Search Results for: Michael Beach, Gravity/Repulsion

Graded on a Curve:
Devo,
Q: Are We Not Men?
A: We Are Devo!

Celebrating Mark Mothersbaugh, born on this day in 1950. —Ed. Thank God for the great state of Ohio. It produces rockers the way Utah creates cretinous little polygamist kids. Just look at Cleveland, where I once pissed into the front seat of a car that parked us in after a drunken night on The Flats. […]

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Graded on a Curve: Jonathan Richman,
I, Jonathan

Celebrating Jonathan Richman on his 71st birthday. —Ed. With 1976’s The Modern Lovers Jonathan Richman bequeathed us one of the greatest rock’n’roll albums ever. Then he had a change of heart. “I believe that any group that hurts the ears of infants sucks,” he said, giving up VU-school riffs and proto-punk sonic thrust in favor […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Linda Ronstadt,
Live in Hollywood

Through no fault of her own, Linda Ronstadt has been relegated to the 1970s soft-rock camp. Some would even label her an easy-listening artist, but they’d change their mind by listening to her fiery takes on Chuck Berry’s “Back in the U.S.A.” and Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ “It’s So Easy.” Say what you will […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Elvis Presley,
Having Fun with
Elvis on Stage

1974’s Having Fun with Elvis on Stage is my favorite album by the King. On this bizarre throwaway you get snippets of Presley goofing off, having fun, cracking wise, spouting complete gibberish, and generally behaving like Robin Williams in full-blown manic mode before live audiences, quite possibly while stoned out of his legendary pompadour on […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Faces,
Ooh La La

Remembering Ian McLagan on the date of his birth. —Ed. The Faces may well have been the best party band of their era, if not all time. The Rolling Stones were all sex and menace, the Who was a thinking man’s band, while the Kinks dealt in England’s hallowed past as viewed through the prism […]

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Graded on a Curve:
10cc,
Sheet Music

Celebrating Graham Gouldman, born on this day in 1946. —Ed. Looking for some sophisticated English entertainment? Well put on the old school tie, break out the crumpets and watercress tea sandwiches, offer Viscount Basil Clement-Clawsey a cup of Earl Grey tea, and put 10cc’s Sheet Music on the gramophone. Then unstiffen your upper lip just […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Cheap Trick,
Heaven Tonight

Celebrating Tom Petersson, born on this day in 1950. —Ed. What a cheap trick. Here Rockford, Illinois’ finest put out Heaven Tonight which I considered the coolest album in the galaxy, only to follow it up with Cheap Trick at Budokan and the heinous “I Want You to Want Me,” which I’ve had to suffer […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Uriah Heep,
Look at Yourself

I can think of a whole bunch of reasons to own this album. It’s a slightly marred musical masterpiece, one that melds heavy metal and progressive rock without ever letting the latter dominate the proceedings. And most of its songs are great. But the most important reasons to keep a copy of 1971’s Look at […]

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Graded on a Curve: Vangelis, Oceanic

Over the course of his long career, the Greek musician and composer Vangelis has produced more than fifty albums of orchestrated electronic music, many of them film scores. This is a boon to his devoted fans. Not so to the rest of us, who resent having Vangelis take New Age Muzak dumps on our faces. […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Black Sabbath,
Master of Reality

Celebrating Bill Ward, born on this day in 1948. —Ed. Is Black Sabbath the dumbest band in rock history or what? Even as a wee lad “Iron Man” struck me as the work of a band that was slow, and I don’t mean slow as in sluggish in tempo but slow as in dim in […]

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Graded on a Curve: Christopher Cross, Christopher Cross

Celebrating Christopher Cross who turns 71 tomorrow. —Ed. A few observations on Yacht Rock anti-Christ Christopher Cross’ Grammy Award winning 1979 debut LP. 1. If Stephen King was the Master of the Macabre he claims to be, he would write a short story about a ruthless businessman with a Type A personality who is on […]

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Graded on a Curve: Warren Zevon,
The Envoy

Upon first meeting Warren Zevon, says Barney Hoskins in his 2006 book California Rock, Linda Ronstadt “thought he was a psychopath.” I’m sure she wasn’t alone. Hollywood’s notorious excitable boy was spinning out of control at the time, a one-man alcohol and drug-fueled perma-binge that led even the most decadent members of the Hollywood demimonde […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Rod McKuen,
Beatsville

Remembering Rod McKuen on the date of his birth. —Ed. When the ancient Greeks coined the word bathos, I’m pretty sure they had Rod McKuen in mind. America’s most popular–and worst–poet of the 1960s, McKuen produced books of poetry the way Virginia opossums make babies, each and every one of them catering to the tastes […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Exene Cervenka,
The Excitement of
Maybe

It’s difficult to separate the punk goddess and long-time X vocalist Exene Cervenka from the Exene Cervenka turned QAnon fellow traveler whose abhorrent beliefs as regards to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School (hoax) and the 2014 mass shooting in Isla Vista, California (engineered by the government to give it more control over us […]

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Graded on a Curve: Jacques Dutronc, Jacques Dutronc

Celebrating Jacques Dutronc, born on this day in 1943. —Ed. Who says the French can’t rock? I do, mon ami, I do. They can write like mad motherfuckers, as anybody’s who’s ever read Arthur Rimbaud or Louis-Ferdinand Celine or Alfred Jarry knows, and I would never impugn their oral skills (“The French they are a […]

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