10 Hip Quotient Resolutions Aimed at Enriching Your Reading Pleasure

Jan 6, 2017 | 2228 Views | 5 Comments

It's that time of year when we feel compelled to set ourselves up for failure by making unrealistic resolutions we'll never keep. Once again we will resolve to quit doing all the naughty things we enjoy, heed the advice of gurus named Chopra, Weil, Tolle, and Oz, and embark on new lifestyles defined by words like organic, tantric, mantra, quinoa, and kale. I stopped making self-improvement resolutions a long time ago. Today, as always, I embrace my inner sloth, heed the words of gurus named Lennon, Dylan, Berry and Waits, and enjoy a lifestyle defined by words... Read More »

The Sex Pistols Invade America. First Stop: Pittsburgh

Dec 29, 2016 | 8363 Views | 1 Comment

I remember sitting in study hall one day during my senior year of high school, speaking in hushed tones with a couple of friends about a band that was just starting to rear its spike-haired head on the pages of Circus and Creem magazines: The Sex Pistols. Who were they? Or rather, what were they? In the early months of 1977, no one outside a small circle of die-hard British fans had even heard their music. The band’s first single, “God Save the Queen,” and sole studio album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,”... Read More »

Mixing Melancholy with Merriment: A Realist’s Guide to Christmas Music

Dec 22, 2016 | 4468 Views | 3 Comments

Okay, I know it's Christmas season and we're supposed to be happy and peaceful and idealistic, listening to carols both solemn and silly, and trying to be all Norman Rockwelly and stuff. Heck, the last thing I'd want to do is bum you out as you deck the malls, looking for the prettiest Victoria's Secret training bra for little Madison, or the perfect starter rifle for little Ethan. But, as your faithful blogger, I feel I have a duty to expose you to an alternate version of Christmas culture via a smathering of holiday tunes that... Read More »

Bob Dylan: A Jew with Christmas in the Heart

Dec 21, 2016 | 9711 Views | 8 Comments

’Tis the season to see “Jews for Jesus” popping up around Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the vibrant center of Jewish culture here in the city. Why, just the other day I was strolling to the iconic Little’s Shoe Store, my beloved Bethlehem of Boots, when I saw two spunky dudes dressed in blue “Jews for Jesus” t-shirts (the o in for represented by a Star of David) distributing their mission-statement flyers. But what exactly is their mission? They say it’s “to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to Jewish people worldwide.” Hmmmm. Well, a Read More »

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My Blogger Played for Me: Songs of a Different Stripe

Dec 16, 2016 | 9820 Views | 3 Comments

If you’re looking for a list of the most beloved Christmas carols, you’ve come to the wrong blog. Times have changed, after all. The Little Drummer Boy is set to tour with Bruce, and Frosty's a puddle on my front lawn - a victim of global warming. And if you’re seeking recommendations for the most popular rock and R&B-oriented holiday songs, you’ve landed on the wrong page. Chuck Berry has run-run Rudolph right into the hands of the hunters, and Brenda Lee has rocked herself senseless around that Christmas tree in an eggnog and opiate frenzy.... Read More »