Today in

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 … [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 … [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 … [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: … [Read more...]

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...]