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: 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
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?
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
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
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
Tei Shi has described her songcraft as a communion of many jams, tributaries of ideas meeting on a flood plain to the wide open sea. You can climb inside the layers on a track like 2013’s “M&Ms,” let the stuttering beat of 2015’s “Basically” blast from your imaginary boom box as weird thoughts bounce off … Continue reading Listen to Frontier Justice 3/25/17
Ray Davies is the latest British rocker to help design a Rolls-Royce.
It certainly seems like the recorded music industry has been in decline. And compared to the peak in 1999 it has been. But if you take a longer view of history you can see that the 1990s were a weird blip, fueled by shiny new compact disc sales. This short-term memory is understandable because Soundscan … Continue reading Recorded music revenue settling back into pre-90s levels
I had recently gotten home from a semester abroad in Scotland. While I was there the Pixies had released Trompe Le Monde, and I bought the cassette at the Aberdeen HMV the week it came out. The Pixies were one of my favorite bands, and the Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim two-fer had been the soundtrack … Continue reading Ticketstubs: The Pixies in Kalamazoo, 1992