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Song of the Day 1/20: Neil Finn, “Sinner”

Filed in National by on January 20, 2019 1 Comment

My vote for most underrated songwriter of the rock era goes to Neil Finn, who’s been composing sophisticated tunes since joining his brother Tim’s band Split Enz in 1977, at the age of 18. He went on to found Crowded House before releasing two solo albums. Perhaps the best point of comparison for his music […]

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I Don’t Love Kirsten Gillibrand, and Here’s Why

Filed in National by on January 20, 2019 5 Comments

Take a look at this New York Times puff piece on their state’s shape-shifting, Wall Street-friendly, Jesus-humping junior senator taking her presidential campaign to Iowa. Ms. Gillibrand put emphasis on her upstate New York roots, bipartisanship and small-town political ancestry. So her angle is that she’s not really a Democrat. Unlike Senator Elizabeth Warren, another […]

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Progress on the Killer Cop Front

Filed in National by on January 19, 2019 24 Comments

The progress is slow and compromised, but it’s still highly unusual to get a murder conviction when a cop kills a civilian. Yet the Chicago trial of then-officer Jason Van Dyke concluded with an 81-month sentence for second-degree murder. Yes, there was clear dashcam evidence that 16-year-old Laquan McDonald, armed with only a penknife, was […]

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Song of the Day 1/19: Robert Cray, “Smokin’ Gun”

Filed in National by on January 19, 2019 4 Comments

Panicky Trump trolls are active this morning, hollering “fake news!” like a bunch of 9/11 truthers because they’re starting to realize they’ve been played for the fools they are. So here’s one for them: Robert Cray’s breakthrough tune about getting caught red-handed. I hope they play it at Trump’s sentencing.

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Song of the Day 1/18: Dr. Feelgood, “She Does It Right”

Filed in National by on January 18, 2019 0 Comments

Dr. Feelgood occupies a unique slot in rock history — the band that bridges the otherwise incomprehensible gap between England’s pub rock and punk rock scenes. Pub rock was a movement that, as the name suggests, took root in small venues across the country mostly as a reaction against the mountains of equipment (and high […]

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Song of the Day 1/17: The Contours, “First I Look at the Purse”

Filed in National by on January 17, 2019 0 Comments

I quoted the title of this song the other day with a friend whose knowledge of ’50s and ’60s music is deeper than mine and was surprised when he said he had never heard it. So here it is. Smokey Robinson co-wrote it, but these might be the least romantic lyrics he ever had recorded. […]

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If You Think the News Journal Is Bad Now, Just Wait

Filed in Delaware, National by on January 16, 2019 7 Comments

Here’s a bit of national business-page news you won’t see in your local upstate daily paper: Gannett, which owns the News Journal, has become the target of a hostile takeover bid by Alden Global Capital, a notorious hedge fund that operates a journalistic chop shop. It’s the outfit that bought the Denver Post and laid […]

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Song of the Day 1/16: Randy Rainbow, “There Is Nothin’ Like a Wall”

Filed in National by on January 16, 2019 2 Comments

You probably know about Randy Rainbow, the pre-eminent political musical parodist of the Trump age. He released this one two days ago and it’s gotten 360,000 plays on YouTube already. The set-up on this one is a mock interview with “RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 finalist” Mike Pence. The music starts at 1:14.

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Song of the Day 1/15: “Pretty Pimpin,” Kurt Vile

Filed in National by on January 15, 2019 0 Comments

It’s hard to explain Kurt Vile to someone who’s never heard him before. There’s a lo-fi vibe that runs through most of his work that, along with his penchant for goofy lyrics, reminds me of Pavement. Most of his songs are built on a repeating riff, but few are as catchy as “Pretty Pimpin,” from […]

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Dispatches From the ‘Biden 2020’ Front

Filed in National by on January 14, 2019 14 Comments

Those of us who would prefer Joe Biden support the 2020 Democratic candidate than be the 2020 candidate — show of hands — are having a nervous week, at least in the media. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt implored Joe to run, though without endorsing him: My argument is that nobody — not the […]

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What Your Tax Dollars Are Doing Instead of Working for You

Filed in National by on January 14, 2019 4 Comments

Joe DiStefano of the Philadelphia Inquirer does what the News Journal doesn’t have the manpower or inclination to do: Hold the feet of Delaware’s corrupt Democratic Party to the fire. Last week he attended a New Castle County Council meeting with the Philadelphia traders who set up the Delaware Board of Trade — the one […]

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Song of the Day, 1/14: “So It Goes,” Nick Lowe

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on January 14, 2019 0 Comments

This single was bassist/songwriter Nick Lowe’s first “solo” release as well as the first single released by Stiff Records, which Lowe founded with £400 he borrowed. He played everything but drums on the recording but, as the video shows, he recruited Dave Edmunds and the rest of Rockpile to perform this catchy slice of New […]

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Song of the Day 1/13: Mandolin Orange, “Take This Heart of Gold”

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on January 13, 2019 0 Comments

Let’s end the week with something quiet. Mandolin Orange is a prolific duo from North Carolina. This spare ballad was released on the 2016 album “Blindfall.” They’ll be in Philadelphia Feb. 6 for a show at Union Transfer.

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