Soundtrack for the first day of school (Various)

(Above: First day of school, 1974.) Today is the first day of school for Grand Valley State University (and for many other colleges, high schools, grade schools, etc.) Many schools have started already: you've no doubt noticed your time line filling up with pictures of kids heading off for school as relieved parents plan to … Continue reading Soundtrack for the first day of school (Various)

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Summer’s almost over: The Billboard Hot 100, August 23, 1986

(Above: Madonna, from the video of the song sitting at #1.) It's just about the end of August, 1986. My friends from my high school class, in most cases, are headed off to their freshmen years of college.  I'm not going anywhere; I didn't necessarily make the best choices about college at the end of … Continue reading Summer’s almost over: The Billboard Hot 100, August 23, 1986

Like a bolt of blue: New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (1987)

(Above: Sometimes the simplest cover artwork is the best.) Thirty years ago today, New Order released Substance, a double LP that's probably best known as the album that casual fans know.  New Order came to be in 1980 after Joy Division split following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. They're best known for "Blue … Continue reading Like a bolt of blue: New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (1987)

Saw the ghost of Elvis: Mark Cohn, “Walking in Memphis” (1991)

(Above: Elvis' house.) Every year a phenomenon called "Elvis Week" takes place in mid-August.  It centers on the anniversary of the date that Elvis Aaron Presley died at the too-young age of 42 in 1977. I'm always disappointed that we don't do Elvis Week in January, around the anniversary of his birth. It's the tragic … Continue reading Saw the ghost of Elvis: Mark Cohn, “Walking in Memphis” (1991)