Joe Jackson knows what he wants.

People told me I was A Dad many years before I ever became a father. That I look and sound a bit like Red Green probably doesn’t hurt. In that mode, I bring you a song recommendation with a little fatherly advice.

Many people out there make their living telling others how to run their lives. I’m not interested in that. I’d rather share the tools I have and if they work for you, take them. If not, no harm no foul I hope. …

I have read that as much as 30% of a medium is lost in a format shift. My interest in vinyl records has much less to do with any audiophile illusions than it does with being unhindered by format. There is some interesting stuff out there that never made the digital jump and I want to hear it.

I’ve also got a soft spot for junk shops. Not antiques- junk. Garage sales. Charity shops. Goodwill. If it reminds you of a basement that a relative needs to clean out, that’s for me. If I happen across an album with a…

I’m an unabashed Kottke fan. I’ve got every album he’s ever released including 1969’s “12 String Blues” of which only 1000 were pressed on the fittingly named Oblivion Records. I’ve seen him in concert with my Dad every year since 1993.

The reasons I’m recommending this song is simple. In a tune just shy of two and a half minutes, Kottke perfectly captures the quotidian frustrations in our work-a-day lives. It’s a ditty we can all identify with. We just want the damn thing to work so we can get on with it.

Kottke is a master of the acoustic…

This video is aimed squarely at me. The year this premiered on the airwaves was the first time I was eligible to vote. Dear reader, I went to the polls with pride. That civic pride is rekindled every time I partake in an election, and I vote every time I can: Midterms, primaries, school board elections, city counsel elections… you name it, I get to the polls.

The second time I voted was in a city primary a year after this song came out. I walked to the elementary school about half a block down from my folk’s place before…

In the northern hemisphere autumn has arrived and is moving with the haste of an angry ghost toward winter. The trees are bare and click in the night wind grown cold and unkind. Here in Minnesota the overnights have moved past flirting with freezing tempratures.

At the tail end of this declining season is Halloween. (It’s a holiday that I’ve only taken a keen to as an adult. Turns out being a Type 1 diabetic on Halloween is a real drag as a kid. But cosplay is cool and now I can more or less control my candy lust, so…

I used to dance.

Was a regular on the floor.

Had signature moves.

Even a song the DJ used to play when I walked in.

Yeah, it’s hard even for me to believe it anymore.


You say it’s sad how my hips and shoulders demure even at weddings when the floor is open to any fool or lover. You’ll swear you saw a head nod, some sympathetic emotional resonance with the woofers, in the corner of your eye to a certain beat. But maybe it was just the lights and the open bar.


You never ask why I…

I learned a new word: Folksonomy. It’s defined as a user-generated taxonomy. I’ve got a music related folksonomy I want to share with you: A perfect album.

A perfect album is one in which every song is good. You wouldn’t skip a single track no matter what order they came up in. For me, it’s a surprisingly small number of albums that land in this category, but a new member to the class has been added! The Caves by The Sevateem.

I’ve listened to this album six times (now seven) in the two days I’ve owned it. Knowing that, and…

When my Mom’s folks passed, I inherited a circa 1948 Zenith 880 radio cabinet. It sat in my parents’ basement for about a decade before I got my own place and could retrieve it. There is a whole saga about the storage of this cabinet and who said they wanted it or not, but that’s not why we are here.

So, it’s mine now and it works like a dream. I had to take it to two specialty shops to get it in running order, but no matter. It’s got a mismatched Voice of Music turntable attached, which was added…

I’m recommending this song for two reasons. The first is that, on the strength of this tune alone, I picked up the album of the same name. On the strength of the album, I started collecting her back catalog. I’m now seven albums in.

The other reason? This song is a type of magic but I don’t mean the cheap theater kind for kids. There is no sleight of hand here, but an incantation to the heart.

Every time it plays, it brings me both joy and sadness in a perfect mixture both sweet and gone. The chorus is both the sun and its attendant night. It calls up memories of days I never had.

The line that knocks me all the way out: “Ashes of a secret heart/falling in my lemonade/unslakable thirsting/in the backyard”.

Please, call it yours.

There is a strange cycle happening in pop culture. Star Wars is rising in popularity again. Well, it’s not like the idea has ever really faded from the hive mind since the theatrical release of A New Hope, but the hype around the merchandising and new films is back to a pitch like it was when I was young. For point of reference, I saw Empire and Jedi in the theater on original release. I still have my original Millennium Falcon, too.

This crazed fever marketing dream came back in ’96 as well when the prequels launched. Nowadays the peak…

Cory Funk

Music and typewriters, speakers and bicycles. Blog at

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