the World Turns,” with Bizarre’s skit on “Amityville” probably accomplishing this task … Read more“The Creepiest Album I Could Think to Listen to on Halloween Was The Dandy Warhols’ Why You so Crazy.”

“Beginning to Gauge What Porno for Pyros Means in the Grand Scheme of Things”

Perry Farrell has always amazed me. Lead singer of multiple bands, including Jane’s Addiction (who have put out exactly one excellent album, and nothing else, in each of the past four decades, astoundingly enough), founder and curator of Lollapalooza and general Dionysian madman of the Los Angeles night, he’s the kind of guy who could … Read more“Beginning to Gauge What Porno for Pyros Means in the Grand Scheme of Things”

“Sugar, I Got a ‘Big Empty’ Thing and I’m Gonna Ramble about it”

You might know the Stone Temple Pilots from their brief stint in the 1990s of giving music critics atomic wedgies of the aural variety. In my youth, to hear cuts like “Interstate Love Song” and “Lady Picture Show” — a fine ballad with a sad tinge pertaining lyrically to a female victim of a gang … Read more“Sugar, I Got a ‘Big Empty’ Thing and I’m Gonna Ramble about it”

“Somehow, Nobody Seems to Mention Nebraska’s Sugar Daddy, Columbia Records, in Album Commentary”

To be perfectly honest, I’ve always found Nebraska (1982), Bruce Springsteen’s sixth studio album, to be a little bit overrated. It plays to me like the perfect hipster pick, with its defiant stylistic spareness representing a “stark” [1] deviation from the erstwhile Springsteen playbook of energetic arena rock.  With few exceptions, none of the tracks … Read more“Somehow, Nobody Seems to Mention Nebraska’s Sugar Daddy, Columbia Records, in Album Commentary”

“Ben Folds Five’s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner Should Be Considered among the Elite Classic albums of the 1990s”

Now, I realize I’m kind of preaching to the choir, in a sense, as the only major journal that didn’t like this album was Pitchfork, whose divinely ordained scribe Brent Dicrescenzo also bad-mouthed Billy Joel and Vaudeville and chastised Steve Albini for being at the same Star Wars screening he was, in his BFF review. … Read more“Ben Folds Five’s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner Should Be Considered among the Elite Classic albums of the 1990s”