One of our old columns...


Hi, folks. It's been a while. Many, many months since my last column, and I'm not kidding here - I feel pretty bad about that.

So why did I wait so long? I'd made a pact with myself that I'd start forcing myself into writing a new column every month. Hell, Dave Barry can do it every week, so I should have no problem coming up with something every month, right? Well, it didn't quite work according to plan.
If there's one excuse that I can offer for my extended absence, it's been that little to nothing has been going on. I haven't felt that FIRE - you know, those gut-clenching butterflies - that one can ONLY get from hearing a piece of music that defies all boundaries and makes words seem useless... Hell, it's been SO long since a record's moved me like that. I'm hoping - nay, I'm praying - that 2000 has been a pretty lacking year in terms of music... because if it HASN'T been, the only other possible answer is that I've "grown up," and God forbid that.


Don't Cry For Me Out-Of-Print Spent Poets Import CD's

     Picture the scene: someone you know has been going through an unsettling, bizarre, and rather heightened little patch in his life. Which means that in order to try and help stave off his pains he -- yes -- feels compelled to sift through his large record collection. The problem is that he only seems to go after the same handful of albums each and every time. And he rarely returns to them when times are good.

     Is it possible to hurt an album's feelings?



     It has recently come to my attention that there is a plague growing in this world. It halts logical reasoning, corrupts the mind, and causes terror in the hearts of noble men's souls. It is doubtful even the recent Human Ge-Gattaca-Here-We-Come-Nome Project can save us. Yes, I'm talking about idiocy. Because lately, I have run across quite a few people parroting around each other with remarks about what is the usefulness of modern radio. There's my theory (here), there's fellow columnist Shane's numerous theories (most recently here), and then there are many variations of both filtering in over the past several months. What strikes me as unusually disturbing as of late are some very vocal opinions on the whole thing. Namely: why does any self-respecting music fan care if a radio station plays a readily-owned and personally-treasured song 4,304 times per day or -- on the converse -- never at all? The answer I have run across over the past few weeks usually ends up resting on a simple, "Because that means somebody who has never heard the song before might like it."
     The plague grows stronger.


Encore Ennui

     Alright, listen up: if you ever form a band, if you ever break out and go solo, if you ever find yourself singing in a public place, if you ever find yourself on a stage doing whatever amazing thing that you possibly can do in front of an audience...never, ever come back and do a "why, thank you" encore unless -- and this is critical -- the audience actually asks for it. Idiot.


Schrodinger's Cat

     There once was a cat. There was once a really cute cat. His name was Snoogums. And his owner was named Schrodinger. Erwin Schrodinger. So one day Erwin (or "Erwin" to his friends) decided that it would be a worthwhile idea to take Soogums, stick him in a box, throw in an unopened bottle of poison gas, and shut it tight. Well, it was 1926. It seemed like a good idea at the time.


Nappy Time

Uh oh. Guess what I just found out. I share an opinion with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. Needless to say, this worries me a bit... so it's time to put pen to paper (which still sounds infinitely better than "put fingers to keys") and attempt to justify whatever in my brain is causing me to join forces with my least favorite figure in contemporary music.

Yep, that's right... it's time for me to take on... THE NAPSTER ISSUE.


Your Perverted Rain Gutters

       A year's gone by since I started ranting here.

       That's all.

       No biggie.

       Move along.

       But before you go, poke your head into this room where director Danny Boyle was recently interviewed. Get this: "I would very much to do a film about the British music industry, particularly about Manchester which has spawned great British acts like THE STONE ROSES, HAPPY MONDAYS, and OASIS. I have an interest in Manchester because it's my home town."

       Applaud now or leave.


How To Write A Letter To A Music Magazine

Dear <insert derogatory title>,

I've had it. After seeing <insert popular band> on your cover last month, I felt compelled to stick <insert popular band> CD's down my throat until I gagged and vomited silver splinters. You guys suck.


The Column That Wasn't

Shane's taking the month of February off because, well, he's pretty much pissed at the world. Some factors involved in this hiatus include:


The Year The Earth Stood Still (1999)

     We're not dead.

     That's always good.

     But is music? Well, admire the introductory brevity and take a gander at Yet Another Best o' Year List and decide for your "gee, a bit of an anti-climax, no?" selves. Yes, here we (let's-watch-Dean-add-unnecessary-adjectives) go...

     10. THE FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE - Utopia Parkway