Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fun With Charts: The true cause of America’s fiscal problems REVEALED, and it involves the ’60s folk revival, obviously

As you can see, America’s debt didn’t start skyrocketing until those no-account Bay Area troublemakers in the Kingston Trio charted with “Greenback Dollar” in 1962. Continue reading

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Why’d You Name Your Band That?: Grand Lake’s Oakland connection is as plain as a 50-foot, 2,800-bulb sign towering over the freeway

You need only take a look at the banner on this blog to see why featuring Grand Lake with a “Why’d You Name Your Band That?” entry has been a goal of mine since I dreamed up this little feature. … Continue reading

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The streets of Laurel District belong to the musicians during the Summer Solstice Music Festival, according to some new hotshot writer for Oakland Local

I’ve started freelancing for local nonprofit news site Oakland Local, and my first story for them went live on the site today. It’s just a basic festival preview, but it is music-related (and informative!), so it gets a shout-out and … Continue reading

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Report From the Show (with photos): Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus and Julianna Barwick at the Fox Theater in Oakland, 06.22.11

I can never quite figure out whether I love Okkervil River or just like Okkervil River. I always think the Austin, Texas, indie rock band’s albums are great on first listen, but after a year or so, there are usually … Continue reading

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Racking up plays: “Country Kids” by The Downer Party

The Transamerica Pyramid is inescapable in frontwoman Sierra Frost’s flippant discourse on life and love in San Francisco. She plops it down in the center of the chorus and repeats its name over and over, declaring some vague relationship problems to be a skyscraper-sized thorn in her side. Continue reading

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Blame Sally totally blowing up: San Francisco band getting well-deserved national attention from Billboard, NPR

I’m not the only one taking notice. “Speeding Ticket and a Valentine” appeared last week at No. 38 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. Continue reading

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Nitpicking the Hits: Pitbull wants you to “Give Me Everything,” and by “everything” he means “access to your vagina””

Pitbull advises all the dudes in the club to live for the moment and find a sexual conquest to take home, echoing the famous biblical passage Isaiah 22:13 (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Eat, drink and rub your junk up against a sexy lady on the dance floor, for tomorrow we die.” Continue reading

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Racking Up Plays: “The Fireplace Poker” by Drive-By Truckers

Once again putting his talent for sordid storytelling and his knowledgeable Northern Alabama roots to good use, Patterson Hood—still the core of the Athens, Georgia, band’s considerable songwriting muscle—finally indulged in an exploration of a hometown crime that has fascinated him for decades. Continue reading

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 2: “Shiny”

In his typical, understated fashion, The Decemberists’ songwriter Colin Meloy has said little about this ballad other than, “This is a song about a gypsy.” In it, a dejected narrator pines over a young carny with tan skin, vintage footwear and strangely bewitching eyes. Continue reading

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