Twenty-three is a strange age, particularly if you’ve been fortunate enough to forestall adulthood with higher education. Leaving home is about the only real change you’ll experience, because college tends to be a gritty reboot of grade school. Generational backstories and conflicts are compressed to an overlong, slow-motion title sequence…


You can count the great shoegaze bands on one hand, because most of those blurry, twirling romantics were terrible in concert. Even compared to their most talented contemporaries — My Bloody Valentine, Pale Saints, Swervedriver and Chapterhouse at the start — Ride were far and away the most exciting live…


Ride were plain gauche in 1990.

Their sloppy first EPs borrowed as liberally from the Cocteau Twins’ mid-period work as that unbearable C86 racket, but in 1990, the rest of pop music was so bad that it didn’t matter. Wizened critics couldn’t bear another technically substandard batch of shambling mopes…


Pensive electric guitar has a limited history, which makes sense: it’s a limited mode of expression. In the ’70s, Fripp and Eno brought cosmic rock and new age down to earth, stopping short of total academia a la John Cage, but their guitar works — No Pussyfooting (1973) and Evening…


Bacon cocktails…

Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see.
Nothing really matters
To me.

When I head out to my local record shop, during my designated lunch break — an act Thom Yorke would surely turn into some fatalistic, Orwell-lite meditation on routine and alienation — I’ll mingle with teenagers, bike messengers and…


Liz Phair was a grifter. Using sexuality as a weapon, she turned the tables on obsessive boys and set their hearts aflutter with brazen lyrics like her dead-to-the-world, faux-hooker praise for doin’ it doggie-style: “That way we can fuck and watch TV.” Forgiving “Explain it to Me,” Phair was in…


On the fatal narcissism of the Sports Guy.

I can’t do a podcast about this, because it’s the most podcast-y notion I’ve ever had, but I was thinking about Bill Simmons’ new gig at HBO — where he’s at as a media personality in 2015 — and what strikes me…


On Robert Christgau’s move to VICE

Robert Christgau is the same age as my father. Actually, that’s inaccurate: he is four months older than my father.

This morning, Christgau announced the migration of his authorial brand from this site — Medium — to VICE Media’s music arm, Noisey. His inaugural…


The Death of SPIN Magazine

On the 30th anniversary of SPIN magazine, Byron Coley — the “underground” editor almost solely responsible for establishing the magazine’s credibility in the early days — is absent. Where is Legs McNeil?


From its inception in June of 2000, the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has championed itself as an artists-rights nonprofit. …

Shallow Rewards

Town decrier.

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