Tag Archives: Features

“Write a Catchy Chorus, HAL”

In NASCAR racing, which went into official existence in 1948, 1972 is identified as the start of the “Modern Era.” The series has yet to become postmodern, but that’s another argument for another digital venue. The troubadour tradition, that of a musician who sang and played a stringed instrument, goes back at least to the … Continue reading “Write a Catchy Chorus, HAL”

Fortune and Maltese: Live in Kalamazoo, 1995!

Video: Fortune & Maltese & The Phabulous Pallbearers Live at the State Theatre Hot damn, I loved this band! And here is some fantastic newly discovered live footage of them at the peak of their powers. Thirty minutes of amped-up garage rock remastered in “Trash-o-Phonic stereo sound.” Live in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 5, 1995. … Continue reading Fortune and Maltese: Live in Kalamazoo, 1995!

Who’s Left?

When I saw that the Who had recently performed a couple of classics on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon I immediately forwarded the link to Stephen Macaulay. Mac has a long history with the Who, dating back to seeing them at Cobo Hall in Detroit when he and the band were all scruffy young … Continue reading Who’s Left?

Listening to Gresham’s Law

Back in 1558, Sir Thomas Gresham, who was the financial agent for Queen Elizabeth I, articulated what was to become known as “Gresham’s law.” The law has it that “bad money drives out good.” He was talking about physical currency. One way to think about this is to take a quarter out of your pocket … Continue reading Listening to Gresham’s Law

The Model 500 and the Physicality of Music

Western Electric invented the Model 500 telephone. That’s the telephone with a handset cradled on the top of the device and a rotary dial on the front. It is the telephone that is the pre-21st century dictionary image of what a “telephone” would look like. It brought the Model 500 out in 1950. The classic … Continue reading The Model 500 and the Physicality of Music

Vinylology 101: How to buy Boston’s debut LP

Vinylology 101: Boston’s debut LP, 1976, Epic Records When you listen to the celebrated first LP by Boston, it’s obvious that the band’s leader Tom Scholz was a studio geek and a major control freak, which anecdotal evidence seems to bear out.  The songs are perfectly constructed; not a note is out of place.  The … Continue reading Vinylology 101: How to buy Boston’s debut LP

Joe Jackson in Ann Arbor: Who Said Anything About Love?

At about the midway point on his month-long tour, we saw Joe Jackson at the Michigan Theater this past Saturday night. It was probably the fourth time we’ve seen him. Some middle-aged fanboys in the row behind us were trying to top one another with shows they’d seen. One said the last time he saw … Continue reading Joe Jackson in Ann Arbor: Who Said Anything About Love?

Listen: Jams of Note, June 2017

Some jams of note for June. Or, really, it’s a mix about where do you put “Cut To The Feeling.” Is it first? Is it always? Is it just “Cut to the Feeling” for an entire Sound Design tape? Both sides? I got a tape once like that from a pen pal, years ago. Same … Continue reading Listen: Jams of Note, June 2017

If Music Be the Food of Love, Get Off the Stage

I have a place where dreams are born And time is never planned It’s not on any chart You must find it in your heart Neverland. It was 1972. My hair was long, my waist was thin and I had dark(ish) circles under my eyes from too many weekend nights spent drinking in a dive … Continue reading If Music Be the Food of Love, Get Off the Stage

Old Gibson Plant in Kalamazoo Getting Facelift

I was lucky enough to have spent some of my formative music years in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Not only was it a tour stop for national bands (Kalamazoo being exactly half-way between Chicago and Detroit), but it also had a banging local scene comprised of bands that I still count among my favorites. All of this … Continue reading Old Gibson Plant in Kalamazoo Getting Facelift