Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When All Else Fails . . .

I have been less than prolific lately. I could offer excuses (my mind occupied by the success of the Missouri Tigers football team – We’re number 9!), but it’s mostly a lack of inspiration. For years, when I looked at the discs on the shelf and could find no inspiration, the rule was to play Squeeze’s Singles 45's and Under. And when I can’t find the will to write, the rule is to make a list. And so today, in an effort to get the wheels spinning, I combine those two rules and present a list of the ten all-time greatest single-artist single-disc compilations (defined as any group of songs not originally conceived or recorded as part of the same album). I’ve verified that this list is 100% correct, so don’t bother disagreeing.

1. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Legend
2. Chuck Berry – The Great Twenty-Eight
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle
4. Sly and the Family Stone – Greatest Hits
5. Squeeze – Singles 45's and Under
6. Elvis Presley – The Sun Sessions
7. The Ramones – Ramones Mania
8. The Who – Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
9. Sam Cooke – The Man and His Music
10. English Beat – What Is Beat?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Starter For 10

Do you like romantic comedies? John Cusack in The Sure Thing, Say Anything and High Fidelity? Do you think that the Undertones "Teenage Kicks", Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", The Cure's "In Between Days" and The Smiths "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" can peacefully co-exist within the same great movie? Do you like The Graduate? Do you find Michael to be a poncey wanker? Do you fancy being clever? Or beautiful? Are you in love with life itself?

Then rent the Starter for 10 dvd tomorrow. It's that good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My iPod wants to rock you

After warming up with some world music esoterica (Thomas Mapfumo, Os Mutantes, an early Bob Marley rarity), the greatest device ever invented just laid down this epic troika:

"Rock and Roll All Nite," KISS
"Unchained," Van Halen
"Kiss Me On The Bus," The Replacements

It then served up Elvis's "Mystery Train" as a smooth-finishing chaser.

Props to Trip on the epic Hold Steady post (I didn't know that Zep cover existed). I'm slated to see the band in three weeks, and hope to have something equally rapturous to report. I've also got a headful of ideas about Radiohead and Bruce Springsteen that are driving me insane. Hopefully I can organize them and share soon.

You, Me, Us....(TLA 10-23-07)

Can you spot the rock star?

Teenage Kicks unabashedly supports The Hold Steady as the best band in America. Last night, once again, they crushed expectations with yet another exuberant rock revival meeting. Who says rock is dead? Surrounded by friends everywhere I looked, I realized that’s what sets The Hold Steady apart – a real feeling of kinship between band and audience. I counted at least 40 people I knew or were friends of friends - Mary Z and Kevin, Scott, Alan, Feeney, Peter and his date Greg, Nan, Kat, Barb, Billy, Billy's son, Brandt, Angelo, Hartmaier, Fudgie, Dave, Ann, Lieve (Leeeeve...say it right!), Dave and Diane, Robin, Jamey, Sean, Jersey Mike, Kurt and Claire, Matt, Matt's son, Tim, Brandon, Brett, Eric, Hinchey, BagofSongs Tom, Ed, John, Don, not to mention almost 14 feet of Stankus - Chris and Brian. If I forgot to list you or didn't see/speak to you last night, I'm sorry. It was that kind of night.

Your correspondent, floating on a river of Yuengling (copyright mz plus photos), joined the much celebrated “stage invasion” during the high mass show closer of “Killer Parties”. I was sufficiently lubricated to stand tall on stage with The Hold Steady and offer the great rock salute to my boys – the fist pump. At least I didn’t do the devil horns, shout out a lame request or pretend my cell phone was a bic lighter (people going to concerts… stop doing that NOW!).

Above are a few pics from the pre-show at The Blarney Stone (hey there Sean and Jersey Mike) and during the TLA set but I’ll spare you the shot of me wolfing down a Jim’s steak post show.

