Archive for June, 2008

OK, rock years don’t really get started until sometime in April. But then they kind of slow down after mid-November. Then again, people with wide tastes generally find themselves still catching up with the previous year in February. But for schoolteachers, like me, the end of June presents its own milestone, so why not a list […]


First of all, Carlin would understand — on “Death and Dying” from On the Road, a late ’70s album, he mocks the way people forget all the bad stuff when someone dies.
Second of all, George Carlin’s 1972 Class Clown is one of the very few standup albums I’ve ever played over and over — Woody Allen’s Standup Comic, Richard Pryor’s That Nigger’s Crazy, Lenny Bruce’s Live at the Curran Theater, Bill Cosby’s Why Is There Air? and I’ve no doubt missed something as I haven’t pursued that phonographic genre like the music I love (note that they’re all 60s and early ’70s). It’s possible that Chris Rock has one (does he even make albums?), but probably not Margaret Cho, whose best moments have been visual (her evocation of the first time she ate pussy, say).


Why has Lil Wayne been blowing everything else off my Ipod for two weeks? First with the brand-newTha Carter III, then with the other five studio albums that I’ve since snapped up, or four of the “officIal” “bootleg” “mixtapes” ditto, plus disc 1 of Da Drought 3, where I first heard him this winter? (where […]


Elvis Costello has got to be one of the more acute examples of getting what he wanted and thereby losing what he had. One reason he wanted to leave Columbia in the late ’80s was that they didn’t give him the recording budget of what he felt an artist of his stature should have. They treated […]


(Kenny writing) The Roots are my least favorite band I own six albums by.  Obviously this doesn’t make them bad — I wouldn’t have bought six albums by them if they didn’t produce pleasure on a regular basis.  At the same time, not one stands out as worthy of attention from beginning to end.  They really are […]