Buried in the Files: That Eric Alper entry

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Moondog Matinee, The Band (Capitol) I first fell in love with this record growing up in Boulder, Colorado, after I saw Dylan play with the Band at the Denver Coliseum in early 1974. I had Planet Waves in my ear, and knew the early Band albums, but this record hovered over them all with an aura of thankless bar gigs and spilt beer, where passion for music transcended terrible working conditions. Mainstream culture had just discovered the fifties catalog with American Graffiti, but the grandeur in these songs reframed George Lucas’s small-town … [Read more...]

Bert Berns: Accidentally, Like a Martyr

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Dear New York Times, As Larry Rohter's lively and illuminating article ("Many-hit Wonder, Out of Obscurity: Bert Berns, Songwriter and Producer, Remembered," July 20) demonstrates, obscurities like Berns deserve a bigger place in rock history. But too many people forget that while his " trademark was the dark, angst-ridden tale of love unrequited or gone wrong," he scored his biggest hit with an accident. "Twist and Shout" was originally written in 1961 as a crude answer song to Chubby Checkers's "The Twist" (1960) and performed by a … [Read more...]

We Get Tips: Chubbies Shorts Facts

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The Facts – Chubbies Shorts: THE FACTS Chubbies are the best shorts ever. (Note: this is not “Opinion 1″, this is “Fact 1″) Chubbies may or may not be made with lightning.   Yes, lightning like the electric, molten-hot s*** that comes from the skies. Any sexual relations you have after purchasing a pair of Chubbies are DIRECTLY because of said Chubbies. Nothing else. Don't kid yourself. Chubbies most likely make you at least 4.2x faster (Obviously because of their aerodynamics. Can’t argue with science.) ... David Thomson … [Read more...]

A Thousand Times Yes, Zacharek on Hard Day’s Night

"...Ringo is the language mangler who says exactly what he means, usually inadvertently—though sometimes his eyes, good-natured but also ringed with dark circles that suggest excessive worry, say more: On a train, he passes a glass-windowed compartment where a stunning young woman sits, stroking a furry cat that rests suggestively in her lap. She sees him, smiles, and crooks her finger; he does a double take — that cat! — and then demurs, half-shocked, half-flattered, and having no idea what to do." Stephanie Zacharek in Fifty Years On, A … [Read more...]

Where Links Roam Free

NOT THE ABC SATURDAY MORNING BEATLES CARTOONS: thebeatoons, Episode 1-2 ”You Can’t Do That” Forgotify | 12 Bagatelles, Op. 13: No. 9. L'Abeille (The Bee) (arr. for cello and piano) by Various Artists Related articles Forgotify Helps You Discover Unloved Music On Spotify Forgotify: The Tool for Discovering Spotify's 4 Million Unheard Tracks Forgotify Streams Only Spotify Songs That Have Never Been Played Forgotify Only Plays Spotify Songs That No One Has Ever Played Before Forgotify site launched to promote 4 million songs that … [Read more...]

The Counselor, Cormac McCarthy

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I got sucked into by the cast too, enjoying Cameron Diaz's wicked villain and marveling at the word "goner" stenciled on Penelope Cruz's forehead from the opening pillow talk with Fassbender. But trashy seems too kind for this somber meditation on decapitation, with all the slow dipping mechanisms "artfully" called out ahead of time, and the sense of foreboding hurling itself sloppily through dialogue way too bland for Javier Bardem's decadent mousse. Confounding how one of our prized novelists slums in Hollywood with degenerate glee. ALSO: … [Read more...]

Today in HeadButler.com

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Guest Butler Joe DePreta, a New York marketing consultant and writer on cultural trends, is a student of musicology from Sinatra to the Sex Pistols.When I was a kid, my friends and I sat on a park bench and debated and talked over each other like a Robert Altman ensemble about the important hierarchies of the musical meritocracy. Beach Boys vs. Four Seasons. Hendrix vs. Clapton. To a handful of vociferous fifth graders the wining point of view was acutely important, and musical factoids were more relevant than Shakespeare or the Yankees. To … [Read more...]

Why isn’t this bigger news?

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From Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone: ...Although no final decision has been made, two high-level sources in the Obama administration told me recently that the president has all but decided to deny the permit for the [Keystone] pipeline – a dramatic move that would light up Democratic voters and donors while further provoking the wrath of Big Oil. Finally, Obama is positioning the U.S. to play a key role in negotiations on a new global-climate treaty that will begin next year, establishing American leadership on climate issues and giving him one … [Read more...]

PARLOR GAME: FIVE FAVORITE CONCERTS

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Off My Rocker, by Kenny Weissberg [Weissberg wrote a Friday column called "Hot Licks & Rhetoric" for the Boulder Daily Camera that I devoured while growing up in Colorado. He also hosted Bill Murray on a Sunday night KCRW radio show one night just a Murray started to break on SNL. We recently got back in touch...] Dear Kenny, my first thought was, "You played Brinsley Schwarz on your first KCRW show... and you remember it?" I finally picked up a BS twofer after turning into a rabid Nick Lowe fan in the 1980s and remember being quite … [Read more...]

The Absurdist Beatle

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James, I've always loved MacDonald's book even though I carry one major critical gripe: he structures it song-by-song in chronological order, arguing that understanding the "correct" sequence of recording helps trace thematic and musical development. But never quite follows through on this theme: seldom comments on whether, or how far, say, "A Day in the Life" stands from "Tomorrow Never Knows" from the previous year. Or how "Julia," the final track session for the White Album may be more intricately shaped than even "Happiness..." Then he … [Read more...]

Steely Dan’s Magisterial Sleeze

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You either swoon to the jaunty guitar lick that rips Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” or you hold your ears. Same with that eerie figure at the top of “FM,” or the sly, cribbed piano vamp to “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” Steely Dan tracks can seem not just overproduced but overplayed, overpraised, and catnip for the wrong kind of music nerd. Long before you dig into a five-decade career with countless buried pearls, the band inspires way too many harangues about everything rock supposedly squelched (instrumental pretension, phony … [Read more...]

Ghosts of Deportees

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"...Woodie Guthrie’s famous ballad Deportee about a 1948 plane crash in California that killed the pilot, crew and passengers, who were Mexican nationals being deported back to Mexico at the end of the harvest season.  Guthrie had read about the crash in the New York Times, which described the crew in detail and then dismissed the passengers as anonymous deportees.  The point of the song is in the refrain:  “You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane / All they will call you will be deportee,” capturing the denial and indignity … [Read more...]