If you want to know why we go nuts for The Hold Steady, Michael and I have each written passionate testimonials elsewhere on this blog. We'd like to urge all of America (and of course our substantial international readership) – go see these guys when they come to your town… it’ll be the best show you see this year (or maybe second best if you’re also seeing Springsteen).

Here’s two non-album tracks for your enjoyment – “Girls Like Status” (which received a suitably raucous airing last night) and the b-side to their impossible to find first single, a hazy but riffalicious cover of Led Zep’s “Hey Hey What Can I Do”.

“There is so much joy in what we do up here. I want to thank you all for being here tonight to share that joy with us.”

Girls Like Status

Hey Hey What Can I Do

Monday, October 22, 2007

Because I haven't posted lately . . .

I'll try to get back on track, honest I will.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't Call & Three Strikes

Just for no good reason, here's three in current heavy rotation in my house.

We got alt-country pop courtesy of Southern California's The Hideaways, whose breezy Tupelo meets Beat Farmers at Jayhawk Drive honky tonk recalls a great song called "Kissed A Girl" by the late, lamented (by me) Star City. I wish I could post that one too but I can't currently find it.
Stranger's Heart

The Hideaways myspace page

Then there's the light, but top 40 in my mind, uber-melodic pop of "Sex Without Love" from the always reliable Ben Lee's lateset, Ripe.

Sex Without Love

And since I'm getting my game face on in preparation for The Hold Steady's Philadelphia invasion next Tuesday (that will take place on World Series Eve... is that some kind of holiday?), here's a classic baseball ditty done up greatest-band-in-America style.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Oh yeah... that picture - that's my friend Donna who I met in Orlando last week. She was a little peeved at me for not name-checking her when I wrote about camping out for Bruce Springsteen tickets 30 YEARS AGO!! But it was her apartment where I took refuge and she was a big part of the camp out... as she reminded me. She's about the coolest friend a guy could have.

The batteries? Not sure but she's by herself a lot. Her husband has lots to do.

And if you're thinking of calling Donna on the phone... don't do it. Cut her a break - she doesn't want to talk to you. Not even a little bit.

I'm serious.... don't call her.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Radiohead vs. The Honeydogs

I am not even close to a huge Radiohead fan – I think their prog leanings take what could be a fine little art-pop band and create a pretentious, self-important behemoth. That said, I’ve heard moments of unquestioned beauty and superb arena anthems sprinkled throughout their catalogue. I don’t have any animosity towards the band – their music just generally leaves me cold. My Teenage Kicks co-conspirator Michael champions their work so maybe someday he’ll knock some sense into me.

Radiohead’s new direct-to-consumer model is being heralded as the music industry’s new world order. I see it as a death knell. The model works for huge artists who have millions of fans waiting with bated breath for their next musings. It even may work for mid-level artists who have smaller, devoted followings or legacy artists whose listeners will follow them anymore. I applaud Radiohead – why wouldn’t they do this? What does a record company have to offer them at this stage? Fuck the major labels – they’ve spent years ripping off consumers (15 bucks for a cd? fuck you) and ignoring artist development to go for the big score. I have no problem with the big score – but let some of those younger acts develop and maybe they’ll give you a couple of medium scores.

But what about new bands, baby bands… the future of rock and roll? How do they get their music heard? For every internet, blog hyped (fucking lameass bloggers) sensation like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, there are five hundred bands that go unheard. Seek out these artists that are good enough to be heard, but whose back-story may not be that remarkable or whose marketing buzz is only the music itself. You know who they are… support these guys and go have a $12 religious experience in a stink bar with 95 of the closest friends you never knew you had.

Which brings me to The Honeydogs…ever heard of them? I didn’t think so. They are a snappy little rock combo that falls into that Bermuda Triangle wasteland where alt-country, indie rock and pop smarts meet to the sound of one hand clapping and careers go to die. Today I got a mix disc in the mail that featured their“Losing Transmissions” and I thought here’s a band that’s not going to benefit from Radiohead’s new business model. They weren’t exactly reaping rewards from the old world model. They played The Khyber recently for 15 people. They’re still out there – seven cds for seven different record labels. I worry that Radiohead’s vision for the future doesn’t include these guys. And this is by no means Radiohead’s problem – they’re my new heroes.

