The worst openers on good albums

Fortunately I’ve covered a couple of these tracks already. The following tracks present innumerable obstacles, nuisances, and misbegotten intros to otherwise good or excellent albums. As usual, your mileage may vary. 1. Bob Dylan – “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (Blonde on Blonde) 2. Def Leppard – “Women” (Hysteria) 3. Paul Simon – “Allergies”Continue reading “The worst openers on good albums”

Ranking the best Genesis albums

Fans of Peter Gabriel’s fox heads and tales of the Giant Hogweed will find much to mourn here. Despite praising recently The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway as one of the better realized “concept” albums (hint: all albums, comps included, use concepts), I don’t reach for it — still too damn long, and Tony Banks’Continue reading “Ranking the best Genesis albums”

Worst cocktails

Among my favorite posts concerned my favorite cocktail recipes. About ten years ago the Wall Street Journal published an article about sidecars, a wonderful cocktail that in 2008 was almost impossible to make without using a pre-fab mix. Well, the world has shifted on its axis. Even the most generic Courtyard Marriott employs a bartenderContinue reading “Worst cocktails”

Ranking Outkast albums

Andre 3000 brought wicked sartorial flair, an ace producer’s ear for cool sounds, and Buzzcocks. Big Boi brought common sense, hooks, and Kate Bush. Together with a galaxy of collaborators like Sleepy Brown, Mr. DJ, Rico Wade, and Ray Murray, Outkast recorded some of the richest hip-hop of its era — they’re sentimental in surprisingContinue reading “Ranking Outkast albums”

What privilege looks like

White men have endured so much pain in America. They need to take their country back. Beginning in October 1968, records show, Mr. Trump had a 1-Y classification, a temporary medical exemption, meaning that he could be considered for service only in the event of a national emergency or an official declaration of war, neitherContinue reading “What privilege looks like”

‘Come; see the oxen kneel’

A poet and novelist of unrelenting gloom that never quite shaded into despair, Thomas Hardy has captured my imagination since a high school reading of Jude the Obscure. I return to him often, and there’s always a minor novel or two I’ve missed. Below is “The Oxen,” among my favorite holiday lyrics. Christmas Eve, andContinue reading “‘Come; see the oxen kneel’”

Ranking my favorite Keith Richards Stones songs

An increasingly welcome relief as his band’s lead singer transmogrified into a pair of bulbous lips panting for cash in the form of a nineteen-year-old sorority girl, Keith Richards sang at least six classics and another six a notch below. On Dirty Work‘s “Sleep Tonight” he discovered his mature voice, owing something to Hoagie Carmichael:Continue reading “Ranking my favorite Keith Richards Stones songs”