CD Review: Journey, “Eclipse”

This is not Escape. This is not Frontiers. This is certainly not Raised on Radio, nor is it the new material in the Revelation package. If you’re looking for carbon copies of those prior touchstones and do not wish ...

Death by Power Ballad: Styx, “Show Me the Way”

We have been at war so long, it is difficult to recall a time when we were not at war. ‘Twas not always so. There was, in fact, a period when the idea of being at war was a new and frightening ...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: For the Kiddies, Part 3

Back once more with a whole bucketload of kindie goodness, for listeners of all ages. For those who missed the first two installments of this apparently ongoing series-within-a-series, click here and here. And I must, in all good ...

The Weekly Mixtape: 3/11/11 (Paving Memory Lane)


Memory Lane has potholes deeper than sinkholes, stuff that never quite gets repaired.

One Friday night, I went for a walk. Turned the corner at Memory and Luck, stepped off the sidewalk, and down I went. Tripped so easily; fell ...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: Justin Bieber, “Never Say Never”

These are hard times, people—difficult days lay behind and before us, and in these, our most desperate moments, there’s little joy to be found. This trickles down to our kids, whose innate prescience hips them to the fact that something is amiss, ...

Death by Power Ballad: Slade, “My Oh My”

I was lucky. I turned 14 in 1984—a goofy, hormonal, awkward, music-obsessed 14. To have been an adolescent tuned into the radio in 1984 was to have experienced musical nirvana (with a little N—kids who were seven years old in ’84 would ...

The Weekly Mixtape: 1/21/11 (Blue Period)

Blue Period: Songs for the New Same Old Depression

The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
And it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues

...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: Holly Conlan, “Fascinator”

I understand I’m getting older and I recognize what that means in terms of my physical, mental, and emotional decline—weight gain, hair loss, long-term memory depletion, dry-eye, acid reflux, lower back pain, upper back pain, knee pain, joint stiffness, cotton mouth, ear ...

The Twentieth Day of Mellowmas: O’Jaysmas: The Sequel

Jason: Oh, Jeff. This Mellowmas season has really worn me out.

Jeff: I’m not feeling so good myself, buddy. What’s got you down?

Jason: Hm, what could it be? Could it be THREE GODDAMN WEEKS OF AWFUL CHRISTMAS MUSIC?

Jeff: But ...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: “Christmas in Canaan”

It’s pretty amusing (at least to me) that I wound up watching this fecal coil of a Hallmark holiday film mere days after its star, Billy Ray Cyrus, discovered, along with the rest of us, his daughter Miley’s appreciation for psychedelic herb. ...

The Tenth Day of Mellowmas: Selloutmas

Before we kick off today’s round of exquisite Mellowmas torture, how about some discount music and a contest? Our friends at Rhino are celebrating the Twelve Days of Chri — er, Rhino, and for the tenth day, they’re not only offering ...

Death by Power Ballad: KISS, “Reason to Live”

We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women are created equal, though those who order their booze from the top shelf behind the bar were apparently created more equal than others; that they are endowed by their creator with ...

Death by Power Ballad: Queen, “The Show Must Go On”

The voices and music we grow up with stay with us, even when the people who lift those voices in song burn out or fade away. They become part of us, part of our personal and collective DNA, part of the soundtrack ...

Death by Power Ballad: Jeff Scott Soto, “If This is the End”

It was exactly one month after my twenty-seventh birthday when I realized I will never have the opportunity to play guitar in front of a sellout crowd at Giants Stadium. There will be no immediate, tangible, audible adulation from a throng of ...