My Bloody Valentine Covers, Ranked

When bands cover My Bloody Valentine, most take a lazy shot at “When You Sleep.”  It’s a straightforward four-chord pop song, if naked. Covers of “Sometimes” are also common, if slightly more impressive. Anything else is rare. Granted, almost all of MBV’s recordings after 1988 defy easy coverage. And yet, pre-’88, they dropped some simple, twee […]

12 Joy Division Covers You Never Heard … About, in Lists of Great Joy Division Covers. And Ranked.

Another listicle corrective. I’m on a mission from God. There are too many “Great Joy Division Covers” listicles, many listing the same songs. Time for a new listicle. Let’s begin by excluding the 1995 Joy Division covers comp “A Means to an End.” Not to discount stuff on there (some of it far exceeding expectations, like […]

Your Sexy New Music Briefing, Senator

Been listening to the Avalanches‘ new LP Wildflower. Nutshell: first beats record I’ve heard since Entroducing that’s about listening, yet here specifically about hearing music in headphones while walking through a swiftly changing urban terrain. It’s an experience city dwellers know well. Album as imaginary playlist. Which also reminds me: 16 years ago, while DJing in a Brooklyn restaurant, […]

Writers Who Don’t Appear in Listicles About Writers Who Appeared in Movies of Their Books, But Did

Listicles are: legion. We’ve reached the post-listicle age. Listicles about listicles are all that’s left for writers feeding the internet beast at 10 cents a word. As far as the “authors appearing in films of their own works” listicle, the obvious suspects appear in almost every piece. Stephen King hams it up as a dingbat in […]

All Dystopias Is Local

As a fourth grader, I was introduced to Adventure and other text-only computer games by our school principal, who dragged six of us down to his office to see the TRS-80 he probably spent his entire day messing with, rather than breaking up fights or firing lousy teachers or whatever else a principal is expected to do, […]

A Total Debridement of the Heart: Other Music

Deerhoof released a new record, “The Magic,” today. Shelve it with their focused, non genre-tributary releases. Under Deerhoof: Rawk.   In 2003, I bought my first Deerhoof record, “Apple ‘O,” at Other Music, which closes tomorrow.   Opposite to interstellar alignments, rock-bottoms will sync. Trenches intersect. Lows coincide. Namely, my plum, writerly day-job of nine […]

Autopsy for the Record Industry

Stephen Witt’s superb “How Music Got Free” administers a bone saw to the music industry’s corpse and details the official cause of death with a pathologist’s detail. It’s a slow, circuitous death, and every corner is set in fascinating detail, from Karlheinz Brandenberg’s use of research on the possible spectrum of heard sounds in order […]