Steely Dan’s Magisterial Sleaze

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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, … [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 … [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 … [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 … [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, … [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,' … [Read more...]

Innovation Hub: Beatles Arrival


America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival, and the quotes just keep coming... Guests: Mark Lewisohn, author of "The Beatles: All Those Year, Volume 1 - Tune In" Vivek Tiwary, author of "The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story" Tim Riley, author of "Lennon: The Man, … [Read more...]

Talking Sun City with Steven Van Zandt


Always good to see Paul Simon's political laundry hung out to dry: Dave Marsh: You’re the only person who’s ever met Paul twice who thinks that’s surprising. [laughter] Steven van Zandt: I mean, at this point, you still think you were right?! Meanwhile, that big “communist,, as soon as he got out … [Read more...]

Explosion at the Wiig Factory

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  Write text here... Related articles Kristen Wiig & Tobey Maguire: 'Spoils Of Babylon' DGA Screening! Sundance: Bill Hader-Kristen Wiig's 'The Skeleton Twins' Sells Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Show Acting Chops in Charming 'The Skeleton Twins' [Sundance 2014 Review] Sundance … [Read more...]

What the Beatles Meant


“There’s so much there in that ‘Ed Sullivan’ appearance it’s almost overwhelming to me," says Lennon and Beatles biographer and NPR critic Tim Riley. “But there is this thought that they articulated later: ‘We are a rock ‘n’ roll band, we know where we’re situated in rock ‘n’ roll history and we do … [Read more...]


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On similarly fake grounds, Republicans use the Catholic bishops’ opposition to contraception as an excuse based on “religious freedom” to oppose the Affordable Care Act. The bishops’ case is phony—no one is forced to use or not use contraception by the act. But bishops say that countenancing the act … [Read more...]


Under the weather, behind on my spotify list, but watch this space... "We construct the experience of time in our minds, so it follows that we are able to change the elements we find troubling — whether it’s trying to stop the years racing past, or speeding up time when we’re stuck in a queue, … [Read more...]