Here’s a list-based article absolutely nobody asked for in 2021 but you’re getting anyway: Three examples of classic 70s songs by huge rock stars that are so insular and personal they should be inaccessible to no one but other big rock stars
But these songs are so well-written that they transcend the subject matter and are relatable to just about anyone.
Maybe this isn’t completely irrelevant today. Cataclysmic, world-changing events aside, I realize, as I edit this, how these songs address contemporary concerns: Struggling with work/life balance; feeling adrift; feeling alienated.
And, let’s not forget that most of the old…
Friends, I fear I have reached the end of my rope. Lucky for me, once you’ve committed to swinging blindly from tree to tree, you let go and have faith there’ll be another one within your grasp.
This year, I’m reading more than ever before. It’s part of a conscious effort to enjoy more literature and to help improve my fiction writing. But, having been a one-dimensional music person most of my life, I feel like I’m ill-equipped to have “real” opinions on books.
(Oh, hey! This is part of my new series I’m calling One-Takes — a more genteel…
I thought I was a casual Rush fan. With Neil Peart’s passing, I realize maybe I’m a little more than that.
As we all celebrate the late Neil Peart’s massive influence as the drummer and lyricist for Rush, equally inspiring, if easily overshadowed, is the sense of individuality and freedom that drove his music and — as we’re reminded by the way we all found out about his passing — his life.
His playing was almost as idiosyncratic as it was revered; his band was considered the oddball even among their weirdest peers.
And, as a lyricist, he managed to…
Sadly, Gavilan is no longer together. But, this week I’m once again performing with Jeff Klemens and his new band Copstache. So, with that gig coming up, I decided this would be a good time to publish my account of when he and worked together in the studio.
No names have been changed. Fortunately, everyone was real cool.
Greetings from my second bus…
A TV theory for the rest of us.
To what degree do you think Kristen Bell is channeling Julia Louise-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes from Seinfeld when she plays Eleanor Shellstrop in The Good Place?
[Warning: light spoilers ahead]
You first see it prominently in season 2 episode 12,” Somewhere Else.” In it, Elanor gets a second chance on earth after being banished to — and nearly escaping — The Bad Place in the afterlife.
Here, we see for an extended amount of time how the character behaved on earth: Self-centered and mean-spirited, with hints of unearned exasperation. …
What a difference two years makes.
In September 2016, I had the pleasure of interviewing Billy Bragg, a songwriter who’s criminally underrated in the U.S. Along with discussing his then-new album and upcoming Philly show, Billy indulged me with his perspective on then-current events: Brexit, nationalism and the 2016 Presidential election.
Politics aside, what struck me most was the clear, concise and ultimately positive way he approached and explained everything. It’s refreshing when compared to the trolls, click-bait and calculated outrage we’ve all become accustomed to.
I’m not linking the article I wrote, because I botched it by getting in…
A tribute on her birthday. Set Saccharine Guns to “stun.”
As my two-bit marketing alias goes, I’m a dad, writer, and drummer. It’s a hodgepodge of skills, and on my mom’s birthday, I wanted to tell three quick stories about she inspired each of them.
(Of course, my dad had a big part too, but it’s not his birthday so he can wait his turn)
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact ways my mom influenced me as a parent because it was all learning by immersion. …
What it’s like the night before a new band’s first performance
It’s about a week before 11th grade starts, and we’re clustered in John’s living room getting ready for our first gig.
Somehow, the band’s named Raging Bull even though I don’t even think I’ve seen the movie yet. We billed the day as “A Music and Art Fair,” because two other acts are playing on the deck behind my suburban split ranch home, and it’s outside, and that’s what Woodstock was called, and we felt like we were the only kids in school listening to that stuff.
I’ve got a new piece of advice to go with pop culture chestnuts like, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia” and “You never open your mouth until you know what the shot it.”
It sounds obvious, but I learned it, thankfully second-hand, at a gig: “Don’t make a joke at a comedy show unless you’re a comedian.”
This isn’t the story of a heckler in over her head, however. Instead, it’s a tale of a band’s first gig, and a frontwoman’s first steps toward learning the art of onstage banter.
It wouldn’t have been his first bout of mistaken identity.
Having kids as a gigging drummer means they get up on stage now and then. But, sometimes getting them back down can be a challenge. And, if things worked just a little differently in one case, it could have resulted in a trip to the police station.
One summer, the cover band I was in was set to play at a family-friendly fundraiser at a big bar and restaurant near us. It would be our biggest show yet (we were a young band), with hundreds of people in attendance.
Philly-based dad, writer and drummer … but not always in that order.