Things We Like: Spirograph, “Class of 1984″ and a Tom Lehrer Christmas
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Posted in Things We Like on 27 November 2010
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This week: Standing up to the man, drawing lots of circles, and the timeless musical wisdom of the great Tom Lehrer, who actually has a few disc jockey friends. He’s got Dr. Demento, at the least.

The Story of Johnny Rotten, Part 2
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 23 November 2010
Stats: 5,259 views and 2 Comments

He returns with a friend, a very short guy who is dressed and made up exactly like he is — a “Mini-Me” Johnny Rotten.

The Story of Johnny Rotten, Part 1
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 22 November 2010
Stats: 11,139 views and 1 Comment

“Johnny Rotten — he and the rest of the Sex Pistols, they hate each other. Can’t be in the same room together. They share a stage for an hour a night and that’s it.”

To Rainer Maria: I’m Sorry, and Thanks for Everything
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 10 November 2010
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Emo started with a desire to emote and discuss more personal/poetic concepts that were less available in traditional three-chord punk. And you, Rainer Maria, understood that, even if I didn’t seem to.

An Open Letter to Robert Smith of The Cure
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 21 October 2010
Stats: 7,171 views and 4 Comments

I own just three Cure albums, one of which is a greatest hits. Yet your band has had a profound impact on my life by being in the right place at the right time.

Memoirs of a Bay Area Bad Kid
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 7 October 2010
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My hometown doesn’t want me back. Perhaps that’s just as well, because it’s hardly the same place I terrorized as a teenager.

I Was a Teenage Art Prodigy (and I Didn’t Care)
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 14 July 2010
Stats: 6,768 views and 1 Comment

The late pop artist Ray Johnson once sent me some art, which I may have floating around in storage. If I kept it at all.

But Have You Heard the Cover Version?
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 24 May 2010
Stats: 24,806 views and 1 Comment

Reinvention, pastiche, novelty, call it what you will – cover songs are an entirely other way of listening to some already great music.

In Defense of Simple Minds
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 16 March 2010
Stats: 4,063 views and 1 Comment

Before “Don’t You Forget About Me” made their name, Simple Minds did a hell of a lot of soul-searching and experimentation … and made some great music.

Mixtapes, Remembered
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Posted in Stories and Appreciations on 15 March 2010
Stats: 5,114 views and 2 Comments

In memory of the now-defunct art of recording a perfect batch of favorite songs to cassette tape, B. James, Krysztof Nemeth and Gregory Crosby write about the mixtape rules they followed … and broke.