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Top Five Songs About How Los Angeles Kicks the Ass of People Who Move There

Gladys Knight & the Pips, “Midnight Train to Georgia” Albert Hammond, “It Never Rains in Southern California” Bob Seger, “Hollywood Nights” Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle” Dionne Warwick, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” By my count, that’s two songs where the singer got chewed up by L.A., one where it […]

posted 16 September 2021 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet

Top Five Songs with “Disco” in the Title That Aren’t Actually Disco

There are many many great disco songs that name-check the genre in the title, and then as often as possible during the song itself, so you don’t forget that you are getting down to a disco beat. But what of those songs that evoke disco so they can hit a less-exuberant emotional note? Pulp, “Disco […]

posted 18 November 2019 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment

Top Five Third Songwriters

Some bands have one primary songwriter. Others hash out most of their songs collaboratively (or pretend to), so you can’t really tell who’s contributing what. But a relatively unusual situation is when a group has three distinct songwriters: often two of them will be working in partnership, either artistic (e.g. the Beatles) or romantic (e.g. […]

posted 8 October 2014 in Tasty Bits. 5 comments

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