Parodies and Prophecies

Midsummer 2019

There are any number of things we’re taught as children that we are later asked to revisit, diminish or dismiss. I’d suggest that among these is parody, a genre too easily cast aside.

There’s no good reason why. The word itself has been in the language half a millenium and Shakespeare, just before its first Continue reading

The Girl You Want

“What’s in a name?,” the Bard rightly asked.

It’s a question I’ve been pondering once again as I’ve become obsessed with another: Could pop music even exist without songs simply titled by a girl’s name?

There’s no reason they’re required, though. The number of songs about a generic girl dwarfs the Continue reading

When Your Bird is Broken

That Girl from Arizona

LRWhen it comes to writing about music I seem to find myself stuck in the 70s. Maybe it’s easier to make sense of the songs I’ve been listening to  for most of a lifetime.

Or maybe I just can’t stand today’s Swedish-produced pop music.

In any case, no female performer from my teen years stands out more than Linda Ronstadt. More than once I’ve referred to her as the first Mexican-American girl I ever had a crush on. That ethnic bit is true. The Ronstadts were immigrant farmers from Continue reading

Six Pack Follow-Up: An Unexpected Telecaster Duopoly

teles2Stumbled across this while educating my son about Bugs Bunny. (It’s a twisted route that involves Bugs singing a 1920s tune that, in a YouTube search, turns up Rikki Don’t Lose that Number. But I digress.)

From when Steely Dan was a band with a  vocalist, RITY is a song I never liked much. So imagine my surpise when Denny Dias and Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter both turn up playing Teles. Bonus moment is a too hip Bill Cosby introducing the band.

Today’s Six-Pack: Unexpected Covers

Time for the first six-pack. I thought a great place to start would be with unexpected covers.

Now what do I mean by that phrase? Cover versions ought to be an easy thing to describe but there are all sorts of complications. The songs in the great American songbook–those great songs by the likes of Gershwin and Arlen and Berlin and the rest–are Continue reading