What does it say about me that if given the opportunity tomorrow to go see The Honeydogs in a shitty rock club or Radiohead (arguably the biggest band in the world) in a hockey rink that I’d choose The Honeydogs without blinking.

Here’s three of The Honeydogs’ finest… search them out on emusic or visit your favorite indie record store and buy something… before it’s too late.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Memorable Musical Moments

We haven’t had as much time as we’d like to devote to this countdown (yo, XPN, check our schedules next time, will ya?), but I’ve been listening the best I can, and it’s a tour de force of musical geekery, and I mean that as a huge compliment. The previous lists of songs, albums and artists must have been arduous enough to compile, but this countdown is far more high-concept and labor intensive, and Bruce Warren, Dan Reed and the XPN brain trust deserve high marks for putting together a master class in the history of pop music.

That said, this effort has a far different feeling than previous countdowns, each of which found a momentum and rolled. When the 885 greatest songs came tumbling out of the speakers, they provided an adrenaline rush. Even the occasional song I loathed sparked a reaction. But the Moments countdown is less visceral, more cerebral. These things don’t always naturally go together (often, I’ll miss the intro and not even know what the song I’m hearing is supposed to represent; that was never an issue before), requiring more effort from the listener to get the full effect. Some things are interesting in their own way – say, Brian Eno’s composition of six seconds of music for Microsoft Windows – without being particularly enjoyable. Others are just plain maudlin. Every entry on the album countdown gave opportunity for celebration. But some of these moments – the deaths of Jeff Buckley and Gene Vincent, for example – are buzz kills.

And the title to the whole thing is a bit off, but I think that’s to XPN’s credit. Many of these moments will come as complete news to even hardcore music fans, calling into doubt just how memorable they are. But I’d much rather hear a list that tempers memorable moments with ones that are important, esoteric, absurd, arcane or influential. For instance, I never knew that ? (of ? and the Mysterians) claimed to have come from Mars and lived with dinosaurs, but I know it now, and, of course, I’m the better for it. It is a fact now in search of a cocktail party.

I’m flying solo here while Trip shifts mental gears from Phillies heartbreak to Springsteen euphoria, but here are a few of my favorite moments since the first fifty.

829. Modern Lovers release their John Cale-produced debut in 1973

Despite my best efforts, this one failed to crack the 885 albums list two years ago, demonstrating the listenership’s almost complete lack of interest in it. But the Brain Trust steps in to rectify history, while simultaneously driving down ratings. My question, dear readers: Why don’t you own this indispensable album? The person who leaves the best explanation in the comments gets a free Teenage Kicks t-shirt.

827. Robert Christgau starts the Pazz & Jop Poll in 1971

Next to music itself (and pizza), mankind’s greatest invention. Bookmark this site.

817. The Third Wave Ska Revival

The fact that the second wave of ska was better than the first is astonishing. That the third wave would suffer dismally in comparison to the first two was mighty mighty predictable.

787. The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
786. High School Musical becomes a pop-culture phenomenon

I love that these popped up back to back. The Stones are my favorite band ever, and I’ve seen Rock and Roll Circus once. I have seen HSM nine million times.

774. WKRP in Cincinnati debuts

“Oh my God, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”

765. Sid Vicious sings “My Way”
763. Adam Sandler releases “The Hannukah Song”

Not a Jew, but that Sid Vicious sure loved his matzos and knishes.

741. Charles Mingus releases Mingus Ah Um

Possibly my favorite jazz album ever. Buy it. Now.

715. Joey Ramone, lead singer of The Ramones, dies of lymphoma

Boy, DeeDee and Johnny are gonna be pissed if their deaths don’t rate.

