Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Springsteen’

Monday Medley

What we read while hiding safely in a midnight showing of Ice Age 3…

  • Speaking of Justices, some interesting memoranda from Chief Justice Roberts’s days in the Reagan administration (more than one involve Michael Jackson).
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The Best First Lines in Music

In yesterday’s Pretty Little Liars recap Tim called the opening line of The Outfield’s “Your Love” his favorite opening line to any song ever. He even dared me to come up with a list of songs topping it.

Well, in the immortal words of Barney Stinson…

And I have bad news for you, Tim, “Your Love” doesn’t even crack my Top 50.

Of course, the topic raises several tricky questions: What constitutes an opening line? The first complete sentence? The first rhyming couplet? Until the first pause? And what criteria should we use to evaluate “the best” opening line? The catchiest? The most memorable?

I ended up being pretty flexible on both questions. Some of these lyrics were chosen because they are legitimately great lyrics. Others were chosen because of how they’re sung. Others are chosen because they are the most iconic moments of great songs. I’m sure I’m forgetting some great ones (I had only one day, chill out!), but here is an initial draft of the Top 50 opening lines in music history: Continue reading

Joie de Vivre: Christmas Music

One of the (many) great things about Christmas is getting the chance (and the social leniency) to listen to Christmas music. Like most Catholics and Christmasphiles and unlike most everyone else, I love Christmas music.

I understand the complaints about Christmas music. I even agree that, for the most part, it sucks. Like, nine out of 10 Christmas songs played on the radio and in malls and other stores are indefensibly terrible.* Nothing promotes lazier “creativity” in music than Christmas, with popular artists knowing that an album of a dozen shoddy covers of public-domain classics will sell tremendously, since everyone knows someone who likes Christmas music and thus thinks buying that person a Christmas CD is a great and thoughtful gift.

*To be fair, this isn’t much different from the usual ratio on the radio these days.

Continue reading

Greetings from Book Expo America Part I: Steven Tyler comes off as an Arrogant Jerk at the Keynote

The Book Expo America (or BEA to us in the know, as I have become since I got a nametag, or “badge,” to us in the know) is held every year—this year in the pride of New York City, the Javits Center. For those not in the know, the BEA is a big deal in the publishing/bookselling business, as it is the largest convention of its kind.

So what am I doing there? I am crashing it to give you loyal NPI readers the inside dope on all the stuff those “Big Book” fat cats don’t want you to know about. (Sorry, that’s probably the title of Kevin Trudeau’s new book.)

Our first stop on the BEA tour bus is Thursday’s keynote, which was covered accurately, if all too briefly, by New York. The focus of this year’s keynote was “rock star memoirs,” with Steven Tyler and Clarence Clemons. Apparently, this reflects the crisis of confidence in the publishing industry (which is a whole other story), as the conference has usually had political heavyweights in this role. Continue reading