Category Archives: music

Fats Domino died

Actually, there were two deaths on Tuesday. One was Mel Green, an old friend and sort of a mentor to me in genetics when I was a postdoc (more on that tomorrow), who died in Davis at 101. The other was  Antoine “Fats” Domino, who died yesterday in Harvey, Louisiana (right near New Orleans) at the […]

Two songs from the Sixties

It’s a Black Dog Day, I walked to work this morning in the chill and drizzle, I have a piece to write, and my duck is gone.  That’s reason enough to post two songs that I have on my iPod. The first is virtually unknown to generations S to Z; it’s by the Cryan’ Shames, […]

“The Game of Love”

All is dolorous this morning: the world is going to hell, I’m cranky, Matthew is cranky, I have no duck, I can’t eat food today, and so on. As the old joke “Jewish telegram” goes: start worrying: details follow. So, to cheer myself up, I’m posting this song, written by Gregg Alexander and Rick Nowels […]

“What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)”

I’m just wondering whether this song, here performed live on “Late Night” 16 years after Junior Walker recorded it, would resonate at all with someone who’s now about eighteen. Would they get juiced at the saxophone solos? Would it make them want to get up and dance? Would they recognize its greatness? Or would they […]

Tom Petty died (UPDATE: maybe. . .)

UPDATE: The early reports of Petty’s death have now been altered; the police “cannot confirm” his death after mistakenly announcing it, but we do know he was found not breathing after a cardiac arrest. That probably means he’s brain dead. Other reports say he was on life support, but that has been removed. In effect […]

“Afternoon Delight”

To end this wretched and hot day, when I feel debilitated and uninspired, I’ll play a song that, I suspect, is a guilty pleasure for many of us. I refer, of course, to “Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band, which topped the U.S. “hot 100” charts in July, 1976. At the time it was […]

Kottke’s “Eight Miles High”

Most of us older folks know the Byrds’ 1966 version of “Eight Miles High,” an archetypal and superb psychedelic song written by Gene Clark, Mim McGuinn, and David Crosby. But here’s Leo Kottke’s great cover, played on a twelve-string guitar. He’s clearly quite young in this video (he was born in 1945), but already a […]

Walter Becker died today

Oh dear, the rock icons are dropping all over the place: a sure sign that I’m getting old. (As one of my friends says, “We’re moving up to the front lines.”) But this one is especially sad, as it’s Walter Becker, co-founder and lead guitarist of one of my favorite groups, Steely Dan. As Rolling […]

Objective proof that modern pop music has degenerated, and the reason why it happened

Reader Phil sent me this recently-posted 20 minute video which proves through SCIENCE that pop music has gone downhill since the Sixties, a thesis I raised yesterday. (I have to say that many responses were uncivil, and some positively nasty: one calling me a “retard” because I didn’t like a particular song. I’m not sure […]

In what world is THIS good music?

Yes, it’s Taylor Swift’s hot new song, “Look what you made me do,” which, as they say, “just dropped.”  This is what passes for hit music these days, and it’s dreadful.  Now I have no idea what it’s about, since Swift is constantly involved in some drama or other, including dissing her exes in songs and […]