Forty years ago, one of the big hits of the day during my senior year of high school was, for better or worse, “Jack & Diane” by John Cougar (the Mellencamp moniker was still a few years away). It was a ubiquitous soundtrack playing everywhere on any given day — outside at my school’s parking lot, cranking from cars and boom boxes, and emanating across the football field.
Funny how back at the dawn of the ’80s, the punks, goth kids, and New Wavers thought the Stones were dinosaurs lumbering from a prehistoric age, lumbering toward the conclusion of their two-decade run after having outlasted everyone else from the black-and-white TV generation. Little did any of us know that unlike the T. Rex — they even outlasted him — the beasts of burden weren’t even at the halfway mark.
“Charlie’s good tonight in’nit he?” — Mick Jagger, Madison Square Garden, 1969. Charlie Watts’s drum kit was a pitch-perfect reflection of the man who sat behind it for The Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years: modest yet essential. Charlie famously eschewed rock drum solos as frivolous, show-offy expressions of ego. A lifelong jazz devotee and […]
The sentiment of my original story still holds. Happy 75th Birthday, Mr. Townshend, and many more. So glad you didn’t die before you got old. You had so much more to say and do. And in turn, over the years you’ve certainly inspired me (and many others) to listen to, live through, and reflect upon, […]
One of the things I miss most about Boston is the music and the people who make it. Over the span of nearly two decades spent as a music critic and columnist writing about the plethora of sounds emanating from the city, I never stopped being excited about discovering bands and musicians I hadn’t heard […]
Pining for an Opening Day and a season that (so far) is not to be calls for truly drastic measures. With the COVID-19 virus waylaying any sense of normalcy or structure to our lives, including the simple, life-affirming act of watching the game of baseball, I’ve settled on the next best thing to keep the […]
EYES EVERYWHERE: Remembering Deep Heaven Now’s Jinsen Liu, Boston’s “Dark Lord of the Shoegazer Scene”
I’m saddened to learn of the death of Jinsen Liu, one of Boston’s most adventurous musicians, listeners, and advocates for a burgeoning, always shape-shifting psychedelic-space-rock scene in and around the city during the first decade of the new millenium. In addition to releasing a clutch of albums with his own lushly textured dream-pop band, 28 […]
It’s been a life-altering twenty five-plus years since we were all twenty five (or thereabouts), an age when most of us don’t have much of a clue about how life-altering the next twenty five years are going to be.
Leafing through one of my decades-old sketchbooks while unpacking from our exciting but exhausting move from Boston to Philadelphia last summer, I flipped through, with casual curiosity, the sturdy paper stock pages of pencil drawings, mostly of superheroes and baseball players and my dank cabin at my first (and only) sleep-away camp. As I turned […]
Time always seemed to stand still whenever one of The Vinyl Skyway’s songs would crackle to life on the radio inside my parents’ car on a cold-as-chrome winter’s afternoon. I remember being 14 and hunched toward the gleaming dashboard dial as if receiving a secret transmission. There was always something inviting, if somehow slightly baleful, […]