Thanks to You, Mary Tyler Moore, I’m Gonna Make it After All

Jan 27, 2017 | 3558 Views | 0 Comments

I was 13 years old, gawky, zitty, unpopular, and academically mediocre. Unlike many of the girls in my class, I didn’t have a boyfriend. Mary Richards was 30-ish, beautiful, accomplished, and smart. And unlike many of the female characters on TV at that time, she didn’t have a boyfriend. And that made me feel SO MUCH better! When the Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted on CBS on September 19, 1970, I was 10, and at the height of my tuffy tomboy period. And while I liked the program’s heroine Ms. Richards well enough, at that age I... Read More »

The Sex Pistols Invade America. First Stop: Pittsburgh

Dec 29, 2016 | 12912 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 | 9027 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 | 14399 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 | 11459 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 »