• And Now, a Less Informed Opinion

    The question was clear and hovered over your head like a tiny, angry cloud: How did these people get here? These people didn't belong here. These people had, it would seem, taken a series of wrong turns, and instead of ending up at the Josh Groban/Fantasia show at the Limelighter, they were here, standing in front of you at the Thrills/Grant-Lee Phillips/Pixies concert at L.A.'s Greek Theater, and they were about to fuck it up completely. Have you seen this place, the Greek Theater? Nestled into a hillside, trees everywhere, lights anchored to trunks, the leaves purple and crimson and blue, it seats 5,700 and really couldn't be better as a place to see a band on a clear and moon-blessed night.

  • And Now, a Less Informed Opinion

    Thechief questions most music listeners ask, of themselves and theirconfessors, is this: How do I properly pay tribute to a song I love?How do I prove my affection? And while many city councils andGermans have attempted to find the answers, until now, none have gottenclose. Why? Simple: The technology wasn't there. But now it is. It justgot here this morning, and it's very complicated. It's insanelycomplicated, this technology, too complex to explain or understand. Theone thing we do know is that you must not fake it. Don't phone it inand don't go halfway. Goddammit, the song is going to know!Don't treat your favorite songs like imbeciles. Your tributes have tobe real; they have to come from a place of both vulnerability andrecklessness. They must be both respectful and crackbrained.

  • And Now, a Less Informed Opinion

    There are certain inevitabilities in life, all of which we haveknown, consciously or otherwise, since we were very young. One isthat all earthly existence will one day perish in an apocalypse ofour own making. Another: We can expect that until that time, foodwill be made ever more good-tasting and aerodynamic. Lastly, wehave all been certain, no matter how hard we tried to deny it, thatthis column would one day be devoted to the music of Big Country.That one day is this day, which is now. Thursday. Thereare certain inevitabilities in life, all of which we have known,consciously or otherwise, since we were very young. One is that allearthly existence will one day perish in an apocalypse of our ownmaking. Another: We can expect that until that time, food will be madeever more good-tasting and aerodynamic.

  • And Now, a Less Informed Opinion

    1. I play songs in endless loops. When a song is new to me, and there's something about it that kills me, I'll listen to it in an auto-repeat delirium for days on end. When they invented the repeat button on the CD player, my life was changed irrevocably (as were the lives of every roommate I've had since). I'm not sure when this started or why I do it. I know that, in part, I'm trying to learn the song's language, and sometimes that doesn't come quickly. I've never been adept at new languages-I feel like I'm reaching into the math quadrant of my head, adesolate and unforgiving place-and music sometimes hides there. So I study songs, try to break them down, find their order. And this takes time. It started when I was around 11 and just getting exposed to non-Top 40 radio.

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