660. Charles Manson hears the Beatles’ White Album

Sorry, but could we stop giving this mass-murdering attention whore, you know, attention?

651. The non-release of the Guns N Roses album Chinese Democracy

Rock’s equivalent of a tree falling in an unpopulated forest. Axl tells me it’ll be out any day now.

649. James Brown, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”

I was signing this at the top of my lungs with no palpable sense of irony.

640. Genya Ravan becomes the first major woman producer
629. Cole Porter writes “Night and Day”

Hearing the Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer” and Sinatra’s take on “Night and Day” in the same hour? Now, that’s good radio.

626. Curtis Mayfield releases his debut album

And then to follow with “If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go”? XPN, you complete me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Greatest Ever?

By Sunday morning I will have seen Bruce Springsteen in concert 55 times (yes I’m an obsessive nerd and I keep a list of every show I’ve ever seen). Currently I am listening to a pristine, mind-blowing bootleg of the first Bruce Springsteen concert I ever attended – a life changing evening at The Tower Theater in December 1975. It’s an astonishing document of a band at its creative peak – just after the release of Born to Run and the Time and Newsweek covers and just before the leap to arena shows.

His lethal cocktail of unbridled passion, everyman camaraderie, PT Barnum showmanship, vivid storytelling, cocky swagger, ace chops, that burly, booming yowl and most of all… an incredible sense of the healing and celebratory power of rock and roll have combined to make Bruce Springsteen the single greatest live performer in the history of rock roll. And it might not even be close. It’s doesn’t diminish other concert heavyweights like Elvis, The Stones, Led Zep, Otis Redding, The Clash, U2, The Replacements, Radiohead, The White Stripes or current torchbearers The Hold Steady to make this statement. Nobody has done it this well, this long. Nobody.

So here's a majestic solo version of “For You” from that night because it’s just about perfect and I know you’ll dig it. And cause it's Friday, a tribute from The Boss to one of his heroes.

I swear, every show I’ve seen since December 28, 1975 has been an attempt to recapture the magic of that night.

Bruce Springsteen - For You

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

885 mmmm... The First 50

No way we can do all 885... but the first 50 truly seemed to be calling our name.

885: Soul Survivors Release “Expressway To Your Heart”

M: Ugh. What I feared. I can see it now. 722: Melanie releases “Brand New Key.” 649: Tony Orlando releases “Tie A Yellow Ribbon.” 511: The SLA releases Patti Hearst.

T: All right... Philly represents. But honestly, didn't the Beatles themselves have 885 more memorable musical moments than this song?

884: “The Time Has Come Today” becomes a hit for the Chambers Brothers

M: 883: “Time Has Come Today” slowly slides down the charts. 882: “Time Has Come Today” shows up on Rhino’s “Rockin’ Soul Hits of the 60s” compilation. 881: “Time Has Come Today” licensed for many, many commercials.

T: I would have voted it in for it’s devastating inclusion in Coming Home, one of the great post-Vietnam anti-war flicks.

883: “Shining Star” becomes Earth, Wind & Fire first and only #1 hit in the US

M: “Boogie Wonderland” was robbed.

T: Hey… my brother-in-law will love this!

882: Isle of Wight Festival

M: When I was a kid, I thought this was the “I Love White” Festival. Couldn’t ever figure that one out.

T: Huh? This seems so wong.

881: Gorillaz debut with Tomorrow Comes Today

M: The first of many “Damon Albarn’s side project debuts” on the list.

T: The Archies of the new millennium?

880: Jeff Buckley dies

M: If anything is just slightly less significant than the release of “Sugar, Sugar” this is surely it.

T: Tragic. Hope this isn’t beginning of a ghoul pool.

879: The Archies release “Sugar, Sugar”

M: Proof positive that Trip hacked the list and replaced the “Rick Wakeman breaks the 30-minute solo barrier” entry that belonged here.

T: Wow… the first single I ever bought. I unapologetically love this song – thanks Jughead!

