Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

The Day of the Expanding Van, Part II

(Continuing the reviews of the “new — to me — Van Morrison albums begun in last week’s post.) Magic Time opens a bit awkwardly, with the lyrics of the first cut, “Stranded,” including “the devil and the deep blue sea.” That’s perhaps too much MOR for Morrison, who famously sang, on “Hard Nose the Highway”: “Ain’t that some interpretation/When Sinatra sings/Against Nelson Riddle strings/ Then takes a vacation.” But it bounces back with the charming “Celtic New Year,” and the sassy shuffle “Keep Mediocrity at Bay.” There are a couple chestnuts in the middle of the CD, one blues, the other a crooner, but they’re followed by “Just Like Greta” — in which, like Garbo, the narrator just wants to be

The Day of the Expanding Van, Part I

Three years ago last week, I blogged about adding to my collection of my favorite solo artist, Van Morrison. At that time, I noted that I hadn’t added much to my Van the Man trove in the past couple decades. But I didn’t add much more in the spring of 2016, downloading two new-but-old LPs. But only one was really new to me, A Period of Transition, from 1977; the other was a replacement of a vinyl disc that was one of The Albums that Were Lost, 1972’s St. Dominic’s Preview. My more-recent additions are the result of my older brother’s incessant prowling of the used book and music stores of Madison and elsewhere in southern Wisconsin. Jimbo will call me on his cell and ask if I have certain al

Going in the Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2019 the weekend before last — an occasion for celebration for some, but an inspiration for head-scratching for me. Sort-of-immortalized in the museum-cum-theme park in Cleveland — during ceremonies held in New York City, but go figure — were the Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, and Roxy Music. Two of the acts going into a hall of fame are so famous that I — a fan of rock and roll for nearly six decades — cannot name one song they’ve done. (When I blogged about the RRHF nominees last fall, after they were announced, I included Cure amongst those whose songs were a blank to me. Since then, I heard a cut on Sat Rad

April’s Foolish Pleasures

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, so here are some suggestions for music that fits the occasion: There are actually a few songs called “April Fools” or something similar. Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick did “The April Fools,” the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune from the movie of the same name, as did a number of other artists, including Respectable Groove. If you want to go even more MOR, there are lots of April songs. Everybody from Pat Boone to Johnny Mathis to Roger Williams did “April Love,” there are many versions of “April in Paris” — Louis Armstrong to Sinatra — and “I’ll Remember April” got worked over pretty well, too. Alternative rock band Soul Asylum did “April Fool” on their 1992 al

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