Soundtrack of my Life: Ten Best Elvis Costello Songs


If I want some snark, some verbosity, some damn fine songwriting, I turn to Elvis Costello. There is something about how his songs play out. He’s fearless about genre (and occasionally language itself). And sometimes he shows up in the most random of places. Austin Powers cameo? Sure, why not! Host my own talk show* … More Soundtrack of my Life: Ten Best Elvis Costello Songs

Yeah. I Know.


I know I said no posting for a while. But… I am a simple girl with simple pleasures. Skippy on vinyl. One more must have record down. I wish it was the original Columbia recording instead of the Sundaze re-release, but I like my kidneys.

Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence


I started writing this before all the hell of November began, so I decided to finish it. I’ll write the 2016 year-end stuff next month and then that’s it until I find some sort of joy or purpose. When I discussed Skip Spence’s exquisite and underappreciated OAR, I mentioned a fondness for the broken and lost geniuses … More Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence

The Album List: # 191 Sly and the Family Stone “Stand!”


Sly Stone was a genius. Is a genius. A one time drug addled platinum mohawked genius. But a genius none the less. A funkified, soulful genius with the ability to make me dance in a spontaneous way. I wanna take you higher, and all that jazz. Sly came to me late in life after Arrested Development … More The Album List: # 191 Sly and the Family Stone “Stand!”

The Album List: # 190 Jimi Hendrix Experience “Axis: Bold As Love”


Ah, Saint Jimi. The master of the guitar, the king of the riff, hero to many. He is much beloved by the masses, and the art of the rock and roll guitar was propelled forward by him into an unknown stratosphere. As previously stated in my other Hendrix album recap, God is taken on blind … More The Album List: # 190 Jimi Hendrix Experience “Axis: Bold As Love”

Soundtrack of my Life: “The Village Green Preservation Society” by the Kinks


There are things that those who love me know about me: 1. The Kinks are my favourite band. 2. This is my favourite album of all time, and I often proclaim it the greatest album ever created. 3. My kids prefer Katy Perry to Ray Davies and I feel like a failure as a parent because … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Village Green Preservation Society” by the Kinks

Lou Reed: 1942-2013


Lou Reed was a notorious asshole. I mean, music writers all have legendary tales about trying to interview Lou Reed. Most of these stories end up with Lou storming off or insulting said writer to the point the writer leaves.  He was a cantankerous bastard. But his being an asshole to music writers was seriously … More Lou Reed: 1942-2013

The Album List: # 192 The Avalanches “Since I Left You”


The idea that electronic music is a recent invention of celebrity DJs or as an off-shoot of hip hop is false. Electronic music pre-dates the second world war, and thrived in post-war Europe, where artists like Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer created the blueprint of modern avant-garde music.  It’s no accident countries like France, Germany, … More The Album List: # 192 The Avalanches “Since I Left You”

The Album List: # 196 The Violent Femmes “The Violent Femmes”


The Violent Femmes are another early 1980s band who seemed destined for greatness, and their die-hard fans would claim they succeeded. I, however, felt they would struggle greatly on later records to match their first’s sense of humour and lyrical honestly.  The Violent Femmes are a great band, but nothing they have ever done has … More The Album List: # 196 The Violent Femmes “The Violent Femmes”

The Album List: # 197 Neko Case “Blacklisted”


  Neko Case’s voice is an earthy, bluesy alto with broad range, tinged with a southern accent long fed through a Northwestern upbringing. It’s one of the greatest voices in modern music, adept at so many genres that she can make your head spin.  When I hear her on those great New Pornographer albums like … More The Album List: # 197 Neko Case “Blacklisted”

The Album List: # 200 Simple Minds “New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84”


If my list tends to skew 1980s pop at moments, it’s because I grew up in the 1980s with little more than a boom box where I ripped hundreds of hours of radio, plus several episodes of Video Hits (my boom box had a built-in mic. Yes, I did pretend to be a DJ like … More The Album List: # 200 Simple Minds “New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84”

The Album List #1: The Kinks “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”


I don’t think the Kinks get enough credit. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Beatles blah blah whatever. I still think the Kinks were better. People I love think I say that to just cause an argument. I don’t. I genuinely believe it. I think the Kinks are a better band than the Beatles. Please send hate … More The Album List #1: The Kinks “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”

The Album List #3: Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque”


The year: 1991. The place: Manhattan. I think. Somewhere in New York City, at the very least. The sitch: Spin magazine releases their year-end issue. It’s the issue with all the lists about what’s awesome and what wasn’t so awesome. This particular list caused a stir, though, because of what was number one. 1991 was … More The Album List #3: Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque”

The Album List #4: Billy Bragg “Talking With the Taxman About Poetry”


My politics were shaped as much by the music I heard as a teenager as the life experience I have suffered through.  I’m a left-wing Nutter, if you haven’t clued in, and quite proud of it, thankyouverymuch. Yeah, whatever, bite me. I grew up with conservative, religious parents who were dismayed by my leftist world … More The Album List #4: Billy Bragg “Talking With the Taxman About Poetry”