878: Live at Budokan by Cheap Trick

M: Roughly 874 spots too low. “This next one I’m sure you all knoooow . . . “

T: Cheap Trick, In Color and Heaven Tonight better be on this list. Of course, any album containing “Surrender” is worthy.

877: Electric Light Orchestra release Face the Music

M: Nine seconds ago, I couldn’t have told you that ELO had an album called Face the Music. Isn’t “memorable” right in this countdown’s name?

T: On this album, ELO go for baroque.

876: WOMAD Festival


T: The first of 700 Peter Gabriel mentions.

875: Gram Parsons forms Flying Burrito Bros/The International Submarine Band in 1968

M: I think we’re confusing “memorable” with “important.” I’m sure that some of the Sub Band members don’t even recollect this.

T: This record sold like seven copies. But it’s Gram Parsons, and it’s got “Blue Eyes”, so cool beans.

874: Jerry Lee Lewis marries his 13-year-old cousin

M: We could fill this entire thing with the Killer’s marriages.

T: He didn’t marry her on his Labor Day telethon, did he?

873: Norah Jones sings “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” at Higher Ground Benefit

M: I call bullshit. Ask 100 people if they remember this, get 100 blank stares.

T: Did this event actually happen? Randy Newman better pop up later for something besides “Short People”.

872: Pitchfork debuts

M: I rate this 5.4.

T: Pitchfork is to music as the Mets are to clutch.

871: The first wave of Ska

M: You ain’t seen comedy till you’ve seen me try to explain the difference between reggae and ska to my mom. I’ve yet to introduce the concept of the two-tone revival.

T: I knew there was a ska revival… this I didn’t know about.

870: Heavy Metal Parking Lot is released

M: “Beavis and Butthead” come to life, only the cartoon seems more plausible.

T: Jesse: Dude! You got a tattoo!
Chester: So do you, dude! Dude, what does my tattoo say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: "Sweet!" What about mine?
Chester: [angry] "Dude!" What does mine say?
Jesse: [screaming] "Sweet!"

869: R Crumb designs the Cheap Thrills album cover

M: The R stands for “random.”

T: Oh my god - this means that wackjob that designed all the hideous prog rock covers will get a top ten moment for Tormato.

868: Big Star release #1 Record

M: Big Star’s third-best album makes the list? I have a feeling that we could make a list of 885 other moments and no one could tell the difference.

T: I’ll just say… thanks for putting Big Star on any list.

867: Counting Crows release their debut album, August And Everything After

M: This is starting to remind me of Bubba Gump’s recitation of the ways to prepare shrimp.

T: Like a fine whine, this one has aged gracefully.

866: The “Roxanne” hip-hop wars

M: XPN’s target demo scratches its collective head.

T: It’s always treat to when “fuck” hits the public radio airwaves. Well, at least it happened during fund raising… so nobody heard it.

865: US festivals

M: Did I hear Michaela call this the “U.S. Festival”? Clearly, not everyone remembers.

T: Jeepers… I only remember a fat Ozzy from this bad boy.

864: Harry Belafonte records the “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)”

M: Our first entry referencing fruit. Perhaps the Osmonds’ version of “One Bad Apple” is yet to come.

T: Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! I was hoping to conjure up the countdown that makes sense appear.

863: John Fahey becomes the father of acoustic free-form guitar

M: Coincidentally, this is number one on the list of 885 Most Esoteric Musical Moments.

T: Certainly memorable for Mr. and Mrs. Fahey.

862: Island Records signs King Sunny Ade, tries to make Juju music from Nigeria the next Reggae

M: I have this record, and I love it, but is the abject failure to turn America on to Juju really all that memorable? Ranks with my high school efforts to make girls find me attractive.

T: 885 is a big number.

861: Pamela Des Barres writes “I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie”

M: Like “To Kill A Mockingbird,” with Jimmy Page as Boo Radley and a slutty girl as Atticus Finch. Sort of.

