The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘All the Leaves Are Brown …’

  One thing I’ve tried to do with my kids is what I call “cultural education.” Like, there’s no reason children should grow up without an awareness of rock-and-roll classics, and I’ve had many rewarding experiences like the time I heard my youngest son, born in 2000, in the shower singing along to his Spotify […]

Chad Allan & the Expressions

Chad Allan and his groovy band, circa 1964. My mind works in mysterious ways and I’ve forgotten why I started the research that led me down a rabbit hole into an obscure tale from Canadian musical history. In 1958, a singer named Allan Kowbel formed a band in Winnipeg originally called Allan and the Silvertones. […]

‘The Last Song Nearly Killed Me’

  On this date in 1963, the Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me, an event memorialized by the poet Philip Larkin: Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban And the Beatles’ first LP. The story of how that LP was recorded […]

Rule 5 Sunday: Pussycat No More

— compiled by Wombat-socho “Who says A must say B,” some old Bolshevik once said, and in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it seems only reasonable to turn a jaundiced eye on the music business. Rose McGowan deserves a lot of credit for blowing the lid off Weinstein’s disgusting habits, and there’s a […]

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.

Generations of teenage boys in garages everywhere learned to play the classics by the man who arguably invented rock-and-roll, who died this weekend at age 90: The New York Times obituary is a piece of crap, evidently written by a pretentious fool who never played a guitar, so that I’ll have to say that what […]

MURRAY-MANIA! Why Are College Kids Going Wild for the Latest Sensation?

      Not since The Beatles played Shea Stadium, perhaps, have mindless mobs of hysterical youth made news by going wild the way Middlebury College kids did last week. It’s not a pounding backbeat or lovable moptops singing four-part harmony that’s driving them crazy these days, however. No, it’s a 74-year-old policy analyst named Charles […]

‘The Stars Aligned’

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is one of those songs I never get tired of hearing. I seldom listen to contemporary pop music, preferring old rock and soul classics of the 1960s and ’70s, but “Rolling in the Deep” is an exception. In a BBC interview, the British singer explained how she suddenly gained worldwide […]

King of the Blues, R.I.P.

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