The 200: Halftime

Mid-list interlude.

A number of songs/artists didn’t make the list, but it’s fair to bring them up.

Elvis Costello, who I saw this summer with Kiera, could have been on there for a number of songs, though I’m most fond of Beyond Belief. An inexcusable oversight.

The Talking Heads are an obvious no-show. In their case, while I like a lot of the Heads’ songs, I don’t know that I truly love any of them.

The Dears, a Canadian band whose frontman is routinely compared to The Smiths’ Morrissey for reasons that elude me, should have placed Thrones somewhere in here.

Had I compiled the list six months later, I’m certain that it would have included Powder (You Tube), a spectacular slowcore tune from a band that I had previously never heard of, though now I own all three of their discs.

The recently departed Tom Petty crafted a hell of a catalogue of songs in his 40 years of performing, but American Girl is his masterpiece.

In the intro, I mentioned the only artists that could justifiably have 10 songs in the Top 200 would be the Beatles, Elvis or the Stones, though in my case none of them produced anything I would include (for the record, my favorites from each are Norwegian Wood, Suspicious Mind and Sympathy for the Devil). Inexcusably missing from that list, and this countdown, is Michael Jackson. My favorite MJ song, Man in the Mirror, should have been included here.

I’m going to reserve the right to edit this entry as needed when other oversights occur.




They said what?

mike-pencePart IV in the ongoing series, subtitled, Dan finally learns how to perform basic web skills others perfected long ago.

For those new to the blog, this is not the first time the vice president, my former governor, has made an appearance here. I wrote a little about his one term running the Hoosier State here. Too lazy to link version: He was a spectacularly shitty governor.


Where’s the Bam?


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for the Class of 2018 were revealed today, and congrats to first-time choices Kate Bush, Radiohead and the boys who like to Rage Against the Machine, provided the Machine doesn’t promise VIP treatment at a black-tie event in Cleveland as a prize. Such a pronouncement is typically greeted by one of two types of responses from folks like me.


Approach A is to question how a fundamentally counter-cultural experience such as rock and roll and a conventional, corporate-like entity such as the Hall of Fame can co-exist. I’m not taking that approach, even if it is pretty inarguable.


The other is to lament the candidate or candidates that have been unforgivably snubbed by the Hall in favor of some other groups or performers the author didn’t like as much. That’s the tack I’m taking today.

For the 10th straight year, WOXY was robbed.


Didn’t see that coming, did you?


OK, I’m only partially serious here. I really don’t think a radio station, even a life-alteringly great one such as WOXY, should be considered on the same plane as the artists who make the music. Though let’s face it, the Hall of Fame has inducted way too many performers who don’t really deserve the plaudits either. (Hey kids, is that Donovan?)


On the other hand, radio was long the only conduit for music for all of us. Hell, it remains an avenue for such discovery, even if it has lost much of what made it great through distant corporate ownership, algorhythmically designed playlists and morning zoos. Still, its place in the history of rock and roll is pretty damn significant.


Yet the Hall largely ignores it, even though it set the museum in Cleveland, home of legendary DJ Alan Freed and WJW. (Well, that and the cash. Don’t forget the buckets of cash.) It wasn’t because the city that introduced the concept of flammable water also gave the world Pere Ubu.*

Sure, the Hall has the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-musical contributors (though, given that no one’s ever heard of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, that could just be Wikipedia fucking with me again). But that’s not enough. Why shouldn’t the Hall recognize the great existing or, more likely, defunct radio stations that have made a difference in presenting music to the masses? And, I don’t think you’d have to scroll too far down the list of groundbreaking call letters before you got to the late, great radio station from Oxford, Ohio, either in its terrestrial or online incarnations.


Each year, the Hall should honor a radio station with a fancy ceremony. Bring the gang back together, collect some old broadcasts and memorabilia and put it on display until the next year’s event. The truth is, I’m probably never going to shell out whatever fee is required to get inside the Hall just for an up-close look at bedazzled jumpsuits from KC and 2/3rds of the Sunshine Band, discarded syringes from backstage at Woodstock and the official paper printouts from one of Bret Michaels’ chlamydia tests. I would, however, consider dropping in to gawk at remaining paraphernalia from the old 97X days, listen to broadcasts and pore over retrieved results from Sledge’s cholesterol tests (a tip: exercise and cut out the trans fats, Matt). I don’t think I’m alone. And since the Hall is a for-profit venture, not an academic exercise, they ought to be jumping to offer such opportunities that will ring the turnstiles.


So, how about it Jann** and Co.? Why not find a way to put WOXY and the other great radio stations into your Glass Pyramid on Erie? I promise I’ll think about visiting if you do.


Oh, and put Sonic Youth in too. That should be a no-brainer.

*To be fair, that would have been an extraordinarily good reason to locate the joint in Cleveland.


**Frankly, you owe me. I paid money to see Perfect in the theater. God that thing sucked.

They said what?


I actually really like Chrissy Tiegen, which I never thought I’d say about a model. But she’s smart and funny and a caring and devoted mom, all of which are traits I value. Still, she seemed the best candidate for this particular installment of stuff I said adjacent to faces of people better looking than I am. I’m really tired of the shaming accusations that get tossed around.

Not all criticism is shaming, and much of it is legitimate. There’s really a pretty wide chasm between claiming that obesity is a major health concern that needs to be addressed and responding to a sophomore girl’s selfie with “fatass.” We ought to be able to navigate it a lot better than we have.

The 200: 150-135

Part IV: Heading into the second quarter.

150         Tainted Love   Soft Cell 

149         Punk Rock Girl      Dead Milkmen

148         Chains Of Love     Erasure                                

147         Life On A Chain     Pete Yorn

146         Ambling Alp    Yeasayer (You Tube)

145        Five Get Overexcited The Housemartins (You Tube)

144         Head On  The Jesus & Mary Chain

143         When I Write My Master’s Thesis    John K. Samson (You Tube)

142         Book Of Poems      Old  97’s

141         Like the Weather    10,000 Maniacs

140         Something About You    Level 42

139         Never Let Me Down Again   Depeche Mode

138         Litany (Life Goes On)    Guadalcanal Diary

137         Sweetness And Light   Lush 

136         Fountain And Fairfax    The Afghan Whigs

135         Suffragette City     David Bowie


150 – I think there are only two cover songs in the bunch. The other is way the heck up at the front.

149 – Cormac’s pick. If you don’t got Mojo Nixon than your store could use some fixin’ is as true today as it was in 1989.

138 – When I was a senior in college, GCD played at the Vogue in Indianapolis. When I couldn’t round up anyone else, I went to the show by myself, a tactic I shelved for most of my 20s and 30s, but pulled back out of mothballs when I reached my 40s and even into the first day of my 50s (when I attended a birthday-timed New Pornographers show, a present from my lovely wife).

137 – In recent years, my tastes have really begun to move toward shoegaze music, the indie subgenre whose most notable progenitor is My Bloody Valentine (strangely, despite this, I’m not a big fan of MBV). Lush was one of their contemporaries who started as a shoegaze band before heading into a Britpop direction.

135 – Three guys who died in 2016 made this list done at the end of the year. Honestly, it should have been four, as George Michael’s Faith is simply an inexcusable oversight.