Tag Archives: Stylus

I’m counting the grains and they’re so sharp: the best of Wire

Well, I figured Graham Lewis and Colin Newman deserved a snotty reappraisal. My piece on Wire’s 154 triggered a a week’s worth of hate (e)mail when such things existed. Intended as provocation, the essay pretends the rest of Wire’s career … Continue reading

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New and true and gay: The best of Luther Vandross

Eleven years ago, I wrote a consideration of Luther Vandross for Stylus. Many of my points now embarrass me, but I’ll post it anyway. To call Luther Vandross the greatest R&B singer of the era reminds me of what my … Continue reading

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Don’t hold back — just have a good time: Janet Jackson

Deflating expectations with modesty, “No Sleeep” is a perfect first single, the first Janet Jackson single since 2006 to bear the co-writing/co-production credit Janet Jackson-Jimmy Jam-Terry Lewis and no one else. This partnership, thirty years old now, has weathered New … Continue reading

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Air can hurt you too: Talking Heads 1980

Vinyl copies were available, but spottings were rare, like female cardinals in South Florida. I saw one in the late nineties; I bought a Japan album instead or some shit. So when Rhino issued The Name of This Band is … Continue reading

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Memory wastes: Grant McLennan

Ten years ago tomorrow, a couple of Saturday night plans got canceled, so I turned, “as I usually do,” to quote the late Prince, to my computer. Post punk’s greatest melodist had died during the nap he took before his … Continue reading

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‘Like the lion of Judah, I’ll strike my enemies down’

I was supposed to review Art Official Age for a publication but the request got pulled; it would’ve been the first new Prince album in whose honor I wrote a few hundred words since Planet Earth in 2007 (I still … Continue reading

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Bryan Ferry, afraid of his shadow

Bryan Ferry is a marvel. After releasing this farrago, the minor pleasures of Olympia and Avonmore were like a glass of cold Pellegrino after a day of beer drinking. From the cheapo cover to the indifferent song selection Dylanesque is … Continue reading

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No time to be a decent lover: Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full

As my readers know, I like a few Paul McCartney solo albums. Certainly they know my affections for synth/New Wave experiments like McCartney II and ’80s megapop like Press to Play. In 2007 I reviewed one of his many billed … Continue reading

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Love on the rocks: Brokeback Mountain

Many budding gay men learned about the power of spit lube from Brokeback Mountain, for which we should be grateful to Annie Proulx and director Ang Lee. In 2016 it’s hard to believe this Hollywood weeper started such chatter in … Continue reading

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Mustaches and gay panic: The Killers

For a couple years I got more hate mail for this piece than anything I’d written to date. I was happy to be proven right: Brandon Flowers’ queer envy and talents finally meshed on the daft and intermittently powerful The … Continue reading

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Al Green: It’s all okay

The streaming age hasn’t made appraisal of Al Green’s catalog easier. When the wedding standards from Greatest Hits pop up on Spotify, I understand why the young hate weddings and old people. From breakthrough Al Green Gets Next to You … Continue reading

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The aesthete meets the laptop: Scritti Politti

When I reviewed my second favorite record of 2006, millennial appreciation of Scritti Politti was in its pupal stage. I myself didn’t own Cupid & Psyche ’85 until early 1999; during the Rodney Jerkins and Timbaland era of R&B and … Continue reading

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