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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

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

Top Five Bands That Split the Job of Lead Singer and Lyricist

(Most of the time, anyway.) 1. The Who 2. Depeche Mode 3. Rush 4. Oasis 5. Abba Who else?

posted 1 July 2013 in Tasty Bits. 6 comments

Top Five Settings in Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop” Video

1. “Burger Klone,” the fast-food restaurant serving biker gangs and lines of zombie-like (presumably non-masturbating) customers. 2. “Uncle Siggy’s Masterbingo,” a game show hosted by Freud–Lauper is a big winner. 3. A cartoon landscape, brilliantly animated by Gary Panter of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Mark Marek in a mode only slightly less realistic than Lauper herself. 4. […]

posted 29 April 2013 in Buy My Stuff. 5 comments

Top Five Looks in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” Video

1. Springsteen, with sideburns, in blue jeans, a thick black belt, and a white short-sleeve shirt half-unbuttoned. 2. Clarence Clemons, with sunglasses and a high-top fade. 3. Max Weinberg, in a paisley shirt and vest, with a puffy haircut that looks like it’s trying to escape from his scalp. 4. Roy Bittan, with a pre-grunge […]

posted 22 April 2013 in Buy My Stuff. 1 comment

Top Five Elements in Yes’s “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Video

1. The voiceover “Maybe there’s another way to do this,” which prompts the members of Yes to transform into animals, like a prog-rock Justice League of Lycanthropes. 2. The protagonist (of a Kafkaesque tale of abduction and escape) washing his face with maggots. 3. Lead singer Jon Anderson’s ruddy complexion, feathered hair, and elaborately paneled […]

posted 15 April 2013 in Buy My Stuff. 2 comments

Top Five Elements of John Waite’s “Missing You” Video

1. Waite kicking off the video by giving the overhead lamp a push, better to get the drama of an oscillating light. 2. Waite looking gaunt to the point of ill health. 3. Waite’s powder-blue suit, worn nonironically. 4. Waite singing the song’s chorus as he walks down a city sidewalk, eyeballed by pedestrians who […]

posted 8 April 2013 in Buy My Stuff. 7 comments

Top Five Madonna Identities in “Borderline”

I know you’ve been thinking, “Hey, Gavin! VJ, that book you wrote with the original MTV hosts Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn–when does it come out? Can I preorder it? Are you going to do any fun MTV stuff before its publication?” Well, I’m glad you asked. The publication date is […]

posted 1 April 2013 in Buy My Stuff. 1 comment

Top Five Songs With Outmoded Lyrical Telecommunications References

1. BeyoncĂ©, “Crazy in Love” (“Got me hoping you’ll page me right now”) 2. R.E.M., “Star 69″ (“I know you called, I know you hung up my line”) 3. The Kinks, “Party Line” (“Wish I had a more direct connection”) 4. The Mekons, “Authority” (“Fax me in the morning”) 5. Blondie, “Hanging on the Telephone” […]

posted 1 October 2012 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments

Top Five Songs About Overflowing Rivers

Not all of them in New Orleans. 1. The Clash, “London Calling” 2. Randy Newman, “Lousiana 1927″ 3. Led Zeppelin, “When the Levee Breaks” 4. Johnny Cash, “Five Feet High and Rising” 5. Bob Dylan, “Down in the Flood” Stay dry, Brooklyn.

posted 15 August 2012 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments