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Used to Sing on the Mountains But the Mountains Washed Away

Monday morning seems like a good time for Zeppelin appreciation. Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (1973) When George Harrison met John Bonham, the Beatle told Led Zeppelin’s drummer, “The problem with your band is you don’t do any ballads.” Singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page could have taken umbrage–they had written the gorgeous […]

posted 31 January 2011 in Reviews. 7 comments


With Prince William announcing his engagement and people simulating interest in the British royal family, it seemed like a good time to roll out another of my “Rolling Stone Hall of Fame” entries, this one a four-star review for the Kinks’ Arthur (not to be confused with Christopher Cross’s tribute to getting caught between the […]

posted 16 November 2010 in Reviews. 4 comments

Nashville Skyline

For your consideration, another five-star review from the “Rolling Stone Hall of Fame.” This time around, an often-ignored Dylan classic: Bob Dylan, Nashville Skyline (1969) When Nashville Skyline, the last of Dylan’s brilliant ’60s albums, was released, fans examined every one of its twenty-seven minutes for portents of musical revolution like fortune-tellers poring over the […]

posted 1 November 2010 in Reviews. 1 comment

Darkness on the Edge of Town

I finally watched The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town on HBO, and was reminded anew how much I love Bruce Springsteen’s fourth album. This is a discovery I seem to make periodically: the last time was in 2003, when I reviewed the record in Rolling Stone (as part of the […]

posted 20 October 2010 in Reviews. 8 comments

Video Slut

I have a new capsule review up at the Barnes and Noble Review, this time of Video Slut, Sharon Oreck’s entertaining but erratic memoir of a life spent producing music videos. By the way, Ms. Oreck: that powerful record executive’s name was Mo Ostin, not Mo Austin.

posted 24 May 2010 in Outside, Reviews. 2 comments

The Artist Currently Known as Prince

Prince has a new album out: another three-disc package (his fifth, by my count). My review is in the latest issue of Rolling Stone; you can also read it now on their website. A few other things Prince and Woody Allen have in common: (1) they’re short (2) they’re basketball fans (3) they were funnier […]

posted 2 April 2009 in Outside, Reviews. no comments yet

The Viaducts of Your Dream

I actually wrote two different pieces about last month’s Van Morrison concert, which was an interesting exercise. I was trying to repeat myself as little as possible–but make sure that each dispatch made sense. (It helped that the Rolling Stone website wanted a newsier angle, while the paper magazine asked for a critical review.) I […]

posted 8 December 2008 in Reviews. no comments yet

Ventures in the Slipstream

I was lucky enough to attend Van Morrison’s show at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night where he performed the entirety of Astral Weeks. Single-word reaction: Wow. I should have a full-length review in the next issue of Rolling Stone, but I also filed a short dispatch (with a set list, which isn’t as pointless as […]

posted 10 November 2008 in Outside, Reviews. 1 comment

Bottomless Belly Button

I’ve got a new piece up at the the Barnes and Noble Review: this one’s a short assessment of a long graphic novel, Dash Shaw’s Bottomless Belly Button. (To read it, scroll down to the bottom of the page, past Felix Dennis and Gorgeous George.) While we’re on the subject of comics: it occurs to […]

posted 29 September 2008 in Outside, Reviews. no comments yet

Passing Strange

As of last night, I’m back from the desert, and after many showers, I think I might have actually removed all the alkaline dust from my body. But I’m not counting on it. While I was gone, the Barnes and Noble Review published a brief take of mine on the soundtrack album to Passing Strange, […]

posted 3 September 2008 in Outside, Reviews. no comments yet