THE NATIONAL: I NEED MY GIRL

Matt Berninger, the oaken baritone singer of The National, is like, as Pitchfork said: a Cary Grant interpretation of Leonard Cohen. Or I’d say: the Neil Diamond of indie rock.

ROBERT SMITH, MARY POOLE, & LOVESONG

Robert Smith penned “Lovesong” as his wedding present for Mary Poole in 1988. The two are still together, their rock ‘n’ roll marriage bucking the odds and showing no signs of, well, disintegrating.

DISCO INFERNO: THE NIGHT DANCE MUSIC DIED

41 years ago today, disco was killed by a public backlash with the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. At least 9 were injured and 39 got arrested.

SPACE ODDITY

Today, 51 years ago, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie was released. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the song is about the launch into space of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut.

GALLOWS: MISERY

A sad, painful, anxious & venomous song. Sung by half human half wolves.

HAPPY DIAMOND DOGS

Diamond Dogs turned 46 today—almost half a century! It was Bowie’s final album in the glam rock genre and his first composition to not feature his backing band the Spiders from Mars.

FLOWER POWER

The expression Flower Power was coined by the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles. Ginsberg advocated that protesters should be provided with “masses of flowers” to hand out to policemen, press, politicians, and spectators. The use of props like flowers, toys, flags, candy, and music were meant to turn anti-war rallies into a form of street theatre thereby reducing the fear, anger, and threat that is inherent within protests.

CHAOS TO COUTURE: SAFETY PIN, PADLOCK, PUNK ROCK

A subversive little rockopedia of safety pins and padlocks, how they have evolved over time: from household items to punk subculture to New York/London/Paris/Milan Fashion Week to nonviolent resistance.

LED ZEPPELIN: HOW MANY MORE TIMES (1969)

Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” is included in my in-progress Spotify Playlist Stormbringers & Mammoth Riff Riders—a heavy package of big lumbering brontosaurus riffs to kick out coronavirus. Other than Led Zep there’s also old school veterans from the likes of Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, et al.

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