T: Here’s $100 that says her ex-husband, who actually made music, doesn’t finish in the top 885,000 mmmm.

860: Satanic Subliminal Messages

M. Ereh fo tuo kcuf eht teg.

T: Is this the PMRC list?

859: Pure Pop For Now People sets standard in new wave power pop

M: Well, this goes without saying.

T: OK… Jesus of Cool.

858: R. Kelly creates the “Trapped in the Closet” series

M: Senator Larry Craig’s theme song.

T: The underage sex thing… maybe. But nobody knows this series even happened.

857: The “Rock Lobster” dance craze

M: If this was a craze, this blog is a sensation.

T: First, I’ve never liked this song. Second, please stop playing it at every wedding I attend.

856: America: A Tribute to Heroes airs uninterrupted on all major networks

M: Let’s go snark-free for a minute. Springsteen’s reading of “My City of Ruins” opened the show and nearly stopped my heart.

T: I’m with Michael.

855: Bill Clinton chooses “Don’t Stop” as his campaign theme in 1992

M: Bill Clinton choosing “Baby Got Back” as his personal theme song must be coming up.

T: I thought this was his Monica Lewinsky dedication.

854: The Flaming Lips play the Peach Pit After Dark on Beverly Hills, 90210

M: This better not finish ahead of Suzi Quatro playing Arnold’s on “Happy Days.”

T: Really? The band that gave us Yoshimi and The Soft Bulletin are remembered for this?

853: Anthology of American Folk Music released

M: This was a hugely important moment in American ethnomusicology. I don’t know a single person who owns it.

T: The Gene Shay vote is in.

852: John Fogerty sued for “stealing” his own material

M: Saul Zaentz should get his own wing in the Hall of Very Stupid People.

T: It’s late, I think I’ll go plagiarize myself. I’ll be back in a minute.

851: King Records is founded in Cincinnati in 1943

M: If you knew that there ever was a King Records, raise your hand. Put down your hand, you big fat liar.

T: I gotta admit… this one feels like a real moment.

850: 16 Magazine hits newsstands

M: On a third grade questionnaire, I listed 16 Magazine as my favorite book. Not proud of that, either.

T: Since that magazine didn’t really have anything to do with music, maybe TV Guide will make the list too.

849: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Movie released

M: Confession: When I first saw this movie (in fifth grade, on what passed for a date among eleven-year-olds), I had no idea there was a Beatles connection.

T: This album shipped double platinum, returned triple platinum. I miss the 70’s.

848: Noel Gallagher plays MTV Unplugged by himself

M: Not here because of Liam’s petulance, but because it marked the last time MTV played music.

T: Up next, the night Dave Davies lip synched solo on American Bandstand.

847: The Sounds of Sinatra with Sid Mark

M: I’m not from Philly, so I don’t know this, but I’m sure Frank sounded better on Sid’s show than anywhere else.

T: A radio show… this bodes well for a top 5 finish for The World CafĂ©.

846: The Roots of The Blues Brothers

M: I’m the Dan Aykroyd of Teenage Kicks, standing around and doing nothing while the other guy does the hard work.

T: Nothing says soul music like Dan Ackroyd in a pork pie hat.

845: Diana Ross Teams with Chic in 1980

M: I did not know until this moment that Bernard and Nile produced this record.

T: My personal mmm moment # 845 – Michael discovers that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards produced Diana Ross.

844: Fela Kuti Forms Africa 70 in 1970

M: Trip is baffled, but I think it’s cool.

T: I’ve heard of him, so that’s memorable, right?

843: Fugazi form in 1987

M: I’m looking forward to breaking this out into categories. Where will this place in the all-time ranking of band formations? I bet that list is going to look silly.

T: $5.00 shows… these guys should go kick Sting’s ass.

842: Henry Mancini composes the theme to The Pink Panther

M: Anyone else have an overpowering urge to install fiberglass insulation?

