It had to happen - the cyclical nature of pop music demanded that eventually, the girl group sound of the early '60s would become hip again.
That's exactly what might happen with the release next week of the Pipettes' first full album in the UK. The British group, fronted by a trio of women wearing polka-dots and singing shrill harmonies to bouncy punk-pop that's rooted in the simple romance but shot through with new millennium irony and cheek, has released a handful of singles to date (well, three, at least).
Here's the best description I've read yet about the "Jack FM" format -- a hodgepodge of album oriented and hit songs from the past two, maybe three decades played up in no particular order. The stations that feature the format (Denver's Jack 105.5 FM was the first station in the U.S. to adopt the format, which was birthed in Canada) typically use taglines that state something like, "Music we like," or "Playing what we want."
I'm always fascinated by the field of rock criticism. It's hard to believe that a career that didn't exist until the mid-1960s and didn't become commonplace until the late 1970s and early '80s -- that's when most paper in America finally relented and realized they better have a "staff pop music critic" onboard -- is already entrenched in traditions and patterns. There's even a Web site to rock critics' serious navel gazing, RockCritics.com.
I used to be a rockcrit, and I loved my decade-plus covering music, especially because I did it for Westword when it was still a fledgling alternative paper, and I was in it for the passion. I had my heroes -- brainy academic Greil Marcus, Rock & Rap Confidential founder Dave Marsh and the Village Voice's self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics," Robert Christgau.
Every day's bus ride from the Westminster Park and Ride is like listening to the weirdest radio station imaginable -- a lot weirder than even the heyday of "underground" radio of the late '60s and early '70s.
And every ride, I hear gems out of the 10,064 tracks on my 40GB 4G iPod that make me smile, or take me back, or get me to notice something new and cool that I didn't know or notice before. That's the beauty of shuffling through the music.
Sometimes, you just gotta have comfort food -- you know, meat loaf, mac and cheese, a nice chicken fried steak. Real mashed potatoes, not the just-add-water kind. And when it comes to comfort food, you can't beat a great diner.
So I welcomed my lunch date today at the Rocky Mountain Diner, even though it's a bit on the high-end side of diner cuisine.
I just heard one of the most gawdawful songs of the rock and roll era -- or any era, for that matter -- on CNN.
I was working away, and the TV outside my office door started playing Joe Cocker's 1973 Top 40 hit, "You Are So Beautiful." The sound stopped me cold, and I got all shakey and felt like vomiting.
I went shopping with my 17-year-old niece Joann, whoâ€™s a music fan with typical contemporary tastes. Exceptâ€¦. When we were shopping, she bought â€œLynyrd Skynyrdâ€™s Greatest Hits, â€œ a compilation of guitar-driven â€˜70s rock that had been part of my generationâ€™s high school and college years.