Yikes! Can you believe it’s been a year since I began writing this much-loved column? Me neither!
And though I’m not one given to excess celebrating, I’d like to take this opportunity to do something special to commemorate the occasion!
So, here’s a surprise! Rather than stick to my usual tried-and-true column formula–that is, first writing a half-dozen or so mini-reviews of albums, then listening to them, then going to bed–I’ve decided to break format and go with the “stream of consciousness” format popularized by such pioneering journalists as the Detroit Free Press‘s Bob Talbert, L.A.’s own Chris Morris, and some other guy I once knew! Here goes!:
Is it just my imagination, or did every single person on the MTV Music Awards show look like an idiot?…The square root of 16 is four!…Why does news of the upcoming Mariah Carey album cause me psychic discomfort?…Sure hope traffic is better tomorrow…Am I just being cranky, or is it actually reasonable to hope the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be kidnapped and tortured by mean space aliens?…Lately I’ve really been into the name “Jimmy”…Related note: I’m also really into Rancid. They’ve got cool hair!…Robert Hilburn‘s a great guy, but did you ever notice that sometimes he makes a big deal about certain artists–say Guns N’ Roses, Ministry, and (in an album or so) Nine Inch Nails–and then just kind of stops doing it? Here’s why: They stink!…My arm itches…The new Smashing Pumpkins album is quite good…Sometimes when I’m in the shower, I make up captions for pictures that don’t even exist!…The Meat Puppets are a vastly underrated band…Secretly, I write mean reviews about artists like Natalie Merchant just to be a jerk!…I really do think Momus is the best artist I’ve heard in the last 10 years…No offense to the Times guys who do Pop Eye in Sunday’s Calendar section, but since the stuff you’ve been writing about is mostly drawn from the AOL industry dirt files, news it ain’t…Fact: When you’re seriously excited about news of CD reissues by the Keef Hartley Band, it’s time to wash your hair!…Perhaps this isn’t the appropriate place to mention it, but Gov. Pete Wilson sure seems like an opportunistic schmuck!…I think that at least three of the bands on the Too Pure label–Laika, Pram, and Mouse On Mars–are better than labelmate PJ Harvey. Weird!…When I’m finished writing this, I’m going to go back in the house and finish off that new level of Doom!…Sometimes I wonder what critics are really supposed to say about records like Rhino’s new reissue of John Coltrane‘s Atlantic stuff. That it’s good? Bad? Commercially available in the first place? But then the phone rings or something…Chicago Reader writer Bill Wyman recently wrote a piece about Jerry Garcia‘s death that I thought was particularly mean-spirited. It typified that peculiar concept that rock stars are supposed to be role models of some sort, which of course is laughable. They just want to make money! And so do I!…I’m really into alternative rock and pancakes…One of the highlights of my year was finding an old Neil Sedaka compilation LP that included “The World Through A Tear.” It barely charted nationally, but was a hit in Miami when I was growing up. Ever hear “Love Machine” by the Roosters or “Can’t Stop Now” by Marmalade? Probably not! But if you did, your entire perception of Rock Music As You Know It would change drastically!…Go out and buy Deeper Water, the new album by Paul Kelly on Vanguard Records. Then buy me a new car!…Startling confession: Unlike many rock critics you know, I never liked the Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, or even Patti Smith! And by avoiding mentioning that until now, I’ve fooled everyone!…Tomorrow morning on the way to work I’ll either listen to Danny Wilson, Prefab Sprout, or the Pale Fountains!…Startling confession No. 2: I work full-time as a music editor. Recently I was in a car with the guy who signs my paychecks and a song came on the radio. “Who’s this?” I asked. “Green Day,” he replied. Yee-hah!…In the course of writing this, I’ve been listening to Alvin Lee & Ten Years After‘s Pure Blues and the new Skylab album on Astralwerks. And I didn’t even know it!…Epic Records is about to re-release Gideon Gaye by the High Llamas, my favorite album of last year. Buy it because you’re you!…Proof I’m a jerk: I recently told an MCA Records publicist that I thought the new album by Pebbles was a natural for coverage in BAM. In fact, I said, I thought it deserved double coverage. “Get it?” I asked. “Pebbles and BAM BAM.” She quickly hung up and hasn’t called since. Oops!…Now that my hair is turning gray, what should I do? Color it and be a buffoonish laughingstock? Do nothing and look like a depressing old rock hack? I know! I’ll go get a Big Gulp!…Have a great day, baby!