Image by Miguel Ramirez via Flickrfrom Publisher's Marketplace (12/15/10): Music historian and journalist Tim Riley's JOHN ONO LENNON: THE LIFE AND THE MUSIC, an examination of John Lennon's life and creative legacy, covering everything from the widely misunderstood origins of "Working Class Hero" to Lennon's epic romance with Yoko Ono, sharing insight into the emotional conceptions and musical evolution of the songs that for so many of us have become part of our own personal history, to Gretchen Young at Hyperion, for … [Read more...]


...Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that rock album art gave generations of suburban adolescents in the 1970s and '80s their first exposure to surrealism and open-ended narrative? The cover of Hejira presented the lightly cultured teenager I was then with a visual puzzle that absorbed me in a new way. On the front gatefold, Mitchell's body is double-exposed with an image of a prairie highway; the songs on the album are about travel. I wanted to know, though, about the wintry sepia landscape in the background. The photograph winds around … [Read more...]


Image via WikipediaOne last time: The thing about Pavement isn't that they chose diffidence, or irony, or aloof distance (or whatever other residual Gen-X cliché you're compelled to recycle) as an aesthetic posture. It's that they seemed to find themselves, like lots of us, inherently diffident, and ironic, and aloof, and distant (and whatever) in their relations with others, and they created the sort of language and noise we needed to communicate amongst ourselves. And in the process, they found that plenty of emotional truths, and plenty of … [Read more...]


ETCH-A-SKETCH, BOSTON Image by lumierefl via FlickrRelated articles by ZemantaPop Culture Classic Etch-A-Sketch Toy 50th Anniversary and Contest ( 12, 1960: Etch a Sketch? Let Us Draw You a Picture ( A Sketch turns 50: amazing art created with the drawing toy ( of Fame: Etch A Sketch Celebrates 50th Birthday ( … [Read more...]


Image via WikipediaJust click. Related articles by ZemantaYowza!! launches affiliate program to get more small businesses to use their mobile couponing service (!! adds new restaurants and merchants to its mobile coupons service ( Underwood Weds! ( … [Read more...]


Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Ben Stiller from Between Two FernsRelated articles by ZemantaSaturday Night Live Recap: Zach Galifianakis Does His Part ( Link Roundup ( Zach Galifianakis, Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and Andy Dick on Between Two Ferns ( … [Read more...]


Image via Wikipedia...To me the question of whether or not he continued to write strikes at the heart of the nature of writing itself. If he indeed wrote volumes and volumes about the Glass family, as has been claimed, it would be such a curious thing, given that the nature of written communication is social; language was created to facilitate understanding between people. So writing books upon books without the intention of sharing them with people is a proposition full of contradictory impulses and goals. It's like a gifted chef cooking … [Read more...]

2009 LIST

Rosanne Cash The List (Sony) Mission of Burma The Sound The Speed The Light (Matador) John Fogerty Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again (Verve) Chris Potter Ultrahang (ArtistShare) Allen Toussaint The Bright Mississippi (Nonesuch) the-dream Love vs. money Lily Allen It's Not Me It's You Oxford American, 10th Anniversary Edition Susan Tedeschi Back to the River (Verve Forecast) Bob Dylan Tell Tale Signs (Sony BMG) Walter Becker Circus Money (Mailboat Records) Beck Modern Guilt … [Read more...]


Michael Jackson via" 1979, with Off The Wall, he invented modern pop as we know it. He'd been around for years, making the occasional solo record, but for literally millions of us, it was a de facto debut album from a kid -- a kid! Like us! -- we were hearing for the first time. It was an unabashed disco record, with an anthem called "Burn This Disco Out" at a time when "disco" was the most polarizing word in pop music. But it was a disco record that imagined the entirety of pop in disco terms, and it sounded universal on a level … [Read more...]


Cover via Amazon Early in "Appetite for Self-Destruction," Knopper quotes former Warner Records and EMI CEO Joe Smith as observing, "This business ain't full of Martin Luther Kings." It says something about the emotional power of music that anyone would expect sainthood in its executives, but in the real world the absence of "Martin Luther Kings" is notable in virtually all businesses. Internet romanticists liked to ridicule the often implausible claims of record execs that they were looking out for the artists, since these were, at times, the … [Read more...]


Contemporary Britain is still so much more a literate culture than America that the GUARDIAN gives away paperback books in its Sunday Observer (whereas the Mail gives away pop CDs). And this past Sunday's special Music section included a feature article on My Bloody Valentine by... Sean O'Hagan, who ran the Beatles monthly for years, and a rave review of Umalali, The Garifuna Women's Project, by Hendrix author Charlie Gillett. Enough to make you wonder whether the stateside reviewing culture is half this healthy. Ringo Starr did make an … [Read more...]