A futile quest for the world’s coolest, and weirdest, song titles, Vol. 1

Why futile? Because as diligently as I try to nail these titles down, the more they squirm and multiply. It’s like musical Tribbles. Or not. Take Bruce Springsteen. I thought of the Boss’ “Blinded by the Light,” which led me to “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and, I figured, more goodies to come. But no. Apparently writing… Continue reading A futile quest for the world’s coolest, and weirdest, song titles, Vol. 1

I’ll tell you why I like “Roosevelt”

“Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt” is a gospel-soaked/proto-soul a cappella dirge released in April 1946 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. It’s like no other requiem ever written, bursting with ferocity and wrath and pride and even tentative hope. Musically mating the sacred… Continue reading I’ll tell you why I like “Roosevelt”

Vanishing act

In 2013, promising singer-songwriter Meagan Moseley released her first album, Long Nights and Neon Lights, then fell off the Earth.  I searched for Moseley intermittently for a couple of years, but turned up only crumbs. As an unknown country artist with one full-length album and only 14 songs in her catalog, she left a faint… Continue reading Vanishing act

Aces high

The Aces For a music journalist, it’s sometimes difficult to find a hook hefty enough to hang a story on. Utah alt-pop band The Aces is a hook emporium. To wit: They’re from Provo, within shouting distance of Osmond Lane, a street of mansions occupied by members of the famed entertainment family. Provo is in… Continue reading Aces high

Guilty pleasures, pop edition

Aly & AJ. My usual defense against Disney musical acts is garlic toast and a crucifix, but I can’t keep Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka out of my skull. The bangin’ Cali girls seemed manor-born to Disney back in 2004, when they signed with the affiliated Hollywood Aly (top) and AJ Records label. Aly was… Continue reading Guilty pleasures, pop edition

Guilty pleasures, tunes edition

“Arizona,” Mark Lindsay. This song’s as bizarre as its back story. Before he went solo, Lindsay was lead singer for the gimmick band Paul Revere and the Raiders, whose members performed in frilly Colonial garb and tricorne hats. Lindsay wasn’t “Paul Revere,” a mistake many make. The real fake Revere was a crazed-weasel band mate who… Continue reading Guilty pleasures, tunes edition

Rockin’ in the freeform world

The Captain and Tennille’s “Muskrat Love” is the dumbest song ever recorded. This isn’t up for debate. We geezers who suffered through the abomination in real time (1976) were left to wonder how the Cap’n and his missus could get out of bed in the morning. The same goes for the quisling DJs who willingly spun… Continue reading Rockin’ in the freeform world

From lineman to lensman

The past looms large for Tony Mandarich – almost as large as the man himself. The NCAA colossus and NFL underachiever has just clambered out of his black monster Jeep in front of his photography studio in North Scottsdale. Unlike his ride and most everything else about Mandarich’s outsize life, the studio is modest. Mandarich… Continue reading From lineman to lensman

You’re not from Texas

Scotland’s Duncan McLean knows more about Texas swing than most Texans; it’s an avocation, a pure-hearted love of the form, that sucks up much of the Aberdeenshire-born author’s time. McLean now lives in Orkney, an isolated island chain off the Scottish coast. When he’s not packratting around the mainland in search of golden-age swing recordings… Continue reading You’re not from Texas

Taylor, swift

At 6:15 on a May morning, three months before the start of the 2016 Olympics, controlled chaos reigns at Scottsdale’s Cactus Aquatic & Fitness Center. Fifty-plus teens from Scottsdale Aquatic Club’s elite National Team dart about, huddling and chatting, preparing for a practice in the center’s Olympic pool – one of nine punishing sessions they… Continue reading Taylor, swift