Category Archives: Music

All things music-related

Rankstravaganza 2017: My Top 30 Songs of the Year

Even the shittiest of years can produce moments of musical transcendence. The tumult of 1968 gave us Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Bookends, for starters. Stephen Foster probably wrote some pretty melody or other in … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2016: My Top 30 Favorite Songs of the Year

The past year was nothing if not a “low-flying panic attack” … . Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2015: My 25 favorite songs of the year

Ha! You thought this blog was done for. Surprise! I’m back. (Fair warning, though: There might not be another post until New Year’s Eve 2016. I am, however, staying somewhat active with posting both music- and planning-related stuff on this … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2014: My 30 favorite songs of the year

I basically haven’t posted anything new to this blog since my 2013 year-end roundup. It’s been a busy year full of new challenges and responsibilities, but I’ve continued to listen to new music and compulsively keep track of what got … Continue reading

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Meanwhile, Elsewhere on the Web: My “Bay Area Mixtape 2013″ featured on the official Avenue Live blog

I meant to do a post as part of my End of the Year Rankstravaganza specifically focused on Bay Area bands and musicians. Of course, I didn’t get around to it. As it got later and later in January, I … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2013: My 5 Favorite Albums of the Year

I only did a countdown of five albums this year, rather than what has been the customary 15. Beyond these five, I wasn’t convinced that I truly loved the other albums I listened to in 2013. I might end up … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2013: My 30 Favorite Songs of the Year

Once again, I’m turning this in a few days past deadline. No matter! It’s still not too late to celebrate 2013, which in my musical estimation was a year of songwriters singing about specific places, of longer-than-long-awaited follow-ups, of gorgeous … Continue reading

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Racking Up Plays: “I’ll Trade You Money for Wine” by Robbie Fulks

These are the posts where I gush about some song that I’ve got a huge crush on at the moment, and you put up with it and listen because you’re a good friend. “I’ll Trade You Money for Wine,” Robbie … Continue reading

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The Annotated Decemberists No. 12: “Cocoon”

The lyrics are impressionistic, aside from a clear, early reference to the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius—a tragedy that may or may not keep coming up throughout the song and may or may not serve as a stand-in for the tragedy of 9/11. Who knows? The meaning of a dream is rarely overt. More likely, you’re left with just the feelings it inspired—and everyone you describe it to is going to have a different interpretation. Continue reading

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Report From the Show: Pink Martini at Stern Grove, SF, 08.11.13

There may be other shows where a 12-piece band performs songs in English, French, Spanish, Italian and I think Japanese. There may be other shows where you’ll find an inordinate number of audience members wearing pink feather boas and playing … Continue reading

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