Tag Archives: Music

‘Nico, 1988’ presents the last days of an icon

Until the moment of her 1988 death in the most banal of accidents, Nico had earned her distance from the Velvet Underground material that turned the model into a camp and often transfixing chanteur in the seventies: like any star, … Continue reading

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Doom averted!

My first question for the Braman Honda salesperson three weeks ago was not about mileage or maintenance: “This Civic doesn’t come with a CD player, right?” He looked at the asphalt, shook his head sadly for my sake. Three years … Continue reading

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Cecil Taylor – RIP

As predictable a choice as it might look, Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” toyed with by Cecil Taylor is the magnificent pianist’s epitaph. But I’m seeping in fourteen minutes of “Omli Parte 1” at the moment.

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‘Even the mysteries/It’s all me’

With deep respect to Dusty in Memphis, my Supremes comp, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Exile in Guyville, these albums I submitted to NPR’s Turning the Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women survey. The first album will get … Continue reading

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If you lose your faith: the best of Everything But the Girl

“Tracey Thorn has always been one of those singers who sounded dandy on other people’s records, notably Massive Attack’s,” Robert Christgau wrote at the dawn of the 2000s, and he was right. But for a critic who has admitted to … Continue reading

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She’s got herself a universe – ‘Ray of Light’ at twenty

Happy birthday to Ray of Light, Madonna’s shrewd attempt to position herself as an older woman whose newborn conferred Wisdom and Experience. The other day I remarked that the production – mostly by William Orbit but Marius de Vries and … Continue reading

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‘The sun comes/Like a god into our room’

Longtime readers know my affection for INXS’ singles. Last week I had the chance to write a few hundred words about Kick, reissued in an absurd multi-disc edition but with a phenomenal sound. Here’s the list I drew up last … Continue reading

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David Cassidy — RIP

The variety show star as teen phenomenon, without the talent to make the leap into pop that reflected contemporary values until I remember that Terry Jacks and The Carpenters reflected the Nixon seventies as surely as CSNY and Alice Cooper. … Continue reading

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Worst songs ever: “(I Just) Died in Your Arms”

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when … Continue reading

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Crawling back to him: remembering Tom Petty

Between bouts of Kelela and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, I’ve listened to a lot of Tom Petty the last eight days. Perhaps too much listening – I missed my deadline to contribut to The Singles Jukebox’s Petty tribute. Among a fine … Continue reading

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Droppin’ coffee pots: Eminem

Rough notes on watching Eminem’s “The Storm (Freestyle).” 1. The rasp heightened the urgency, the disgust. Its strength is in Eminem’s enjambments and, to quote my friend Raymond Cummings, its pauses. Watching him in his hoodie, the way the years … Continue reading

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It couldn’t have been that easy to forget about me: Tom Petty’s legacy

The thing is, there was always a good Tom Petty song. Casual listening is easy these days. In the same way you’d satisfy your curiosity about an old friend by visiting her Facebook page, or how you’d say hello to … Continue reading

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