Tag: Rock

1983, Music

Uh-Huh (1983) by John Cougar Mellencamp

A number of times in the last few years I have put on a Mellencamp album with the intention of talking about it on the podcast and come up with some reason not to talk to about, so I’ve never given any of them the full three listens I want to give any record before …

1998, Music

Devil Without a Cause (1998) by Kid Rock

Full disclosure: I don’t like Kid Rock. I don’t like his urban hick persona. I don’t like his public support of The Donald. I don’t like that he owns a craft brewery that makes watery lagers because he didn’t think there were enough watery lagers available in the United States. If I never heard another …

1993, Music

Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993) by Lenny Kravitz

I do not love nostalgia. Even when that nostalgia is for music I like, I have a hard time liking or sometimes even appreciating music that was made in awe of and devotion to another time. Sure, it might sound better than the original because it was recorded better or mixed better or mastered better …

1978, Music

Easter (1978) by Patti Smith Group

I struggle with Patti Smith; she’s one of those artists I think I should like, not just because of received opinion but because the things she does are things I supposedly like. But for some reason I have this barrier. I think it comes from how I first heard her.

1977, Music

Slowhand (1977) by Eric Clapton

At some point during Clapton’s recovery from heroin addiction, his style of music changed rather drastically. He still played the blues but a lot of the fire and rawness of that playing was gone. His solo records from the ’70s (excepting the first one) all have a similar pop blues style, even if the individual …

1987, Music

Robbie Robertson (1987)

When I was growing up my dad had a Robbie Robertson album, I don’t remember which one. When I discovered the Band, I had a hard time reconciling the memories I had of his solo music with The Band’s music – they seem to have been made by two totally different people, or at least …

1977, Music

Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) by Dennis Wilson

Full disclosure: I did not want to listen to this. I don’t love The Beach Boys and have generally been annoyed by the Brian Wilson-worship that has bubbled to the surface over the last few decades. Of all the likely listeners of this record, one would expect me to be among the least fair.

1997, 2017

OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017 by Radiohead

I don’t normally review reissue editions of albums, whether or not I like them. And I wouldn’t review this either only I am going to record a podcast episode about OK Computer shortly and I was advised to listen to the rarities disk. So here goes…

1996, Music

Recovering the Satellites (1996) by Counting Crows

The idea that Counting Crows (and this record) are “alternative” has to be one of the reasons “alternative rock” went from meaning something to being the designation for mainstream rock music in the 90s.

1976, Music

Night Moves (1976) by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

For much of my life I have had a hatred for “boomer nostalgia” – movies and music that lionize growing up in the ’50s and ’60s as if it was just the bees knees. I am getting to an age where I am finally able to better understand the appeal of such nostalgia – I’m …

1971, Music

4 Way Street (1971) by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

When I was young, I was told by various reviews that this was one of the great classic rock live albums of the early ’70s and I was enticed by the talk of guitar duels.

2007, Movies

Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (2007, Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner, Parris Patton)

This is a fawning, awkward fluff piece of one of the greatest bands to come out of the British Invasion. I love The Who – there was probably a time in my life when they were my favourite band – but this film feels like the Official Version, something vetted by Daltrey and Townshend so …

1975, Music

Tonight’s the Night (1973, 1975) by Neil Young

Neil Young was a star for the first time in 1973. And yet even though he was star, and he was expected to pump out further “Heart of Gold” style hits, his life was a mess. Whether or not he may acknowledge it now, he had drug issues. And within a rather short span of …

1970, Music

Live at Leeds (1970) by the Who

Is this the greatest live album of all time? I never used to care about live albums. I never used to care about live music. Music used to live in my bedroom and I had no idea that there was some other side to it. Frankly I didn’t understand why people went to concerts. The …


On Artistic Greatness

Greatness means many different things to many different people and certainly conceptions of greatness vary from field to field. Most of our associations with greatness are no doubt based upon feelings rather than rational reflection. If we don’t have a mutually acceptable concept of greatness, then you can hardly agree or disagree with me about …


The Beatles Are the Greatest Rock Band of All Time and I Can Prove

I used to take the greatness of the Beatles for granted. Though I would often drunkenly argue in their favour, I assumed my interlocutors were merely arguing with me because they were drunk, and not because they really, truly believed any band could be more significant to the history of “rock” music than the Beatles. …

Music, RIP

RIP Ray Collins

Ray Collins died on Christmas eve. Because he was Ray Collins, I didn’t find out about it for four days. Collins was Zappa’s earliest lead vocalist in the Mothers of Invention – that is, when Zappa himself wasn’t singing – which was actually initially Collins’ band under another name. He also provided backing vocals to …

2012, Music

Jack White live at the Sony Centre, October 3, 2012

The opener was Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three. They play a mixture of pre-rock and roll styles of music including things like Western Swing and jazz and other styles from that era. The band is very solid – especially his guitarist – and as a singer he is definitely authentic, but this is …

2003, Music

Fever to Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003 Interscope)

I avoided this like the plague when it came out: I didn’t like the single then, but moreover (and more importantly for me), I was getting sick of bass-less bands and I wasn’t about to hop on the garage rock band wagon (and frankly I still don’t get the deal with the Strokes). But this …

2004, Music

Contraband by Velvet Revolver (2004 RCA)

I remember the instant hipster derision when this came out. Specifically, I remember watching the lead single’s video, and a friend of mine – a hipster if memory serves – was nearly apoplectic when Slash stepped forward to play the solo. Apparently such a longstanding expression of “rock” authenticity was just totally uncool, at least at that …

2012, Music

Blunderbuss (2012 Third Man Records) by Jack White

I don’t know what people were expecting but all I can say is that hype is a terrible thing. It’s funny reading all the disappointment on RYM. As much as I loved the White Stripes – and I did, and I do – one thing I can’t say is that they were particularly original or …