archives

 

Scroll down for categories and listings. Click listings below or graphics in right column to access individual pages. Click on Politics, Pentecost, Potboilers, Poems, or Page One to access those pages.

 

Schlock, Rock, Pop, Punk, Funk, Folk, Hip Hop, Soul & Salsa

 

Woodstock: the Politics of Rock
1969, 1989

 

Carpenters: Forbidden Fruit, 1974

 

Percy Faith's Challenge to Mewzick 1975
 
Anne Murray: The Woman Who Would Be Schlock, 1976

 

Debby Boone: The Song They Said Couldn't Be Reviewed, 1978

 

P-Funk: Parlentelecy v. the Placebo
Syndrome, 1978

 

Remembering Kraftwerk, 1978

 

Pearl: Act of Contrition, Evie Sands, 1978
 
A Kinks Review Live! 1980

 

London Calling: The Clash, 1980

 

A Joan Jett Fantasy, 1982

 

India: Reverse Crossover, 2000

 

RockCritics.com Interview, 2000

 

My Favorite Song In German, 2002

 

Al Green: Playing the Audience, 2003

 

The Review of Norah, 2004

 

Iris DeMent: The Okie Aretha, 2005

 

Carpenters & Lawrence Welk, 2008

 

Why There Was No Four Seasons Story for 40 Years, 2010

 

Bobby Darin and Bobby Kennedy, 2012

 

Smiley Smile, the Best Beach Boys Album Ever, 2014

 

Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley 2015

 

Hip Hop Solidarity versus the Americana Bully, 2015
 

 

Country

 

Willie Nelson's Historical Burden, 1980

 

Merle Haggard
The Right Crowd, 1999
His Own Kind of Guilt, 2000

 

Johnny Cash 1932-2003

 

Loretta Lynn
A Manner of Speaking, 2004
 
 

Disco

 

Cerrone: An Open Letter, 1978

 

Weird Post-Disco Bee Gees, 1979

 

Gino Soccio's Ameridisco High, 1979

 

Disco Defense, In These Times 1979

 

Village People 1979

 

More Disco Defense, ITT 1980

 

Diana reviewed in The Nation, 1980

 

 

Smiley Smile
The Beach Boys Best Album Ever

 

The release of the Beatles Revolver in the late summer of 1966 confirmed the suspicion that (some of) rock 'n' roll was turning into rock, an art form believed to be progressing in sophistication and ambition with the passage of time.

 

And the Beach Boys, it appeared, might just get squeezed into this new storyline.

 

By the second half of the decade, their early '60s surf and car hits were dismissed as relics of a bygone era. And Pet Sounds had not sold as well as earlier albums. Yet it was considered a critical success, an advance. and admired in England by the public, the critics, and the Beatles themselves, at a time when British pop taste was believed to be one step beyond American. If you were listening for such connections, and I was, it wasn't hard to notice that Here, There, and Everywhere on Revolver was a homage to Pet Sounds. MORE

 

 

Why Murray the K Turned Into
Glenn Beck (and Dr. Dre)
 

. . . the Top 40 DJs of the 1950s and early 1960s like Alan Freed, Wolfman Jack, and Murray the K were cultural ambassadors of racial integration, holding together the multi-culti meritocracy of hit radio with the force of their raucous on air personalities and patter, a parallel if not explicit connection to the Civil Rights Movement. But by 1979, rock DJ Steve Dahl, with the blessing of Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck, could promote a Disco Demolition, a vinyl book burning as it were, after the first game of a doubleheader that got so out of hand the White Sox had to cancel and forfeit the second game . . . MORE