T: Sirrrrr… that is not my list.

841: John Mayall forms The Bluesbreakers

M: I’m getting bored already. When does this end?

T: Wait a second… an American radio station played a John Mayall song other than “Room to Move”. Now there’s a moment.

840: A New Generation Discovers Leonard Cohen in 1990

M: The inclusion of a Cohen song in a Christian Slater movie rates a spot? Trip holds out hope for the Rave-Ups appearing in that Molly Ringwald flick.

T: 21 people discovered Arthur Alexander from a Teenage Kicks post. We've got 839 chances left to place.

839: Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil

M: This has Bruce Warren’s fingerprints all over it. It’s like Oprah’s Book Club for geeks. And, yeah, I’ve read the book.

T: I know a guy who rents a house in Bucks County to Legs McNeil. Killer book. "It's such a gamble when you get a face".

838: Bye Bye Birdie hits movie theaters in April, 1963

M: I’m sure everyone knows this, but Conrad Birdie was modeled after a young Conway Twitty. Not everyone knows that I once guarded Mr. Twitty’s tour bus.

T: Ann Margaret is smokin’. And sheesh… how ‘bout playing “You Gotta Be Sincere”?

837: Luciano Pavarotti dies September 6, 2007

M: I’m betting that this is the most recent event on the list, unless Britney losing her kids somehow sneaks in.

T: I’ll never forget where I was the day the big man died. I was eating lunch at Genuardi’s.

836: Gene Autry records “Back in the Saddle Again”; makes it the theme for his radio show

M: I’m looking forward to Aerosmith records “Back in the Saddle Again,” makes it the theme for recovering junkie rock stars.

T: If anyone reading this remembers this moment (and congratulations on still being alive), sorry I wrote “fuck” earlier.

835: Michael Azerrad writes Our Band Could Be Your Life

M: Yeah, I’ve read this one, too. Ain’t proud of it.
T: I’ll take any excuse to hear Husker Du on the radio.

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

Well, we weren't gonna, then we were gonna, and now we're kinda gonna. Of course, we resereve the right to change our mind ten more times.

Michael: A couple of years back, I heard some media expert twist Andy Warhol's most notorious line, saying that because of the Internet, in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen people. Teenage Kicks cultivated its fifteen people of fame (more or less) last year for our running commentary on WXPN's 885 greatest artists countdown. So some people may be wondering whether we'll do the same thing for the 885 Most Memorable Musical Moments countdown. The answer is no, partly because (as we discovered through painful experience before) it's too damn excruciating to do. Really, where did we find the time and energy. The other problem is that this rather abstract concept is pretty hard to wrap our minds around. The early moments of the countdown inform us that the 842nd greatest moment was when Henry Mancini composed the "Pink Panther" theme, making it incrementally more memorable than the formation of Fugazi. I just don't know what to do with that. I don't have a problem with it, nor do I have any real grounds to snark it (and we're aware that our more snide reactions to the inclusion of some *cough, cough* "artists" last time around was what many people liked best).

And I've read Legs McNeil's Please Kill Me, but it never would have occurred to me to place it (number 839) ahead of the formation of Fela Kuti's Africa 70 (number 844). It's such an apples-to-orangutans comparison. Still, how fricking cool was it to hear Richard Hell's "Blank Generation" on the radio?

Trip: This countdown is fun to listen to, but it makes no sense. Because if The Hold Steady releasing three 4 to 5 star albums in three years (2004-2006) is not a mmmm and Michael McDonald joining the Doobies is, then I'll listen to a whole album of Frippertronics. But where else am I gonna hear Richard Hell, Big Star, John Fahey, Fela Kuti, Fugazi, Garth Brooks and Husker Du in the same day?

Actually, this list is begging for the right touch... I say we do 'em all... with a 15-20 word limit per entry. It seems impossible but I think I'm game.

M: All right, what the hell, let’s do it.

T: After 50, I say “Uncle”. How about some random entries?