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Endless Summer

Donna Summer wasn’t the diva of the dance floor for me: she was an unearthly voice coming through my AM radio when I was a sixth-grader, my elementary-school channel to the divine. A couple of decades later, she got on the phone with me to talk about the history of disco, and was kind enough […]

posted 17 May 2012 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Five Perspectives on “Fight For Your Right”

The Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party!)” isn’t just the rare song with two parentheses in the title, or the MTV debut of Tabitha Soren. Even after a three-decade Beastie career, it remains the cornerstone of their work. So five perspectives on a #7 single: 1. Public Enemy, “Party for Your […]

posted 9 May 2012 in Links, Tasty Bits. 2 comments


I’ve been thinking a lot about Adam Yauch, and how, aside from everything else, his life was a testament to how much a person can change during their time here on Earth. I never met the man (although I did interview his bandmates last year). I’ve been remembering the times I saw the Beastie Boys […]

posted 8 May 2012 in Tasty Bits. 3 comments

Through the Walls You Hear the City Groan

Where is “Bullet the Blue Sky” set? I always assumed the United States–mostly because of the way Bono keeps saying “Outside is America.” But just recently I tracked on the lyric in Bono’s rap: You take the staircase to the first floor And thought it was an amusing Irish mistake–here in the U.S.A., pal, we […]

posted 22 March 2012 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments

Twenty Years Ago in Details: February 1992

This was, I believe, the fourth issue of Details I worked on as a staffer. (Before that, I was freelancing for it while I worked as a copy editor at a computer magazine; I filed scads of record reviews, and then articles on industrial music, Dinosaur Jr., and Marky Mark.) There were a lot of […]

posted 23 February 2012 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

When I started writing up the 1988 countdown, I never imagined the artists would be dying on us as I did it. Well, although I wasn’t deeply fond of “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”–it was no “I Will Always Love You” (which, really, was in a class by itself)–I still respect Whitney Houston’s instrument, and […]

posted 13 February 2012 in Tasty Bits. 2 comments

Too Much Is Never Enough

I heard you on the wireless back in ’52–or alternatively, on the cable TV while babysitting for the neighbors back in in ’82. Either way, I’m now allowed to tell you about the big project I’ve been keeping secret for the last few months: I am working on a book with Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, […]

posted 12 January 2012 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

Top Ten

My favorite albums of 2011: 1. Washed Out, Within and Without 2. Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne 3. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake 4. TV on the Radio, Nine Types of Light 5. Radiohead, The King of Limbs 6. Wild Flag, Wild Flag 7. EMA, Past Life Martyred Saints 8. The Roots, Undun […]

posted 29 December 2011 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Happy Boxing Day

Prince’s “Another Lonely Christmas,” a song about an obsession with a dead lover who died on Christmas, is both excellent and demented. It has qualities that distinguish it from the rest of Prince’s catalog: for example, it’s the only song of his I can think of where he gets goofy on alcohol (as opposed to […]

posted 27 December 2011 in Tasty Bits. 4 comments

Where Angels Fear to Tread

From “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” the 1983 chart-topper by Yes: Look before you leap / And don’t you hesitate at all Listen, Jon Anderson, I am perfectly willing to follow your commands down to the last detail, but you need to make up your mind.

posted 13 December 2011 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment