Our Five Favorite Christmas Songs

For me (and, I suspect, others of my generation) Christmas will always be the Yule Log on WPIX, the muted glow of midnight mass televised live from St. Patrick’s, and the commercial with all the Channel 4/Live At 5 people singing in the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink (Speaking of which Sue Simmons will have her [...]

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Brooklyn Bugle Book Club: “The Summer House” by Alice Thomas Ellis

Margaret is to be married to Syl. Margaret is quite young, perhaps 20, and Syl is rather older, in his forties, about the age of Margaret’s mother Monica. Syl lives with his own mother, Mrs. Monro (or, often, old Mrs. Monro) in the same private housing estate as Margaret and Monica. Monica’s husband Derek left [...]

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We All Know the Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame Blows. Can We Try to do Something About It?

Listen, there is very goddamn little need to add my churning, gasping puffs of breath to the howl of outrage over the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.  First of all, there are a lot more important things to wax indignant about; secondly, saying the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame is full of shit is like saying the [...]

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Derwood Andrews, and the sound of a post-punk, post-blues Catcus Acid Milkshake

Let’s put it this way:  If TONE POET, VOL. II was a new album by Beck, it would almost certainly be a serious contender for the Grammy for Album of the Year; if it was by, say, Bob Dylan, it would be the certain winner.  If Tone Poet, Vol. II was a new soundtrack to [...]

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Darius Rucker, Race, and Turning a Moment in Time into a True Movement

I understand that Darius Rucker is on the pants-end of a social media ass-kicking because he sang “White Christmas” at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, in the midst of a night of protest and outrage over the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choke-hold death of Eric Garner. I will admit that the rough [...]

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Brooklyn Bugle Book Club: “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit

A key component to growing up is to consider, and come to terms with, the compromises one must make with one’s life: most of us will be ordinary, productive citizens, not major league ballplayers or celebrated actors. Over the course of a human lifetime, that still leaves plenty of time, and room, for drama. The [...]

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The Ten Greatest Guitar Riffs of All Time, Revealed!

There is a delicious squabble going on in the webbernet:  Kinks’ guitarist Dave Davies is appropriately livid that his brother Ray has recently taken credit for the earth-changing guitar sound Dave devised for “Your Really Got Me.” Now, Dave doesn’t contend that Ray more-or-less wrote the riff; he just is alarmed that Ray is taking [...]

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Johnny Depp, Evan Dando, LSD, and Me

Another damn true story. Evan Dando and Johnny Depp were standing in the door of my office. It was early 1993. I was working for Atlantic Records, and I was a relatively new A&R person at the label. My office was on the 8th floor of a 9-story building on Sunset Boulevard just west of [...]

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Struggle Bus Episode 6: Double Decker Struggle Buses, the Perfect Word to Describe Your Sexuality to Everyone (Does Not Exist), and (More) Clarifications on Catcalling

Listen To Episode 6 Subscribe On iTunes In this episode Kate and Sally thank listeners for writing and tweeting amazing things and for reviewing the podcast in iTunes and giving it 5 stars (hint). Kate shares her recent trip on the struggle bus and Sally vents about white people performing allyship. They then discuss a listener’s dilemma […]
(via The Struggle Bus)

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The Signal Podcast Episode #02 – Pork and Beef

Episode Two: In which Jill, Dan, and BlogHer’s Elisa Camahort Page have a soulful discussion about Ferguson, the Eric Garner non-indictment, and the protests in Ferguson and New York City.

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This week, a Staten Island grand jury d…
(via The Signal Podcast)

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Brooklyn Bugle Book Club: “Barracuda” A Novel by Christos Tsiolkas

Find your passion, we’re told, and set a goal in life. What can happen if you don’t reach that goal is the theme that Christos Tsiolkas sets out to explore in his compelling and occasionally disturbing new novel “Barracuda.” Danny Kelly is a teenaged swimming champion in Melbourne, Australia, so good that a private school [...]

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Tracing the Transit System, 1940-1968 – an evening with Andrew Sparberg

Ever wonder how the IRT, BMT, and IND were molded into the subway system? How they were joined by bus, trolley, suburban train lines and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and became the MTA? Andrew J. Sparberg, transit historian and author of the new book

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The Dark Night Of Dave Grohl: A Cautionary Tale

It had been a long night.  Damn, it had been a long week. The Pepsi machine in the stairwell of the Super 8 motel outside of Dothan, Alabama refused to take Dave Grohl’s dollar.  He smoothed out the bill and fed it into the slot a third, fourth, and fifth time.  No luck.  On another [...]

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Re-Assessing The Legacy of The Clash…or Not.

Kill Yr Idols, Part II (of Many).  Let’s take a look at the Clash.  If you came of age in the late 1970s and early 1980s and defined yourself as a follower of new music, the Clash were a central band in your worldview. The Clash were so central, in fact, that one rarely stops [...]

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Sonic Youth, Tim Sommer, and Kill Yr Idols

Kill your idols is a potent phrase.  It is also extremely reasonable and important spiritual and artistic (though not literal) advice. In the 1980s, ’90s, and beyond, in its’ truncated “Kill Yr Idols” form, it also became a powerful pop meme, to be seen on lunchboxes, t-shirts, bathroom walls, record sleeves, and as many etceteras [...]

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