Thursday, June 12, 2003


It's happened; I've relocated this site. Click here to visit This site will remain up as an archive/emergency backup blog, but otherwise, all the content will be at the new site.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Dylan Wilbanks and I are jointly crafting our own list of the 100 greatest songs of the past 25 years. Look for the list on one or both of our blogs in the next few days.

Speaking of the next few days, the move for this site is now imminent, like maybe even next-24-hours imminent. Stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

(in a single post, no less)

VH1 recently released its list of the Top 100 Songs of the Past 25 Years. These lists are always absolute death, but it's a known fact that I'll watch VH1's Top 100 anything. I'd watch their Top 100 Philadelphia-Area Convenience Stores if they made it. Now, foolishly, I'm going to comment on 99% of these songs, since there's only one I've never heard. The asterisks indicate what I think are the ten most ridiculous choices on this list, and believe me, it was a struggle to narrow it down to ten.

100) Madonna - Ray Of Light Yes, this is probably the only Madonna song of the past few years that didn't make me long for the days when she was pumping out candyfloss like "Holiday."
99) Norah Jones - Don’t Know Why She's good, but she's still a Flavor of the Month. This song wouldn't even make my top 100 of the last five years, though.
98) Hanson - MMMBop I like it, and I think it's in about the right place.
97) Devo - Whip It Mmmm . . . no. Weird Al does a better Devo than Devo does.
*96) Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) This isn't even close to being the best Beastie Boys song. This song did for rap what Tim Floyd did for the Chicago Bulls.
95) Oasis - Wonderwall I'm glad Oasis has faded to the point where they can only place one song on this list, and nobody seriously compares them to the Beatles anymore. Why? Because it raises the still, small hope that someday they'll be forgotten completely.
94) Cheap Trick - Surrender Way underrated--interesting subject matter (a kid whose parents are far hipper than he is) wrapped up in big juicy pop hooks.
93) Nine Inch Nails - Closer "Piggies" would have been a better choice.
92) Salt 'N Pepa - Push It There's really nothing enduring about this song, but whatever.
91) Melissa Etheridge - Come To My Window It's an OK song, but I don't think it belongs on this list.

90) The Police - Roxanne I am so very, very sick and tired of this miserable, overworked piece of garbage.
89) Pat Benatar - Hit Me With Your Best Shot If they had to pick a song by a woman for the very early 80s, why not something (else) by Joan Jett? Or Chrissie Hynde?
88) Metallica - Enter Sandman Proof that, whoever VH1 got to vote on this list, none of them owned any Metallica albums made before 1990.
87) The Who - Who Are You Just sneaks in under the wire, but I wouldn't have voted for it.
86) Tracy Chapman - Fast Car Good choice, what else is there to say?
85) Eminem - My Name Is Well, this isn't the last Eminem song on the list. Can't say I care for it, though.
84) Radiohead - Creep They've got many better songs, but the feelings are universal, and that major-to-minor chord shift gets me every time. I totally did not understand this song the first time I heard it; I couldn't figure out why they ruined a pretty song with that buzzsaw guitar. But now I realize it's perfectly evocative of the experience of rejection. "Creep" has become a real favorite of mine. But "Vegetable" off the same album is a better song.
83) Band Aid - Do They Know It’s Christmas I can't even begin to tell you how bad I think this song is. The very definition of the term "overwritten."
82) Soft Cell - Tainted Love This is a remake of a 60s song. It shouldn't even be on this list!
81) OutKast - Ms. Jackson This is the one song I haven't heard. Therefore, by definition, it can't be one of the 100 greatest of the last 25 years.

