Put ELO in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Last week, the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for induction into 2017’s Hall of Fame class. The Hall of Fame is famously subjective, and one could make a case for any of the candidates, all giants of Boomer culture: the group Yes popularized progressive rock; Journey perfected arena rock; Tupac … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Blink-182 and the Silliness of Middle-Aged Rocker Angst

If you were an angsty teenager like me in the mid-to-late 1990s / early 2000s timeframe, finely attuned to all of life’s unfair absurdities—for example, your baseball coach was kind of a jerk, your English teacher just didn’t understand why that poem you wrote was actually deeply poignant and profound, your parents belonged to the … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Creativity, Risk, and ‘Sing Street’

Do yourself a favor this weekend. Between barbecues and superhero movies go see Sing Street, a wonderful, and wonderfully human, new film about the power of rock and roll. Written and directed by John Carney, Sing Street tells the story of Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) a teenager living in Dublin in 1985. Conor’s parents are splitting … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Can Rock Defeat Terrorism?

One month ago, Eagles of Death Metal were in mid-performance at the Bataclan Theater in Paris when their show was interrupted by a terrorist attack that left 89 dead there (and 130 total in coordinated attacks elsewhere in the city). All the members of the rock band survived and were understandably traumatized, but they swiftly … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Kim K Cover Shows ‘Rolling Stone’ Doesn’t Care About Rock ‘n Roll

Sinead O’Connor spoke out against Rolling Stone’s July cover model, Kim Kardashian, on her official Facebook account yesterday: The post drew tens of thousands of likes, comments, and shares, and no shortage of insults. O’Connor was quickly labeled a “one-hit wonder,” “has-been,” and “irrelevant” by commenters, many of whom were more upset about her use … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music

Jack White’s Pursuit of Truth

For my money, the most interesting man in the music world is rocker Jack White. His music is fun and eclectic. His style and fashion are unique. He’s an entrepreneur and innovator. He has his own recording studio and record store in downtown Nashville that I stopped in recently while visiting the Music City. He … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Return of the Manly Rock Star

It’s a performance that has electrified the nation. A few weeks ago Future Islands, a synth-pop band, performed on The Late Show with David Letterman. The group did its wonderful single “Seasons (Waiting on You)”, a driving, hook heavy song about a man frustrated with waiting for a woman to reciprocate his love. Since then, … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Tragic Life of Alex Chilton

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ‘round/They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song?/ I’m in love with that song.” —The Replacements, “Alex Chilton” Somewhere a long the line I figured out that if you only press up a hundred copies of a record, then eventually it will find it’s … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Will Legalization Kill the Anti-Drug Rock Song?

Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done”… Minor Threat’s “Straight Edge”…  De La Soul’s “Say No Go”…  U2’s “Bad”… The Clash’s “Hateful”. These are all great anti-drug rock and roll songs. But will America’s increasing trend towards decriminalizing drugs mean the end of these anthems? I can only hope not. Most reasonable people can … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music

Never Quite Free

One way to mistell stories of penitence is to envision penance as a linear process of restoration. You do a bad thing, you feel bad, you make amends (often in a way which involves saying ritual words like “I’m sorry,” or doing something which offers an obvious symbolic parallel to your wrongdoing), status quo ante. … Continued

Entertainment, Music