All posts tagged: Jason Hare

‘Twas the Day Before the First Day of Mellowmas

Like the grumpy warrior-poet Don Henley once rasped, “these times are so uncertain.” In this era of crumbling infrastructure, awful manners, and Sarah Palin, it’s hard to know what we can depend on anymore. But we’re luckier than Don Henley, because while he groomed his late ’80s ponytail and sighed dreamily of “a yearning undefined,” we know exactly what we need — the one tradition that still hasn’t let us down. We’re talkin’ Mellowmas. Yes, friends, we have arrived once again at that magical time of year when we all snuggle up around our Yule Log Blu-ray and listen to terrible holiday music. The time of year when artists as diverse as Christopher Cross, Tori Amos, Teddy Pendergrass, and Lemmy come together to sing about Christmas and holly and angels and stuff. The time of year when your hosts wish they were deaf, dead, or both: This is, somewhat unbelievably, our fifth Mellowmas, and we think it’ll be our most festive yet. We have so many surprises for you. In fact, if you’re still speaking …

The Weekly Mixtape: Ethan’s Mix

Hi! This is Ethan. Well, technically, he’s Super Ethan in this picture. Which makes sense, ’cause Ethan is my super-awesome nephew. Ethan turned nine years old last month. Which means that he’s approximately six years older than I remember him being yesterday, but that’s besides the point. He’s nine. I remember being nine. Don’t you? I was big into music. I saw the Monkees that year. Weird Al opened. It was awesome. So it’s a formative time (for better or for worse). And Ethan needs some awesome music to accompany being nine years old. Only problem is, the most current thing I’ve listened to is that song Christopher Cross wrote for 30 Rock. (Which is totally wicked!) So perhaps I’m not the best judge of current music that a nine-year-old would dig. Thankfully, there are a lot of people on the Popdose staff who either listen to current music, or know what nine-year-olds dig (or should dig), or all three. So I asked them to help put together a mixtape to join Ethan in his …

Soul Serenade: Bobby Brown, “Every Little Step”

OK, I admit it. I know fuck-all about Bobby Brown. Week after week I use this space to pontificate about the great soul music of the past. You put up with it because I provide you with some pretty cool songs to download. If you’ve been following along, you already have the makings of a pretty good soul music compilation. This week, as a result of my overwhelming need to watch every moment of the World Cup, and my even more overwhelming need to earn a living, I’ve run out of time. So, this one’s a softball, well out my usual strike zone. As I said, I know almost nothing about Bobby Brown or his music. I seem to recall that he was once married to Whitney Houston, and that it didn’t go particularly well for either of them. There was this song called “My Prerogative” that I thought was kind of cool, and a reality show, right? There you have it. The sum total of my Bobby Brown knowledge. What prompted this was not …

Introducing Songwork: A Popdose Mini-Series

Writing a song is easy. You just bang out a chain of chords, always driving to the chorus as fast and as often as possible. Then you throw on some lyrics; nothing fancy, nothing fluffy. “Oh girl, you are my world, take my heart, but don’t tear it apart,” that sort of thing. Writing a good song, now that is something else. With that as the intention, you’re presupposing you’ll create something people will want to hear, not once, but often. It is, in part, about the sweat you put into it, the constant scrutiny, the self-editing, the willingness to take a little constructive criticism without feeling like your ego has been run over. That will get you halfway there, but then there’s the rest of the ride where strange things start to happen, an alchemy between the players, the parts and even the times in which the song arrives collude to make something greater than the parts alone. To get to the latter, you have to be ready to accept the former and do …

