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...]

Today in HeadButler.com

Lennon page

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...]



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


"...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...]

riley rock index relaunch


Behold the new riley rock index, now an extension of the timrileyauthor page, where it's been condensed, reformatted and reconcieved as a monthly tip sheet with album. We start with Drive-By Truckers, hard on Beck, and early Click Hits include: Beatles Roundtable BigOZine dBs Holsapple on Rosanne Cash deep dig agogo rri ringtone (m4r): Steely Dan Michael Tatum, via Tom Hull (with artist index) TED's Top 100 Sites Tom Smucker on Smiley Smile … [Read more...]

Wes Anderson in Chart Form

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Also: 21 Writers Tell Us Which Books They’d Add to the Canon – Flavorwire. Wes Anderson Related articles Charting popular words in music over the last half-century [charts] Fascinating Graphs Trace Words' Appearances in Songs, 1960-Present … [Read more...]

American Hustle’s Music of Swindle, by Geoffrey O’Brien

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Bale and Adams fall in love to the strains of Duke Ellington, and dance while Jack Jones croons “I’ve Got Your Number”; the hapless Cooper pursues his doomed amour fou as Donna Summer chants “I Feel Love” at Studio 54; Lawrence lip-syncs “Live and Let Die” in close-up as she boils with rage against her cheating husband; Bale and Renner seal their newfound friendship by singing along with Tom Jones on “Delilah.” The steady stream of Chicago, America, Elton John, Santana, Steely Dan, and Jeff Lynne tracks sometimes gives the impression of a Top … [Read more...]

So Hip It Hurts: Penman on Steely Dan


Penman enjoys Eminent Hipsters a lot more than I do (watch this space), but he gets off some very fine licks: "It’s a portrait of the artist as an embryonic Florida retiree: grumpy, fidgety, fond (his hotel room iPod plays nothing but old Verve jazz or Stravinsky), ungrateful toward fans, snarling at managers, leering at young poolside babes, spiteful to hotel staff. Fagen doesn’t skirt the risk of deep mortification. He leads us round 360 degrees of his touring profile: petty, grouchy, backward-looking, too smug by half. And yet, while it … [Read more...]

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs, by Jaan Uhelszki

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That night, after I interviewed Hoffman, I went back to my hotel room and had a dream about Lester, something that happens with some regularity. In every dream, he isn't dead, but instead has been hiding out somewhere. Waiting. This time, I asked him where he had been. He told me Florida. "I've just been waiting for you to get it right," he told me. Well, Philip Seymour Hoffman certainly got it right when he played Lester in Almost Famous. And maybe tonight I'll go to sleep and bump into Lester and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lou Reed arm … [Read more...]

Splendid Time Guaranteed

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Already sputtering for choosing "That Means a Lot"... but keep it coming. Related articles The Beatles' TV Debut--Not on Ed Sullivan The Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' at 50 (video) You: Beatles NYC 50 Festival set for Feb. 6-9 Music Match: The Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand,' Then Al Green's How the Beatles Took America: Inside the New Issue of Rolling Stone Songs You May Have Thought the Beatles Wrote, But Didn't Beatles bootlegs released on iTunes … [Read more...]