essay Archive

What do you get when you cross the Yardbirds with German prog?

In or around 1980 I went into my friendly local record shop and purchased a new, shrink-wrapped 2LP set called Shapes of Things. It was a compilation of Yardbirds radio broadcasts and whatnot, on the Canada-based Bomb label. One of those semi-legit releases, I think. I got home and played it, and it was fine.

So Much for Rockstock 09

I only heard about the Rockstock 09 “festival” a few weeks ago. I was quite excited to discover that the Smithereens would be performing. I’ve always loved their powerpop-meets-heaviness approach, and sort of projected a they’re-kindred-spirits persona onto the band, believing that the quartet was made up of True Fans Of Rock like myself. Turns

Paste Magazine Got it Right. Sorta.

Paste Magazine has an online feature in which they go for the funny and gently mock themselves and their ilk. “The ’60s & ’70s Bands Rock Critics & Musicians Always Namecheck But That No One Else Really Ever Listens To 2009” lists those acts, and makes a half-hearted argument as to why they get mentioned

Ray Charles = Genius. Michael Jackson ≠ Genius.

Against a backdrop of TV news/infotainment’s wall-to-wall, undeservedly reverential adoration for Michael Jackson, I found myself tasked with considering the meaning of the word genius. Here’s what I came up with: a review of the new single-disc compilation Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection.

The Collection

It wasn’t shrinkwrapped, but appeared to be new. The cover sported a black-and-white photo of The Beatles dating from 1969. There was no title on the front. On the back, there was an odd cartoon drawing of a guy with headphones, and endless text, most of which seemed to be gibberish or some elaborate inside

Profile: Lance Wille, Record Collector

Born: October 19, 1963 Education: Art studies at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb IL Avocation: Fairview resident Lance Wille is a busy man with diverse interests. He maintains a hand-cranked letterpress studio. He plays drums with underground legends Reigning Sound. He’s married to renowned local artist Sue Million. And he has an extensive collection of LP

Todd Rundgren / Utopia / Nazz: A Critical Essay

DISCOGRAPHY Todd Rundgren Runt (Bearsville) 1970 The Ballad of Todd Rundgren (Bearsville) 1971 Something / Anything? (Bearsville) 1972 A Wizard / A True Star (Bearsville) 1973 Todd (Bearsville) 1974 Initiation (Bearsville) 1975 Faithful (Bearsville) 1976 Hermit of Mink Hollow (Bearsville) 1977 Back To The Bars (Bearsville) 1978 Healing (Bearsville) 1981 The Ever Popular Tortured Artist

Pink Floyd: A Critical Essay

Pink Floyd Discography Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Tower) 1967 A Saucerful of Secrets (Tower) 1968 More (Tower) 1969 Ummagumma (Harvest) 1969 “Zabriskie Point” Soundtrack (MGM/Rhino Movie Music) 1970/1997 Atom Heart Mother (Harvest) 1970 Meddle (Harvest) 1971 Relics (Harvest) 1971 Obscured by Clouds (Harvest) 1972 Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest) 1973 A Nice