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Sittin’ on the Dock of the Ballet

Hello! In case you missed them, I wanted to call your attention to two pieces I wrote for The New York Times in recent months. The first one was on the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” I spoke with an extraordinarily cool range of people for the article: […]

posted 4 April 2018 in Outside. no comments yet

1988 Countdown #83: Pet Shop Boys, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”

For those of you just joining us: I recently unearthed videotapes of MTV’s top 100 countdown from 1988, and I’m working my way through the broadcast one video at a time. To see all previous entries in this series, click on the “1988” category in the right-hand margin of this website; I predict you will […]

posted 4 September 2008 in 1988. 13 comments

Unlikely Lyrics

The first installment in an irregular series of posts, highlighting some of the more improbable lyrics I run across. Writing about “Always on My Mind” got me listening to my old Pet Shop Boys albums. Generally, they hold up really well, but Introspective does have a few clunkers. Neil Tennant mispronounces “Debussy.” He fails to […]

posted 23 June 2008 in Tasty Bits. 3 comments

1988 Countdown #92: Pet Shop Boys, “Always on My Mind”

There are two essential out-of-print music books that I own only in treasured Xerox copies. One is Jon Savage’s The Kinks: The Official Biography. The other is Chris Heath’s Pet Shop Boys, Annually. I had never thought until today about the similarities between Ray Davies and Neil Tennant–British songwriters with a particular gift for lonely […]

posted 19 June 2008 in 1988. 5 comments