Category Archives: music

Work to do

I’m working like gangbusters on the Albatross, which is coming along nicely but slowly. However, due to the existence of a real job, things on this website are either going to be either slow, video- and persiflage-oriented, or thin until this bird is off my neck.  The appropriate song was recorded in 1972 by the Isley […]

Friday music: Salut Salon

It’s gonna be a long day. Besides working on The Albatross, I had to dress up, which I hate, to get photographed for the dust jacket of The Albatross.  So let’s begin the day with some nice, upbeat music, played in a, well, acrobatic way. It’s Vivaldi, but you’ll recognize other songs as well. The YouTube notes […]

Steve Pinker on the evolutionary significance of music

Eloquent as usual, and speaking in perfect, publishable paragraphs, here’s The Pinkah on The Really Big Questions podcast, discussing the evolutionary significance of music. (The bit is about 9 minutes long.) Pinker argues that in fact that music is not an evolutionary adaptation, but a spandrel: a pleasurable byproduct of some other adaptation. What’s the “enabling” adaptation? In […]

Tony Bennett

It’s the evening, I’m done with work, and nobody’s around to read this, so I’ll just post what I want. What I want tonight is to hear two of Tony Bennett’s best songs. I heard his stuff repeatedly as a kid, as my parents had several of his albums: “Love Look Away,” my favorite of all […]


I missed Canada Day on Tuesday (it’s July 1)! But I believe I did post a Canadian singer then: the incomparable Sarah McLachlan. Apologies to my friends up north, even if they do install the toilet paper backwards. To make reparations, I’m posting another great song by McLachlan: the famous “Angel,” recorded in 1997 and performed […]

I Will Remember You

Whatever happened to Sarah McLachlan? I suppose she’s out there still singing like an angel, but I don’t hear much of or from her. Of course, I barely listen to the radio any more.  But I did hear this song, which reminded me of an old friend, and so wanted to share her live performance (she’s […]

Meanwhile, over at Carole King’s Twi**er feed. . .

. . . all sorts of musicians are weighing in on Gerry Goffin’s death. I didn’t know some of them even had Twi**er accounts. And the messages are saddening: And she put up this: Goffin and King’s second-best song. Can you recognize the other singers?  

RIP Gerry Goffin

Oh dear. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll know Gerry Goffin as one of the famous “Brill Building” songwriters in New York, who, with Carole King, penned many of the pop hits of the early Sixties. This was the music I grew up with, and now I’m told by  the New York Times that Goffin passed […]

The schlockiest songs of all time?

I’m still thin on the ground and can’t brain: I’m revising the last chapter of my book, teaching all afternoon, and have precious little time left for posting. Mea culpa.  Fortunately, readers still send me items, some of which are worth mentioning. One, from reader Barry, is this deeply misguided list from Vulture of the “150 […]

Deeper than the Holler

We’re lucky to be living in the exact era when we can hear, live, the greatest male voice that country music has ever produced. I’m referring, of course, to Randy Travis (b. 1959). He’s not the best male country musician who ever lived, for he doesn’t write many of the songs he sings, and he’s […]


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