CD Review: Saint Etienne, “Home Counties”

There is a great book that was recently released called “All Our Wrong Todays.” It is about a man who lives in a world that enjoys an unlimited supply of renewable energy thanks to an invention that harnesses the power of the earth’s rotation. The short version of the story is that the main character – due to the ensuing events, one may or may not want to consider him the protagonist – has access to time travel, and winds up stuck in our horribly messed-up world (his words, but also mine). It’s a very fun read, and author Elan Mastal gives us some perspective in the process; in his alternate, superior-in-nearly-every-way universe, one in which there is no war or starvation, punk and hip-hop never happened, because there was nothing for people to rebel against. Our world may be awful, but our music, as far as the protagonist is concerned, is much, much better.

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I have a podcast! A Shameless Plug for Popdose and my new show Dizzy Heights

As if time wasn’t already at a serious premium, I have decided to launch a podcast. Since it’s much easier for me to talk about music than it is for me to write about it anymore, this seemed like the logical thing to do.

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CD Review: Simple Minds, “Big Music”

Simple Minds is one of the most confounding bands in music. They’ve always dreamed big, yet they were also just a little bit outside of the mainstream. Even the handful of hits they managed to score in the mid-‘80s – with their own material, anyway – didn’t jive with the songs they were rubbing elbows with on the charts. Where other bands were singing about going all the way, Jim Kerr was singing to God. Simple Minds are a pop band, and they are a cult band, and one could argue that it is their cult status that has lifted them during the lean years. They, like Tears for Fears, are one of the few bands of that era to enjoy commercial success without losing their cool factor.

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