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Coverage: Nightmare Revisited

February 6, 2009

[extended trailer for Coraline on YouTube; if you can’t watch it, click here] Guest blogger Scott writes: Coraline opens today and, while debcha might be most excited about the production of a favored author’s work, I have multiple reasons to be excited. I like gothic spooky, but can’t stomach horror (at least until a Hollywood […]


Coverage: The Motion Sick at Influenza

January 28, 2009

Tomorrow night (Thursday, January 29) is the premiere of “Influenza,” a new Boston-based monthly show that features local artists playing a mix of their original material and covers of songs that influenced them (hence the title). I think this is a great idea – one of the things that makes it a little tough to […]


Coverage: Buffetlibre’s Rewinded and Rewind2

January 12, 2009

Guest blogger Scott writes: Buffetlibre has just released the second half of their epic compilation of new artists (many of whom I’ve never heard of) covering 70s, 80s, and 90s (but mostly 80s) songs. I had a few tracks from the first half, but hadn’t sat down and dug through it carefully. This release gave […]


Apple is removing DRM from iTunes

January 6, 2009

It’s official – Apple announced today that it will no longer use digital rights management on songs from iTunes, taking effect before the end of the quarter. This goes hand-in-hand with a change in the pricing structure, with song prices ranging from 69 cents to $1.29. In case you’ve ever wondered why z=z only linked […]


Threesome: Alt-rock continuity

January 5, 2009

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t watch it, click here] I was at the Ted Leo concert with someone who was much younger than me, and she didn’t really know who The Waterboys were. With the Clear Channel-ization of commercial radio, the dearth of good independent and alternative stations, and the general decline of radio […]


Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime

December 25, 2008

[Image credit : Len from the Jawbone Radio Show] As you may have gathered from an earlier post, I’m not so much about holiday music (hey, it’s a secular democracy, deal with it). So it’s perhaps unsurprising that “Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton is one of the very few Christmas songs that I like. […]


Working on Christmas

December 24, 2008

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m in my office, even though I probably shouldn’t be, so I can use my printer and my big monitor. I actually find it kind of amusing to send out letters time-stamped on Christmas Eve – doing my bit to remind people that our culture is pluralistic, not a monolith. But […]


Threesome: alternative holiday songs

December 24, 2008

In response to my ‘Christmas songs for non-Christmas people,’ guest blogger Scott offered up three finds. The first is “Father Christmas,” by the Kinks, which I immediately recognized as a staple of my local alt-rock station. It’s a heartwarming holiday song about getting a job as a department store Santa Claus and being mugged by […]


Coverage: “Hallelujah” on the UK charts

December 22, 2008

Last week guest blogger Scott posted about the Jeff Buckley cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” describing it as ‘insipid’ compared to the original. Well, as he pointed out, apparently all of the UK is conspiring against him. This week, the number one song on the British charts is a cover of “Hallelujah” by Alexandra Burke, […]


Coverage: The danger of lists

December 15, 2008

Guest blogger Scott writes: As the end of the year approaches, music blogs everywhere will be producing lists; best of ’08, most anticipated of ’09, biggest letdowns of ’08. And for every list, there is someone like me who has nothing better to do than to poke holes in it. I was recently directed to […]


Concert notes: Ted Leo

December 8, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t view it, click here] [TT the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA; Saturday, December 6, 2008] I really love Ted Leo. So it was terrific to seem him do a solo gig at the tiny TT the Bear’s in Cambridge, MA (capacity: about 300), even if it was utterly jammed. The setlist […]


Video: Kermit the Frog, “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”

December 4, 2008

[embedded YouTube link; if you can’t view it, click here] This one’s for Scott. Make sure you watch through the end for a surprise. EDIT: YouTube pulled the video at EMI’s request; you can see the video here. Thanks to Scott for pointing this out in the comments. [via Brooklyn Vegan]


Threesome: Vampire Love Songs

November 23, 2008

Guest blogger Scott writes: Knowing the z=z audience, I have no doubt that you all rushed out to see Twilight opening night. Twice. And so, to tide you over until you head back mid-week for a third bite of undead Cedric Diggory, I offer a trio of vampire love songs. [debcha notes: The above is […]


Coverage: “Video Killed the Radio Star”

November 5, 2008

Following up on the previous post, guest blogger Scott adds: As any trivia geek knows, MTV’s first aired video was Video Killed the Radio Star, by The Buggles. and he sent along three covers for your enjoyment. MP3: Erasure – Video Killed the Radio Star MP3: Ben Folds – Video Killed the Radio Star MP3: […]


Trampling on the shoulders of giants

November 5, 2008

A dispatch from guest blogger Scott: With all the talk of the demise of the music industry, it’s easy to forget that this has all happened before. And, equally importantly, all not happened before. Television heralded the demise of the music industry, as did cassette recorders. And while they unquestionably changed the industry, they didn’t […]


Listen local: Pretty & Nice

October 24, 2008

Following up on yesterday’s post about the Indie Music Survival Guide, and how I want bands that I like to keep making music… Boston band Pretty & Nice had a sobering run-in with one of their musical heroes: This may be the most telling anecdote about modern rock ever: A new band with a seemingly […]


Yet more on concert etiquette

October 21, 2008

My Old Kentucky Blog just wrapped up a series entitled “The Ten Commandments Guidelines of Concert Behavior.” Reading it makes me realize that I’ve been exceptionally fortunate at concerts, as when I wrote my own version, I didn’t feel the need to include “Thou shalt not puke” or “Thou shalt not fart.” I also feel […]


The forgotten pioneers of electronica

September 30, 2008

I’ve been fairly obsessed with the Freezepop song “Melon Ball Bounce,” a cover version of the 1963 Sprite jingle by electronic music artist Raymond Scott. And after a childhood watching Doctor Who, I still think that its theme music, created by Delia Derbyshire (pictured above), remains the coolest, creepiest musical intro ever. It turns out […]


Neophile: Max and the Marginalized

August 17, 2008

Continuing with what I promise to be a short-lived political theme…I’m a little late coming to this, in several senses. I was introduced to Max and the Marginalized by frequent guest blogger Scott, who sent me an MP3 of “It’s Awkward When Bad People Die,” a song written in response to Jesse Helm‘s death. Max […]


Poor concert etiquette, illustrated

July 9, 2008

Guest blogger Scott, who’s familiar with my preferences regarding singing at concerts, says: This isn’t necessarily a great cover, but it’s one of the best illustrations imaginable (short of a performer actually stopping and berating someone, which would be awesome) of why you don’t sing from the audience. Everyone is basically behaving themselves, except for […]