Category Archives: Uncategorized

The songs everyone should hear

Over the last couple weeks, I ran an informal survey asking people for the ‘five songs they think everyone should hear.’ I left it to those surveyed to decide precisely what that meant. My hope was to get enough responses … Continue reading

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Top 25 albums of 2017

Last year I struggled to find fifteen albums I could fully endorse. This year I probably could have run the list out to forty or fifty if I had the time to write them all up. I don’t know whether that’s just … Continue reading

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Top 50 songs of 2017

2017 has been a year of revolution in gender politics, and that has absolutely been reflected in the musical world as well. As with so many industries, there is a sense that the dam may be bursting: that sexual violence, … Continue reading

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A time of reckoning: the Democratic Party and sexual abuse

Breaking news today that Al Franken kissed and groped a woman without her consent.  Franken has long been a minor hero of mine. An ideologically passionate but intensely pragmatic politician, who took advantage of his celebrity to move into public … Continue reading

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Top 10 Ani DiFranco songs

Ani DiFranco burst out in 1990 with a self-titled album of complex, beautiful, haunting songs characterized by a unique guitar picking style and an evocative lyrical style. Ever since, she’s spent three prolific decades experimenting with an impressive array of musical … Continue reading

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The Beatles from worst to first

Back in the early days of the blog, I published a series of posts ranking every Beatles song from worst to first. Recently, I’ve seen a couple more such lists popping up, and thought it might be a good time … Continue reading

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It was fifty years ago today: Sgt. Pepper and the Rise of the Counterculture

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the United States. In a country as large and diverse as this one, there will never be a true moment of national unity. But June … Continue reading

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To Defend the Rule of Law, Democrats Should Filibuster

I wrote an Op-Ed for the Austin American Statesman about Gorsuch, Garland, and why the Democrats should filibuster. The presidency of Donald Trump poses significant questions about core principles of American democracy: checks and balances, and the separation of power. A … Continue reading

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The Democratic Party at a Crossroads: Practical Advice for Rebuilding American Democracy

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads . The first two weeks of the Trump administration have catalyzed a powerful wave of protest and political action—the likes of which  haven’t been seen in decades. There was a lot of talk … Continue reading

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Top 100 songs of all-time: the top 10

Kurt Vonnegut said that “a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.” I think that’s exactly right. And these are the songs that make me appreciate being alive. My existence would … Continue reading

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