Van Halen on roller-skates

Van Halen’s Top 10 Under-Appreciated Songs

At this point in life, I don’t begrudge anybody’s appreciation of the Sammy Hagar-era albums. I don’t even care if you happen to love Van Halen III featuring Gary Cherone. Just don’t confuse that music with the true genius of Van Halen and The First Six Albums – which I’ll get to in a minute. In 2015, Rolling Stone ran a piece entitled 20 Insanely … Continue reading Van Halen’s Top 10 Under-Appreciated Songs

Only in Taiwan – Episode 6: Seven Years a Laowai

It was seven years ago this week that I arrived in Taipei with a Lonely Planet Mandarin phrasebook, a suitcase and a laptop. The only people I “knew” in town were my former landlord’s parents, whom I’d met several times during their visits to San Francisco. They were super nice people, but the language barrier prevented us from communicating without an interpreter; I had their … Continue reading Only in Taiwan – Episode 6: Seven Years a Laowai

(Not) Only In Taiwan – Episode 5: Protect Your Valuables

Suggestion is an interesting and elusive power. Sometimes a suggestion may persist long after its freshness has expired. Aside from an unshakeable and abusive relationship with nicotine, I have few compulsive behaviors on an everyday scale. The main odd, compulsive behavior is most likely how I carry money, and to a certain extent, ID and other cards. First of all, I don’t carry a wallet. … Continue reading (Not) Only In Taiwan – Episode 5: Protect Your Valuables

20/20: The End of the Power Pop Rainbow

I’ve been meaning to write something/anything about these 20/20 cats for at least two years; for whatever reason, they consistently fall through the cracks. Yet, this may be the most appropriate introduction for a band that went virtually unnoticed during its lifespan. I’m going to let Allmusic fill you in on the details, but 20/20 to me is a band that takes everything good about … Continue reading 20/20: The End of the Power Pop Rainbow

Taiwan president: I will not discuss reunification – CNN.com

Taiwan doesn’t make the front page of CNN very often. It happens, usually due to a typhoon, but even less common is President Ma Ying-Jeou showing some backbone. While I don’t truly have a dog in the fight, I’m 100% behind the people of Taiwan. Perhaps this is cynical ploy by the Ma administration to show him in a positive light, but the most important … Continue reading Taiwan president: I will not discuss reunification – CNN.com

Even the Godmother Has Bills to Pay

Long before she was dubbed “the Godmother of Punk” – or subbing for Kurt Cobain in a sad but necessarily reunited Nirvana – Joan Jett was just another rock n’ roll star trying to make the best of her career. A founding member of the legendary all-female rock band The Runaways, Jett embarked on a solo career in 1979, teaming with a cat named Kenny … Continue reading Even the Godmother Has Bills to Pay

Why Does September Suck So Bad?

Blanket apologies to readers with birthdays, anniversaries, and/or otherwise significant events which fall in the ninth month of the Gregorian calendar year, but September is by far the most bleak, hopeless, and depressing month of all. Summer is over. We now stare headlong into the eve of autumn and the abyss of winter. It’s also back to school time, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing … Continue reading Why Does September Suck So Bad?

Only in Taiwan – Episode 4: Fruit Beer?

If there’s ever been a bit of unsolicited advice that I would wholeheartedly share with my child, it’s that nobody likes a whiner. People who complain all the time are a drag, and they’re generally more than willing to bring you down with them. That said, my life in Taipei is somewhat stagnant. All work and very little play. But I don’t like to complain … Continue reading Only in Taiwan – Episode 4: Fruit Beer?

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 1

Facebook has been an unlikely source of musical inspiration that I’ve confused and stonewalled for a long time. There is a wanting to “be involved” on social media that transcends a thumbs-up or a re-tweet. By posting status updates are we not inviting others into a conversation? The danger lies in trying to change the conversation by one-upping the guy who posted the original video. … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 1