Nostalgia is such a wonderful thing. Through the backward-gazing lens of nostalgia even the most hum-drum times radiate waves of rosy and golden warmth. The pang of regret and loss is always nearby, but remembering times past is a constant source of joy for me. Sometimes I hear a tune or smell a scent and I can barely breathe for the fear of seeing or hearing something in the now that might derail that express ride working back toward something that used to be. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m absolutely delighted to think that someone somewhere, with whatever cobbled-together methods they’ve devised and whatever bits and pieces of whimsy and tinsel they picked up off the floor, did this. The best reason for creating something is always “Because why not?”

I’m eagerly awaiting the follow-up — “Hey, Take Some of This Cake Home (I’ll Never Eat All of It).”

And the b-side? A cover of Jay & the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer.” Of course.

The Bryan & Katie No Love Band “Throw Me a Party”

There are many things to like about Tom Waits’s “Downtown Train,” but I keep thinking of the lines “You wave your hand and they scatter like crows/They have nothing that will ever capture your heart.” Because, indeed, if you go downtown in any major American city — or any city anywhere, come to think of it — you’ll spot those girls. The ones with the claws that want to latch onto something lucrative and sensational.

And I don’t mean to be unkind in saying so, but you know the type. The ones who think that someone else can come along and solve all their problems with enough cash or a flashy automobile or admission to the right scenes. “Be careful of them in the dark” because in the dark you can’t see their eyes looking for the next sucker coming down the street. They can’t capture your heart because they haven’t any of their own. Just hands that clutch and hips that curve just so. “They try so hard to break out of their little worlds,” and you’re another rung on that ladder.

Big Bullet Records is kindly sharing with us another free compilation culled from the tracks of its stable of varied and ever-talented acts. Terminal Ballistics, Volume Two, follows up on 2009’s first volume and shows the indie constellation of stars as compelling as ever, with vital new acts shuffling in next to stalwarts whose sounds have helped define the modern music sound in their region. Read the rest of this entry »


I grew up in a rural community and live now in a community that is only slightly less so. A major if often unremarked staple of the landscape are the lovely buildings — barns, workshops and diners but mostly houses — that have been surrendered to nature. Birds now dart in and our of the broken upstairs windows, trees have started lazing up along the back walls and the roof itself has given way to unintended skylights. Read the rest of this entry »

This is what the future sounded like in the past. Read the rest of this entry »

I put on the Demon Beat’s new 1956, turned it up to maximum volume and watched it melt all the snow around my house. Read the rest of this entry »

I spent the entirety of my teenage life in the ’90s. It’s weird to think that back then there were times when someone could actually ask, “Have you heard of Green Day?” and it wouldn’t have been a laughable faux pas — Green Day hadn’t really broken through yet. The same goes for Smashing Pumpkins and Everclear and Oasis and Beck and whoever else had phenomenal breakthrough albums without first licensing their songs for car commercials. Read the rest of this entry »

Why don’t I get to circle the desert in an old VW pickup, furry bull and pagliacci (?) grooving by my side? What life choices unfairly guided me away from that scenario? Life is not fair. Read the rest of this entry »

America raced heatedly westward, found Los Angeles waiting, and devoured itself. I think that’s what Arthur Lee was saying. Right? Read the rest of this entry »

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