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
If Every Concert Were A benefit, Pete Seeger Would Be Frank Sinatra 1976


Anne Murray: The Woman Who Would
Be Schlock, 1976


Bruce Cockburn: Waiting for a Miracle


K.D. Lang: Don't Blame Canada


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


Christmas Music Record Guide 1981
A Joan Jett Fantasy, 1982


India: Reverse Crossover, 2000 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


Dying and Not Dying as Career Moves in the Biographies of the Beach Boys 




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



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