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Classic Songs of My Youth Revisited #30

Donna Summer – Dim All the Lights I will never not be annoyed by people who make mistakes when writing about Disco Demolition Night. It happened again recently in a most unexpected place: an article about 1970s hockey superstar Guy Lafleur (who, I shit you not, put out a disco record in 1979). To recap:…

Classic Songs of My Youth Revisited #29

New Order – “True Faith” In the mid 1980s, the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night in St. Catharines, Ontario (should fate have marooned you there) was Club Henley. It was a dark cavernous space completely without any artistically meritorious design elements, but it was easily accessible, could hold a lot of…

Favourite “New” Music – December 2022

So, in the great tradition of starting a new year by looking back at the one just ended, I can say that 2022 sort of blew. This isn’t hindsight: I was very aware of its high degree of suckage while I was in the middle of it. It began with my wife and I both…

Classic Songs of My Youth Revisited #28

John Lennon – “(Just Like) Starting Over” From December 5 to 7, 1980, I had what was to that point probably the best weekend of my young life. The following day, December 8, John Lennon was murdered. The two events, of course, had nothing to do with each other (as far as I know, anyway),…

Pazz and Jop 1974 #8

Jackson Browne – Late for the Sky I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around the love that critics once had for Jackson Browne, and listening to “Late for the Sky” three times hasn’t gotten me to the point where I’ve solved this particular puzzle. Like most early 1970s soft rock, it makes for…

Cover Version Showdown #4

Elvis Costello, “Watching the Detectives” – Duran Duran v The Henry Girls It’s kind of amazing to me that I’ve made it this far without writing about Elvis Costello, who, more recent disappointments aside, is my all-time favourite musical artist. He came along too late for Pazz and Jop (that’s going to change big time…

Favourite “New” Music – November 2022

Well, it’s December, and that means Christmas music everywhere you turn: on your television, in the shops you attend, at your doctor’s office, on your cab driver’s Sirius XM device. Even in this age of being able to have almost complete control over programming your listening life, it’s entirely unavoidable, which is unfortunate if, like…

Classic Songs of My Youth Revisited #27

John Parr – St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) I think that the artists and entertainers that we form an attachment to at a critical stage in our lives never stop being important to us. That has to be the case, because it’s the only way I can find to explain my lifelong interest in…

Pazz and Jop 1974 #7

Roxy Music – Stranded Every time I listen to early Roxy Music, all I hear is a band that’s trying too hard to – well, what they want to accomplish is the mystery, but it definitely isn’t about entertaining the listener. Yet again, they seem to be trying to straddle a non-existent line between art…

SoundTracking #1

“Bond . . . James Bond” I love James Bond movies, and there is nothing quite like a classic Bond theme song. The best of them tie the familiar John Berry motifs from the score to a pop sensibility that sounds fresh while holding lingering echoes of another era. They feel both of the ‘60s…

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