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

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1985 – 1986

Dedicated to my brother, Bobby Camp (1969-2015) who introduced me to more bands than I can count. Frank Zappa (among others) once said something along the lines of writing about music is like dancing about architecture. That’s wrong. If listening to music is an experience, then writing about said experience is just as valid as writing about a trip to India. You can write about … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1985 – 1986

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1983 – 1984

To be honest, I didn’t know what the hell was going on in 1983-84, and I was hoping that 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die was going to bring some clarity to my confusion. Generally speaking, the self-awareness of a 16-year-old boy is limited to his immediate sight and grasp. At least, that’s how it was for me. What I do know about … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1983 – 1984

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1981 – 1982

Every so often, it’s important to stop, take a look around, stare out the window for a while, change the channel, get up and stretch your legs. The last four years in popular music have witnessed a series of sea changes, which ultimately sank a bunch of ships. The disco backlash has reached critical mass, and the genre is now relegated to the adult contemporary … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1981 – 1982

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1979 – 1980

1979-1980 is the first period of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not in which I had heard every record prior to writing the associated essay. In some cases, I was listening to the record for only the second time, but there were no surprises, only disappointments and hasty generalizations. On the other hand, this period also has the fewest strikethroughs and the … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1979 – 1980

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1977 – 1978

Rock music is about to get interesting. I’m excited. Good stuff is about to happen. Key: Strikethrough indicates what you probably think it does Green indicates highly recommended listening Underlined indicates questionable but ultimately acceptable record Blue bold italic indicates ABSOLUTELY MUST HEAR BEFORE YOU DIE Note: Suggested alternatives are from the same year as the contested entry unless otherwise indicated. Also, anything in Red … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1977 – 1978

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 6: Scotch Clickbait

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

Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 5

To save everybody the trouble of reading or referencing Episode 3, during the mid-Oughts, I used to hang out at a joint in Fantasyland called Baltimore’s Inn. The jukebox at The Balt was something of a conundrum. It was a situation that refused to resolve itself. Here was the rub. The owner of the bar, Earl, had final say over everything in the joint, rightly … Continue reading Jukebox Antagonist – Episode 5