The Album List #6: Elvis Costello “King Of America”


Picking one Elvis Costello record from the reams and reams of worthy Elvis Costello records should have been a nightmare. But it wasn’t. King of America has always been my favourite album by the awesome and brilliant Declan MacManus. There was never any question in my mind it would be on this list, and that it … More The Album List #6: Elvis Costello “King Of America”

The Album List #8: R.E.M. “Fables of the Reconstruction”


I’m still recovering from the September announcement of R.E.M.’s end. They were hugely important to me in my life, and even though I know they made the right decision, I’m still trying to get my head around the idea that there will be no more R.E.M. I have every album. This is the one that … More The Album List #8: R.E.M. “Fables of the Reconstruction”

The Album List #10: Manic Street Preachers “This Is My Truth Tell me Yours”


I am probably the only Manic Street Preachers fan in all of North America. I am devoted. 164 songs on my iTunes devoted- only a few bands top them in sheer volume. They are a band with a bit of a sad history, having lost member Richey Edwards a couple of years into their successful … More The Album List #10: Manic Street Preachers “This Is My Truth Tell me Yours”

The Album List #13: Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run”


Bruce Springsteen playing “Born To Run” is pretty much as holy roller as my life gets. Music is my heart and soul, after all. A song like “Born To Run” is the greatest hymn for those who think that, with its grandiose wall of sound production, insane Clarence Clemons solo,  and of course, lyrics about cars … More The Album List #13: Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run”

The Album List #15: The Specials “The Specials”


One of the greatest songs ever written about loving music was written by one Ted Leo. A spry, punkish tribute to ska, the lyrics drip with references to the Rude Boy era of British music, particularly the perfection that were the Specials. It has the benefit of being one of the greatest songs ever written, … More The Album List #15: The Specials “The Specials”

The Album List #17: The Buzzcocks “Singles Going Steady”


The Ramones are the be all and end all of punk rock. Everything that comes after is punk rock mixed with something else. The Clash used ska and reggae. The Sex Pistols were a glorified boy band. Blondie was disco, Television was arty, the New York Dolls were an excellent drag act, the Adverts could … More The Album List #17: The Buzzcocks “Singles Going Steady”

The Album List #18: My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”


Rock history is littered with perfectionist geniuses. Brian Wilson comes to mind immediately. But Kevin Shields, the mastermind behind My Bloody Valentine, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of music fans.  Because he nearly ended Alan McGee. McGee founded Creation Records. A crucial label in 1980s Brit indie music, he signed MBV … More The Album List #18: My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”

The Album List # 19: Dave Brubeck Quartet “Time Out”


The pianist in me wants to be amongst the greatest jazz pianists. Peterson, Baisie, Carmichael,  Corea, Dearie, Ellington, Gershwin, Hines, Henderson, Jobim, Ibrahim, Legrand, Monk, Mingus, Strayhorn, Tatum, Toussaint, Waller- these are just the ones who have albums sitting in my Sunday morning jazz playing queue.  But I always save a special place every Sunday … More The Album List # 19: Dave Brubeck Quartet “Time Out”

The Album List #22: Gang Of Four “Entertainment!”


Name yourself after the infamous quartet that held on to Chinese power only to be brought down after Mao’s death and you might get labelled. Create a new sound full of jagged guitars and disco squawking, you might get labelled. Be totally awesome and you will get my vote as one of the most vital … More The Album List #22: Gang Of Four “Entertainment!”

The Album List #27: Primal Scream “Screamadelica”


It won the very first Mercury Music Prize. How some random indie Scottish band that could never keep it’s membership turned out the greatest of the house records remains a mystery. The singer was once the drummer for the Jesus and Mary Chain, ferchrissakes. But here it is, the best album to pull out during … More The Album List #27: Primal Scream “Screamadelica”

The Album List #28: David Bowie “The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”


David Bowie is one of the great loves of my life. I adored him when I was young and “Modern Love” was a hit, with its sixties inspired harmonies and bright pop. I loved him even more when I discovered “Heroes” as a teenager, and Low  in college. There is a beauty in “Space Oddity”‘s story … More The Album List #28: David Bowie “The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”

The Album List #33: The Zombies “Odessey And Oracle”


This album is legendary. The crash and burn tale of the Zombies is a favourite among music geeks. A simple tale of St. Alban’s lads form band, then release a single called “She’s Not There” that I consider to be among the greatest songs ever recorded, and within four years released three albums and completely … More The Album List #33: The Zombies “Odessey And Oracle”

The Album List #35: Prefab Sprout “Steve McQueen”


What I remember most about Prefab is the ridiculousness of their single “King Of Rock and Roll”, which doesn’t appear on this album, but deserve a mention for the completely random lyrics: ” I am the king of rock and roll completely, up from suede shoes to my baby blues- hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque.” … More The Album List #35: Prefab Sprout “Steve McQueen”