Archive for February, 2008

Robert Christgau (who comes up frequently not because this blog is “about” “The Dean,” but for the same reason we put his name in the title: without him, our rock criticism, and the vast majority of rock criticism we’re interested in looks very different to the extent it can be called criticism at all) has always argued that most year-end lists come out too soon — generally before the year ends, but definitely before people have had a chance to properly process year-end releases.


The formula goes like this:  sound makes music attractive but words make it stick.  When describing why I pay attention to something, it has to sound good.  But lots of things sound good, too many to keep track of, and the number of times a decade when some genuinely new sound is invented is trivially […]

[Note:  My favorite album of 2007, Wussy’s Left For Dead, is reviewed at Wussy’s Left For Dead]  Arcade Fire and Bruce Springsteen David makes an interesting and not uncompelling argument in an essay on this blog (Bruce Springsteen’s Neon Bible) that Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, which I like well-enough, and my number 2 record of the year, […]

The greatest singer songwriters know how to twist a cliché inside out until it turns up a totally new thought, and the best recording right now are Todd Snider and Amy Rigby.  I mean, who really needs a 2006 song called “Just Like Old Times”?  Well, here are the old times:  pool shark runs into […]

Morcheeba is the classic case of a band without credibility.  If trip hop was your scene, they were sellout popsters driven to make money selling records to noncultists; if you had no interest in trip hop, there was nothing in particular about Morcheeba that would change your mind – they didn’t have the hooks or […]

Five Star Songs


Shameless listmaker that I am, I have a list of 315 five-star songs.  Naturally, this is something I couldn’t have had before the iPod, which provides both the means for reviewing songs for such a list, and the database for recording the rating.  I don’t swear, as I write this, that there aren’t 10 songs […]

Far more than my co-writer David, who just jumped into his posts about shuffle, the discovery of shuffle changed my life suddenly and dramatically.  Perhaps it’s for that reason that I feel compelled to write this essay before I publish posts on a couple of songs that recently came up on my shuffle. I was […]