The Sex Pistols Invade America. First Stop: Pittsburgh?

Dec 28, 2017 | 29784 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 »

On the 12 Days of Christmas, My Blogger Played for Me: Songs in the Key of A(lternative)

Dec 14, 2017 | 19831 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 »

Rudolph, You Rock. Now Wise Up, Reindeer!

Dec 12, 2017 | 16803 Views | 1 Comment

Okay, Rudolph, you've gone down in history with that song of yours. And for what? Selling out! So you were born with a shiny red schnoz and had the misfortune of living in a polar ice cap with no access to a plastic surgeon or electrician. And all those big-antlered reindeer jocks and their patent-leather-hoofed cheerleader girlfriends called you names and shunned you because of it. I know, I know...it hurts to be the last one picked for the volleyball team. Bullying sucks. But, Rudolph, you copped out and allowed those conformist reindeer snobs to welcome... Read More »

Tolerance, Hairdo Envy, and Bad First Dates: Lessons Learned from Frankie & His Bride

Oct 31, 2017 | 15551 Views | 7 Comments

Ah, you always remember your first time. There I was, in a dimly lit room...body tense and trembling under crisp sheets…heartbeat wild in anticipation…breaths short and shallow…spellbound by my first glimpse of something big, scary, and invasive…a spectacle that would excite me for the rest of my life: the 1935 classic, "The Bride of Frankenstein." I had already been wowed by the film's predecessor: the 1931 thriller about a doctor named Frankenstein who assembles a man from the body parts of the dead, using safe, clean, affordable electricity to bring him to life. At first the bolt-necked... Read More »

Roaring Down Thunder Road: Darlin’, You Know Just What I’m Here For

Sep 16, 2017 | 26915 Views | 3 Comments

I took a road trip with "Born to Run" yesterday. It's the 40th anniversary of Bruce's groundbreaking album, and there's no better way to experience it than by blasting it in your car, with the windows open and the wind blowing back your hair. Cars and tunnels and backstreets and highways are just as central to the LP's cast of characters as the losers and loners and tramps. My trip to the South Hills of Pittsburgh lasted the entire length of the album. From Rt. 22 East and the harmonica opening of "Thunder Road," right down to... Read More »