In defense of True Colors

It comes down, as these things so often do, to timing and nostalgia. The year was 1986, and though I’d been listening to top 40 on the radio for several years by that point, I didn’t own any of it. It all kicked off finally…

Bonus Post: Prince

Like a lot of us, I’ve been listening to Prince and not much else for the past week or so. I feel like I should write something, but I don’t think anyone’s waiting for me to do that except me. I feel like I shouldn’t…

2014: St. Vincent, ST. VINCENT

Here’s what happened in my life in 2014: I decided to write myself a present. This was a crazy thing to do. Here’s what my schedule looked like for pretty much the entire time I was writing this: Monday: teaching improv class. Tuesday: improv player…

2013: Janelle Monáe, THE ELECTRIC LADY

Let’s not bury the lead: last year I saw the best concert I’ve ever seen and may ever see, and the woman responsible was Janelle Monáe. I never guessed when I first heard her that I would become such a huge fan. A friend had…

2012: Metric, SYNTHETICA

We first got to know Emily Haines sideways. She slipped quietly into the music we were listening to, singing on Stars’ “Going Going Gone” and “On Peak Hill,” gracing the only Broken Social Scene song I like, adding a lyrical dimension to “Stopwatch Hearts” by…

2011: Lady Gaga, BORN THIS WAY

I used to have a Twitter account where I’d rate things out of five stars. It seemed like less work to review something in 140 characters. It sure would have made this project a breeze. Goddammit. NOW I tell me. I gave The Fame three…

2010: Vampire Weekend, CONTRA

Fun fact: of the past 36 entries (37 if you count the bonus), 23 were about bands from the UK or Australia. Most of the music I’ve really liked has been imported. Another fun fact: of the 5 remaining entries, 4 are from the US…

2009: Morrissey, YEARS OF REFUSAL

Look, Steven, I’m as surprised as you are that I’m writing about you now. There were a LOT of good albums this year, many of which I now listen to more than I listen to Years of Refusal. And I’ve already covered a lot of…

2008: Cut Copy, IN GHOST COLOURS

I don’t like crowds. As a rule I stay away from music festivals and huge concerts whenever I can — anything where the odds are high of getting stuck in a long conga line of cars inching their way out of a parking lot, or…

2007: Freezepop, FUTURE FUTURE FUTURE PERFECT

I have one more “meeting the band” story to tell. Once upon a time there was a band called Splashdown. There were three members: Adam Buehler on guitar and bass, Kasson Crooker on keyboards and electronics, and Melissa Kaplan on vocals and piano. They released…