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Happiness is Obiter Dicta

I realized the other day that Antonin Scalia is a real-life Lucy Van Pelt: the funniest and meanest member of the gang, happy to make up facts as necessary, a fussbudget before all else. So what are the other parallels between the sitting members of the Supreme Court and the Peanuts kids? Anthony Kennedy is […]

posted 16 September 2014 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

#1 Billboard Comedy Albums

Congratulations to “Weird Al” Yankovic, who just topped the Billboard charts with his latest album, Mandatory Fun. I’ve seen some sources claim it’s the first comedy album to top the chart since 1960, when Bob Newhart unleashed the monster hit that was The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart (14 weeks at #1!). In fact, there […]

posted 23 July 2014 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments

Historic Billy Joel Update

It turns out that the historic Billy Joel announcement was actually that he’s going to be doing a monthly concert at Madison Square Garden for the foreseeable future: at least four months, very possibly thirty or more. And here I was hoping that he’d reveal that Sgt. O’Leary, who at night becomes a bartender, is […]

posted 5 December 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Billy Joel Historic Announcement

Twitter can be fun. Billy Joel is set to make a "historic announcement" next week. We speculate wildly: http://t.co/DgMN3ykxkC — Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) November 26, 2013 Brenda & Eddie: back together RT @RollingStone Billy Joel is set to make a "historic announcement" next week. http://t.co/jBVYLZrCV1 — rob sheffield (@robsheff) November 26, 2013 Sgt O'Leary trading […]

posted 27 November 2013 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

R.I.P. River Phoenix

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of River Phoenix’s death. I’ve known this day was coming for many months, ever since I started working on writing Last Night at the Viper Room last year, and yet today I find myself surprised and saddened all over again. I just wanted to take a quiet moment out of […]

posted 31 October 2013 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

Five Unexpected Things at a Public Enemy Show

Public Enemy are my favorite rap act of the past 25 years, but somehow I had never seen them live until this past weekend, when I was lucky enough to catch their set at the Riot Fest in Chicago (my photo, from stage right, is Flavor Flav on the left and Chuck D on the […]

posted 18 September 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Sullivan Street Across from the Medical Center

Consider Billy Joel’s antimaterialistic #17 single “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” specifically Sergeant O’Leary, who is trading in his Chevy for a Cadillac-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack: And if he can’t drive with a broken back / At least he can polish the fenders Let’s leave aside the question of how Sergeant O’Leary is walking the beat or working as […]

posted 26 August 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Five Drummers Who Switched to Guitar

1. Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) 2. Keith Strickland (B-52′s) 3. J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) 4. Patrick Wilson (Weezer) 5. Don Henley (Eagles) (I’m thinking of people who started out principally behind the drum kit and then moved up front with a guitar, not somebody like Lenny Kravitz, who’s been a multinstrumentalist pretty much from day […]

posted 9 August 2013 in Tasty Bits. 4 comments

Happy Birthday, MTV!

32 years ago today, everyone who worked at MTV got into a yellow school bus and went across the river to New Jersey to watch the launch of a new 24-hour music channel. Why New Jersey? The network wasn’t on Manhattan cable yet. If you want to read more about the launch, the earliest videos, […]

posted 1 August 2013 in Buy My Stuff, Tasty Bits. no comments yet

July 13, 1985

As part of my research for VJ, I rewatched Live Aid (or more precisely, the DVD box of it). A few aspects of the show that seemed notable twenty-eight years down the road: 1. The wittiest song selection of the day was Elvis Costello with his cover of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” […]

posted 13 July 2013 in Tasty Bits. 5 comments