The Friday Mixtape: 6/4/10 — Queen Edition

Last year I reviewed the phenomenal book Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. Although I spent a couple of hours reading it before my review, there wasn’t enough time to read every single word — so the book currently sits on my nightstand, and when I get a chance, I read a few pages before turning out the light. Apart from the usual songs, it’s been a while since I really delved into my Queen collection — as I said in my review, my days of obsessive fandom were in my early teens — and reading the book has really revived my interest in the band. I’ve gone back to my old CDs and listened to a lot of the “deep cuts” from the album, with tremendous enjoyment. As has also been mentioned, the band has now released eight “greatest hits” compilations, and none of them really bring anything new to the table. So enjoy this week’s mixtape: a collection of some (but not all!) of my favorite underrated Queen …

CD Review: Barenaked Ladies, “All in Good Time”

In a 1995 interview with Canada’s MuchMusic, Barenaked Ladies’ vocalist Steven Page attempted to describe his band’s new philosophy following the departure of keyboardist/percussionist Andy Creeggan. For a while, he said, the band was trying to figure out how to operate as four-fifths of a group. But, he explained, they soon realized they didn’t have to look at themselves as four-fifths; they could merely redefine the equation as four-fourths. This time around, though, it’s different. Most fans of the group didn’t lose much sleep over Andy’s exit, but it’s absolutely impossible not to notice the gaping hole left by Page, who recently quit the band he co-founded in 1988 with vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson. All in Good Time (2010) is the sound of a band undergoing re-invention after losing half its heart.

Rock Court, Small Claims Division: Bruce Springsteen v. Tommy Tutone

All rise. The rules of this courtroom are simple. You will be presented with two songs, one by the plaintiff and one by the defendant. It is your task to decide if the defendant’s track is only coincidentally similar to the plaintiffs or, as members of the Bar Association put it, gosh darn it, I think they stole that feller’s tune rat’chere! You have been duly instructed. Today’s docket: Tommy Tutone, plaintiff vs. Bruce Springsteen, defendant Tommy Tutone – 867-5309/Jenny from Tommy Tutone 2 (1982) You know, I have only one song anyone really gives a crap about and it’s kept me in good stead for a while. Springsteen has how many tunes under his belt, yet he has to pilfer mine? Strike a blow to The Boss for the little guy!

Bruce Springsteen – Radio Nowhere from Magic (2008) It’s not that similar, you drama queen.

Popdose Contest: DKNY Delicious Candy Apples Collection

Back in August, we here at Popdose were happy to run a contest sponsored by DKNY, featuring their DKNY Be Delicious fragrance. As I said back then, I love the smell of this stuff. No, not on me, silly readers — on my wife. It’s one of her favorite scents, and it does a good job of overpowering my natural odor, which is a cross between Old Spice “After Hours” deodorant and a bottle of Drakkar Noir that I accidentally spilled all over myself in 1993. So when DKNY contacted me again recently to announce a new trio of fun scents entitled the DKNY Delicious Candy Apples Collection, and asked if I’d be interested in sharing the news with all of you (and giving away a batch, valued at $165!), I eagerly accepted. I mean, hey, I’m not going to use them, but people around me might be interested, and who couldn’t use a scent overhaul every once in a while? (By the way, if your wife/girlfriend/significant other asks you why you bought them this …

Rock Court, Small Claims Division: The Romantics vs. John Mellencamp

All rise. The rules of this courtroom are simple. You will be presented with two songs, one by the plaintiff and one by the defendant. It is your task to decide if the defendant’s track is only coincidentally similar to the plaintiffs or, as members of the Bar Association put it, they’ve been a baa-aaad boy. You have been duly instructed. Today’s docket: The Romantics, plaintiffs vs. John Mellencamp, defendant The Romantics – What I Like About You from The Romantics (1980) It’s the same beat, the same chords, the same everything. You’d have to be deaf to disagree.

John Mellencamp – R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. from Scarecrow (1985) “The subtitle is “A Salute To ’60s Rock” – At least I had the balls to admit it was a homage.”
Wait! Neil Diamond has just burst through the courtroom door, knocking over the bailiffs! Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry from The Feel Of Neil Diamond (1966) “It may only be three …