One note

Sometimes all it takes is a note. This winter shall be reflected upon as a season of snow days. I am home now, the victim of the latest snow day (actually due to icy conditions in my county of employ). I am sitting at my desk sifting through the mountain of redundant files in my … Continue reading

Dysphonia, signing off

I turned 38 this year, and I’ve been thinking about life and everything that comes with age. I have also been looking up the definitions of the words malaise, ennui, bilabial fricative, and dysthymia. I’ve also been obsessed with the word albatross. “Why do you keep saying that?” my wife asks me. It would be … Continue reading

The musical layers of Layer Cake

Hundred of years ago I heard a song. Not just any old song, but a swirling, catchy song with a ringing guitar and great singing. I tried and tried and tried to find the song but my searches were coming up empty. Pre- or early internet days were still occasionally difficult to find music in, … Continue reading

MCA, growing up, and looking back

Last week, as many will no doubt know, MCA from the Beastie Boys passed away from a battle with cancer. The loss was one that took many by surprise; cancer may be a killer of many yet when it strikes someone down the fear associated with the illness comes on strong. Now by the time … Continue reading


I wonder what is like being from another country. This sounds sort of stupid, but Americans often have a strange, warped view of the music of other countries. It is not unexpected to have a country-specific oritentation towards your own pop culture. We are the center of our experience and of our own perspective. In … Continue reading

Have you ever been down?

Sweet Jesus that song, that song. That sound, that sample, that lyric. Every time I hear The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” every single solitary time I hear the opening refrain of the song I sigh, droop my shoulders, and hear the hairs stand up on end all over my frame. I can remember Australian streets, … Continue reading


A few weeks ago I was in my car, on my morning commute: 45 minutes of darkness. Somewhere between home and Interlochen I asked myself a question: Who is the American Syd Barrett? For those reading this who don’t know Syd I will try and summarize, briefly. Founder and early leader of Pink Floyd, went … Continue reading


Let us remember the compilation. It seems that over the past four or five years the compilation has been defined by the always fresh, always relevant Now That’s What I Call Music series. When I stopped selling CDs in 2005, the nineteenth volume in the series was due to be released. At present the series … Continue reading


When you work in a record store, rather, if you worked in a record store when I did you were always listening to music. It was your vocation and your avocation and it was what you spent your money on. In my early 20s I spent, conservatively, 14-16 hours on any given day listening to … Continue reading


Have you ever encountered a band you just don’t like? For reasons that you yourself are unclear about, you just don’t like them. It may be their music, it may be their person; whatever it is about the band just puts you off. Isn’t it amazing how the feelings that make you absolutely love one … Continue reading