It’s a fact: What goes up doesn’t always come down. All hell broke loose in the late 60s – early 70s, and in spite of (or maybe because of) the chaos, some remarkable music was made. Equally important, we’re now seeing a phalanx of splinter genres reaching maturity: psychedelic, folk rock, country rock, heavy metal, hard rock, acid rock, jazz fusion, jazz rock, progressive and … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1969 – 1971
There’s no question about it. This is when popular music started getting really high. Now, the super-cool kids had been using recreational substances for a while. In fact, the real junkies of the crew had been down in the basement for years, shooting up and playing jazz. Anyway, right here and now is when the marriage of drugs and music became culture. Thus, we enter … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not – 1967 – 1968
Fantasyland. It was just like being home except home wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about having me around. Despite a litany of things to do, people to see, and places to be, it was inevitable that I would spend some time at Baltimore’s Inn. One night Freddie was behind the bar. It had been over a year since I’d been back, but very little had changed. A … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 7
Every time a controversial international political issue takes hold in the mainstream, it inspires me to learn something about the place in question. Perhaps this silly obsession is a result of knowing so very little about the world at large, despite being a citizen thereof. The Scottish independence referendum is a matter to be decided between Scotsmen, no doubt; but we’re all welcome to discuss … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 6: Scotch Clickbait
At this point in the game, Bob and Ron have absolutely found their groove (pun intended), and you can not only see it in their choice of cuts but hear it in the on-air dialogue. Episode 82 has a couple of sub-themes running; it’s the end of summer, so of course, the kids are going back to school. Bob and Ron give us some tasty … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 82
Inspired by a new psychedelic lighting system in the studio, Bob and Ron waste no time getting in the groove. Episode 81 features lot of listener requests, plus special Bob and Ron selections from the depths of their collections, and every one is a joy to hear. As usual, Bob and Ron do what no other radio show can do, pushing the limits of programming … Continue reading Bob and Ron’s Record Club Radio Archive – Episode 81
Here’s how it descends into madness. I have a new book coming out, A Musical Education: Stories in the Key of All Right; it’s my second book and the first published by Black Sunshine Media. Aside from writing, editing, and all the creatively technical crap that goes along with producing the guts of a manuscript—which is 99% complete—there’s a whole nother laundry list of stuff that needs to be done; the majority of which are tedious tasks that make you regret having written a book in the first place. Some of you may have gone through the sausage-making process of querying agents and publishers, so I’m winking at you right now. Fortunately, and I say this with fingers crossed, by publishing under the Black Sunshine umbrella, several of those chores are no longer necessary. One of the benefits of being self-employed is not having to bother with a resume.
However, a completely different set of tasks come with being a publisher. This isn’t really about all that nonsense—it’s supposed to be a promo for the new book. In fact, that’s what I was working on when the wheels came off. But first, there is the subject of the book, which I’m hoping from the title you should be able to infer that it’s about experience and the splendor of music in life. More than half of the 10 stories that comprise A Musical Education have been previously published, either here on BSM or on my previous weblog, and each story is accompanied and augmented by relevant photos. Or at least, that’s what I was able to get away with on the website. Publishing a book is a different ball of wax.
My original thought was that while the inclusion of these photos was not essential, it would substantially improve the overall reader experience. For instance, the book’s opening story, “Fourteen Thousand Screaming Japanese Girls Can’t Be Wrong” is an extended meditation on my adolescent fascination with Kiss lunchboxes and Cheap Trick’s At Budokan. It seemed obvious to me that the narrative would benefit from, at the very least, a thumbnail of the album cover. Meanwhile, as long as we’re at it, why not throw in a few more photos, like one of the Kiss lunchbox? Since every story involves music in some way, we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 potential images.