What We Will Be, by Spirit Night (AKA Shepherdstown, WV’s Dylan Balliett), has all the sweeping, playful, overwrought, lo-fi wonder and wizardy that Stephin Merritt cooks up when he barricades himself in the bedroom with a Casio and a ukulele. Read the rest of this entry »

 Music reassures and dismays me in alternating strokes. Read the rest of this entry »

THE COPS WAS ALL LIKE ‘WE’RE GUNNA GIT YOU, BOY!’ BUT I WAS LIKE ‘NO WAY!’ Read the rest of this entry »

Cut off your Indian braids and take off your rainbow shades, Arizona. That’s just silly. Instead, come to San Francisco and listen to Aesop’s fables. That’s so much more plausible. Read the rest of this entry »

The Brooklyn Bridge were never cool, but they were frequently entertaining. Their music was printed with the Four Seasons-esque matching-suit taste for schmaltz. They were doo-wop all growns up, sans the artistry and innovation often demanded by late ’60s pop listeners. Safe for mom and dad, a buffer to wrap around trippier acts; or rather, white bread to cleanse the palate after all that free love do-goodery emanating from the West Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheer Up, Numbnuts, the new release from BLACK FAG! (aka, Adam Meisterhans), is a great showcase for the Demon Beat’s guitarist/vocalist. In his role as resident production guru for Big Bullet Records, Meisterhans no doubt has put a lot of time into crafting sounds for other bands and has picked up a few tricks along the way. This CD plays like he’s kept the best nuggets for himself and he’s shouldering aside his bandmates to grab his overdue share of solo laurels. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m not doing a “best songs of the decade” post because, well, there’s still another year left whether anyone admits it or not. No jumping the gun here, no sir. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars… Read the rest of this entry »

The snow keeps falling and I’m feeling despondent, so now’s as good a time as any to share one of the finest songs I’ve ever heard. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t mind holiday music–you know, that stuff that starts playing the day after Halloween–as much as I used to.

Last year, and in years recently past, I would’ve turned shades of red to hear holiday music THROUGHOUT November and December. But for some reason this year, I don’t mind so much.

As with all music, there are some songs and genres that bug me. And I’m not big on the spirituality that’s supposed to be the core of the holiday season. But overall, I really do enjoy some songs. They’re inextricably linked to childhood and snow and presents and all those wonderful things, and it’s okay to binge on glad tidings once a year.

If I can keep the consumerist engine of the modern holiday season from derailing those little happy bits, then I’m quite pleased to hear Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”, and maybe even Jose Feliciano’s “Faliz Navidad” (but please, once is enough).

Nat King Cole “The Christmas Song (1961 Version)”

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