Songs and ceremonies: Semisonic, “Closing Time” (1998)

Quickly, now - think of the last wedding that you attended.  What was the song that the bride and groom danced their first dance to? Now, think again - can you name a song that was referenced in the ceremony itself? I'm guessing that the first question was a lot easier than the second one.  … Continue reading Songs and ceremonies: Semisonic, “Closing Time” (1998)

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Welcome back: Steely Dan, “My Old School” (1973)

Above: Bard College, Annondale, NY. Above: Mary Idema Pew Library, GVSU, Allendale, MI. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan attended Bard College in Annondale-on-Hudson, New York. I attended - and now teach - at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Aside from seemingly similar town names, the schools don't have a lot … Continue reading Welcome back: Steely Dan, “My Old School” (1973)

Canadian content: Kon Kan, “I Beg Your Pardon” (1989)

The word "earworm" gets thrown a lot to describe pieces of music that stick in your head. I am terribly susceptible to these. The worst kind for me are advertising jingles, especially from my childhood. You have no idea how much restraint it takes for me not to share every damned jingle that pops in … Continue reading Canadian content: Kon Kan, “I Beg Your Pardon” (1989)

Now here’s something we hope you’ll REALLY like: Boris Badenough, “Hey Rocky” (1986)

Oh, where to begin with this one.... Further to the subject of mixtapes from the other day: for every one that was completed, I probably came up with ideas for another three.  One that was started and abandoned - for reasons that shall become clear - was called "Obnoxious Cruising Music."  Now, why anyone would … Continue reading Now here’s something we hope you’ll REALLY like: Boris Badenough, “Hey Rocky” (1986)

Mixtape Review: “Music Tape, Summer 1988”

(Above: That's an awfully cute cassette tape.) In a post last week I suggested that the summer of 1988 was my last carefree summer. In many ways, there's no way to argue that.  The summer between my first (and last) year as a traditional undergraduate student can best be described as being free of any … Continue reading Mixtape Review: “Music Tape, Summer 1988”

Toro toro, taxi: Dire Straits, “Skateaway” (1980)

Last week's post about Revolver being one of my Top Five albums got me spiraling into a sort of High Fidelity argument with myself about what would be in that Top Five list.  The album that I keep going back and forth on is Dire Straits' Making Movies from 1980.  Is it simply good or … Continue reading Toro toro, taxi: Dire Straits, “Skateaway” (1980)

Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)

(Above: What a Friday night at home looked like, 1984.) If you lived in a place without cable television in the early 80s, you weren't a part of the revolution that MTV was bringing to music distribution, at least not directly.  The success of music video led other networks and even local stations to offer … Continue reading Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)

Summer’s over: Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (1988)

(Above: Quite possibly, the world's shortest album.)   There are usually a few signs that summer - and with it, summer vacation - is coming to a close. The main ones that I noticed each year were the intensity of annual cicadas each August and the first broadcast of exhibition football on television.  Hearing both … Continue reading Summer’s over: Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (1988)

50th Anniversary: The Beatles, “Revolver” (1966)

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles LP Revolver in the UK (the American version was released three days later). For my money 1966 may have been the greatest year in pop music. Three of the albums in my all-time Top 5 - this one, Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, and the … Continue reading 50th Anniversary: The Beatles, “Revolver” (1966)

Greatest Misses: The Producers, “She Sheila” (1982)

In early 1990 I was, in a radio sense, homeless. My first full-time gig at KRVR flamed out very quickly.  (Lesson learned: sometimes you're hired to be fired.  The PD was planning to bring in his friends and fire the rest of the staff.  I quit before he got the chance.) Being largely unwilling to … Continue reading Greatest Misses: The Producers, “She Sheila” (1982)