Songs That Stick To Your Ribs: Vol. 1

Some songs come and go – sweet pleasures, but fleeting ones.

Others, they linger, wearing a groove in heart and brain that runs down the intersection of comforting and challenging.

These are some of those songs.

Off My Mind, Ryan Ross: It’s the plucked string at the beginning, I think. The insistent whang whang whang that reaches out to hook your attention just before the other guitars muscle in, rumbling and grumbling and trying to start a fight. And then about half-way through they settle down and start hammering out a quasi-hypnotic rhythm. I both do and do not want to know what the words are supposed to be; I’m curious, but also suspect context might ruin it.
 

 
If You’re in New York, The Grahams: I have more to say about Riverman’s Daughter, their most recent (and most amazing) record, but this is one of the songs I have been listening to obsessively. I have danced to this on subway platforms from Harlem to Brooklyn, and hummed along everywhere from the center of a swirl of autumn leaves on Central Park West to a rapidly thickening blanket of snow on 1st … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Courtney Love/Hole

Jennifer has feelings about Courtney Love that she’d like to share with you.

I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS, OKAY: Courtney Love

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I have not always had a lot of feelings about Courtney Love. Let’s just be blunt and honest: I first learned about her because I was a Nirvana fan and she was Kurt Cobain’s wife. I was dimly aware of Hole – bear in mind at this time (1992) the only music magazine I read was Circus, and I got the rest of my music news from MTV, and then mostly from Headbanger’s Ball — but I didn’t have any particular opinions about her or their music. Following the release of Celebrity Skin in 1998, I would develop an appreciation for their sound, though even then I only really listened to the title track, and that on the radio. I always meant to buy the record, but never quite got there.

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Getting back to Nirvana for just a minute: I can tell you where I was, when I got the … Continue reading