hyperbolic exaggeration in pop culture and miss patsy cline

THIS ARTICLE SEEMS TO BE ABOUT PATSY CLINE. But it’s not—at least, not primarily. Primarily it’s about hyperbolic exaggeration in describing the accomplishments of popular stars, regardless of whether the artist needs such embellishment to shine among other stars. Fans of any field of artistic or athletic endeavor are given to excessive bragging about their faves, whether it’s rock bands or comic book artists or baseball players. But what is said in a friendly argument among friends over a few pints looks absurd if not insulting when stated by a writer whose opinions are given weight by being published… Continue Reading hyperbolic exaggeration in pop culture and miss patsy cline

around town and out of control with lawrence bray

LAST WEEK, I RECEIVED AN EMAIL from a young musician that I had never heard of. (No big deal there: my ignorance of musicians young or old of the past few decades might cause you to titter in wonder at the immensity of it.) His name was Lawrence Bray, which set off no alarms of memory in my aging brain. I did remark to myself (although not aloud—I may be aging but I’m not that old yet) that Bray was not a common surname. In fact, the only Bray I know is a wee town in Berkshire County, England. And… Continue Reading around town and out of control with lawrence bray

a discography and price guide to the kinks’ arthur album and related singles

THE KINKS’ ARTHUR album of 1969 was a smashing success with the critics and the few fans that the once popular group still had at the time. It sold better than any Kinks album had in recent memory, but barely graced the best-selling charts. ARTHUR has grown in prestige through the years and now both original pressings and even reissues are sought after by collectors. There were three singles pulled from the album sessions; none were major hits in the UK or the US. All are rather difficult to find—especially in top condition. This article is a discography of those singles that… Continue Reading a discography and price guide to the kinks’ arthur album and related singles

the kinks on arthur and finding shangri-la

AS WE BEGIN OUR STORY some time in late 1970, the Kinks were in a bit of a bad way. Despite being one of the premier groups of the British Invasion of 1964, they had not reached the Top 40 in the US since mid 1966. Even in their homeland—their own Village Green, filled with Arthur and millions like him—it had been more than a year since they’d had a hit! Not that they were making out as new-fangled “album artists”: their LP sales had plummeted and that they were banned from performing in the US, hence income had become an issue. Something… Continue Reading the kinks on arthur and finding shangri-la

wild dandelion stomping with bamboogie injections

THIS ARTICLE is an introduction to Bamboogie Injections, a contemporary Russian surf band, with a look at their first album, Wild Dandelion Stomping. It is also a very brief look at the Russian surf music scene of the past—something few of us who grew up in the ’60s were aware existed. We did know that decadent Western rock & roll was absolutely forbidden in the USSR and Soviet-bloc countries, but apparently some of the music penetrated the Iron Curtain. There was a hot market for smuggled records and tapes from radio broadcasts. Supposedly, there were bootleg records of Elvis, Beatles, Stones, and others pressed… Continue Reading wild dandelion stomping with bamboogie injections

on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 1)

WAS THE LEGENDARY “SMiLE” ALBUM based on Brian Wilson’s experiences with LSD? Did Brian consciously or unconsciously incorporate aspects of Zen Buddhism into SMiLE? Who was Arthur Koestler and what did he have to do with SMiLE? What the hell is ‘bisociation’ and why is it a part of a conversation on Sixties rock music? Did the other Beach Boys really hate his new music of Brian’s, or just Mike Love? Read “Convoluted Conversation Part 1” on Brian Wilson and SMiLE and learn. This article was compiled from a series of conversations between William Tobelman and me. It was supposed to be about… Continue Reading on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 1)