Merry Christmas: “Fairytale of New York,” by the Pogues (with Kirsty MacColl) (1988)

(Originally published December 23, 2008) I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I call “Fairytale of New York” the greatest secular Christmas song of all time and one of the greatest songs ever. The Pogues were at a creative peak when If I Should Fall From Grace With God was released in 1988, and while the … Continue reading Merry Christmas: “Fairytale of New York,” by the Pogues (with Kirsty MacColl) (1988)

Movie review: Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020)

\I'll put the summation at the top: a sure sign of a successful music documentary is that it makes you interested in its subject even if you are not a fan or even if you are not familiar with the artist at all. And, while I am a Bee Gees fan so cannot know this … Continue reading Movie review: Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020)

Album review: Walk Through Fire (2019), by Yola

Yola's debut album, Walk Through Fire, opens with "Faraway Look," a seemingly simple song about someone looking for more in life. But we don't get the full story. My interpretation is that our narrator has a secret romantic longing for a friend who works at a grocery store, and knows she will never get him because … Continue reading Album review: Walk Through Fire (2019), by Yola

A psychology of my music listening; or, why I’m going to write a bunch of album reviews

In 1988, when I first started buying CDs, a new release at Musicland (almost my only option)  cost $17, or $37 in 2020 dollars*. Today, a new release on CD from Amazon costs about $12, or $5.50 in 1988 money**. In 1988, a CD single (the song you wanted plus a usually useless "b-side" and/or … Continue reading A psychology of my music listening; or, why I’m going to write a bunch of album reviews

Movie review: Manitou’s Shoe (Der Schuh des Manitu) (2001)

An Indian and his white blood brother seek a hidden treasure in order to buy their way out of trouble. Manitou's Shoe seeks to be to westerns what Airplane! was to disaster movies, but it ends up not even being what Spy Hard was to spy movies. The film's only redeeming feature, aside from maybe … Continue reading Movie review: Manitou’s Shoe (Der Schuh des Manitu) (2001)