*80) Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf I used to love them, but sweet merciful crap, Duran Duran are a bunch of no-talent disco hacks.
79) Destiny’s Child - Say My Name Again, not a favorite, but it probably reflects its genre well.
*78) Green Day - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
Hey, here's a thought: Let's pick a song by an influential artist which is totally unrepresentative of their body of work! Yeah! A hardcore punk band with strings! Wow, I can't wait for that 10,000 Maniacs Covers The Rollins Band CD . . .
77) Missy Elliott - Work It Missy Elliot is a totally underrated songwriter.
76) Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) It was a good video, but as a song? It has a nice bass line.
75) The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated Cool that the Ramones made this list before all the original members died, but again, this isn't their best work.
74) Hall & Oates - I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) I'm cool with H&O (I love the Philly sound), but "Say It Isn't So" would have been my pick.
73) L.L. Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out If Public Enemy hadn't made the list, I'd tell you that LL Cool J is just a notch above Young MC and had no business being here. Oh well, at least Will Smith isn't on this list.
72) John Lennon - (Just Like) Starting Over Sentimental favorite, I guess, but how Lennon makes the list and Elvis Costello doesn't is beyond me.
71) Dave Matthews Band- Crash Into Me Yawn. They've done better.

70) Culture Club - Do You Really Want to Hurt Me You know what? I think I agree.
69) Mary J. Blige - Real Love I'm not into recent R&B, but she can sing. I've heard this song maybe twice--much less than most of the other songs on this list.
68) Chic - Good Times "Le Freak" was better, but they didn't ask me.
67) John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack And Diane No, no, no. I'm of the "Mellencamp is a genius" school, but this song is not good.
66) Squeeze - Tempted Catchy. I wandered around the house singing this song for a couple days earlier this week.
65) Nelly - Hot In Herre 14:59 and counting. And learn to spell.
64) The Knack - My Sharona Oh, good gracious, no. This song is a musical hate crime.
63) Beck - Loser Certainly hasn't stood the test of time very well, has it?
62) Pretenders - Brass In Pocket What a great injustice. Chrissie Hynde only makes this list once, and it's not for "Kid" or "Back on the Chain Gang"? Farcical.
61) Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way I've copped to having a fondness for this song before, so I cannot but agree with its placement here.

60) Santana feat Rob Thomas - Smooth You know, it's funny--if you read the liner notes to "Supernatural," it's pretty clear that Carlos Santana didn't/doesn't think much of Rob Thomas. The guy wound up making Carlos a ton of money, though, so maybe he feels differently now?
*59) Meat Loaf-Paradise By The Dashboard Light Preposterous selection. If you had to pick a Meat Loaf song, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" would have been a better choice; if you had to pick a Jim Steinman composition, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is ten times the song this bathetic "Rocky Horror Picture Show" reject is.
58) The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase- Mo Money Mo Problems I'm not the biggest rap guy in the world, but I do like this song.
57) Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven I did like this song, the first 9 million times I heard it. Eric Clapton Unplugged, though, is the Frampton Comes Alive of the 90s--it's become a total cliche of a bygone era.
56) Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do . . . is never, ever hear this song again.
55) Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime Is this really a song? I mean, it's great, but it's a bass line with recitation.
54) Goo Goo Dolls - Iris Another song that's probably good, but I'm sick to death of it.
53) Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing Yeah, Marvin belongs on the list.
52) The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up Gee! Let's pretend it's always going to be 1972! The Stones are a fraud; they ceased to be the greatest rock band in the world sometime around 1974 and are surrently outperformed by any number of Holiday Inn lounge acts.
*51) George Michael - Faith Erm . . . no.

50) Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way? No, I'm not.
49) Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’ They picked this dreadful tune over "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"? This really is a VH1 list, I guess. Anybody who (like me) ever owned the Journey Atari cartridge has a deep, abiding hatred for "Don't Stop Believin'".
48) Naughty By Nature - O.P.P. So they picked a raunchy, one-hit-wonder rap tune and it wasn't "Baby Got Back"? Asinine.
47) Shania Twain - You’re Still The One I actually like her current song, "Forever and For Always." It says essentially the same thing, but isn't an overwrought, overproduced, cynical attempt to corner the anniversary-present market like "You're Still the One" is.
46) Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure Great performance. Not really a great song, if only because it's indirectly responsible for giving us Vanilla Ice.
*45) Aerosmith -I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing There's schlock, and then there's this song. Does anybody really think this is the best thing Aerosmith's done since 1978?
44) Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive Yes, and so will this steaming pile of disco vomit. After the end of the world, the only things left will be cockroaches, AOL disks, and "I Will Survive."
43) The Go-Go’s - Our Lips Are Sealed At least the voters realized that "We Got the Beat" was a dreadful song. Now, could you tell the radio stations?
42) Blondie - Heart Of Glass Again, not even close to the best Blondie song. I'd have picked "The Tide Is High," which is always a crowdpleaser no matter who sings it.
41) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge You either love this song or hate it. But you can sing along and sound just as good as Anthony Kiedis! Still, put me in the "love it" column--there's something eerie and unsettling about this song that always connects with me every time I hear it.

40) Michael Jackson - Beat It This isn't even the second-best song on Thriller. Try again, VH1.
39) Tom Petty - Free Fallin’ Another song anybody can sing as well as the original artist! And everybody who's owned a guitar longer than six weeks can play it, too.
38) The Clash - London Calling Eh, maybe.
*37) Alicia Keys - Fallin’ No, no, a thousand times, no. It's like nobody ever heard the blues before this song came out or something. Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" would have been a far, far better choice.
36) Joan Jett - I Love Rock ‘N Roll A little underrated at #36, but apparently it's not yet kosher to be a Woman Who Rocks in the mind of VH1's voters.
35) The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper’s Delight Nobody can argue that this is truly a great song, but it's certainly a significant one.
34) Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes "Solsbury Hill" is one year too old for this list--it came out in '77. Therefore, the last interesting thing Peter Gabriel ever did couldn't be considered. So they put this preening cow flop on the list instead. I'm guessing that's how it went, anyways . . .
33) Tina Turner - What’s Love Got To Do With It It wouldn't make my list, but I know why it's here.
32) Pearl Jam - Jeremy This might be my pick for #1--one of the most nearly perfect rock songs ever.
31) Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg - Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang The epitome of cool.

30) Janet Jackson - Nasty I thought "Come Back to Me" was a better song, but again, they didn't ask me.
29) Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A. I suppose this song has to be on the list, doesn't it? Is it OK yet to admit that I really don't care for it?
*28) Britney Spears - …Baby One More Time Baby, one more time on the radio I hear this whitebread R&B, and I'm gouging my eardrums out with a scratch awl.
27) Grandmaster Flash - The Message If you don't know why this song is on the list, you will never understand rap.
26) Bon Jovi - Livin’ On A Prayer Think about this: the voters said that this song is better than Chrissie Hynde's entire body of work. And most of Jackson Browne's. Not to mention what Stevie Wonder's been doing lately (not much, but he did write "Overjoyed"), the entire New Wave movement, all but two songs from the Alternative Revolution of the early 90s, everything Elvis Costello has ever done (yes, I'm still bitter), and, if you must pick an overrated 80s hair band, remember, this song beat out "Welcome to the Jungle". This is bad. Bengals draft pick bad. It throws the entire list into question.
25) Rick James - Super Freak Given the previous item, I'm surprised Rick James is at #25 and not MC Hammer.
24) Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On Quoth Hyde from That 70s Show: "Die, away from me."
23) Prince - Little Red Corvette Prince has 3 songs in the top 25, which must mean that he's the best songwriter of the last 25 years, right? Well, guess what? He is.
22) Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time A better recording than it is a song, but Miles Davis thought enough of it to cover it, so I guess it's cool.
21) U2 - With Or Without You I'd have ranked this ahead of "One," and it would have been right behind "Jeremy" on my list.

20) AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long I don't get AC/DC, but this song has lingered around pop culture for 20 years and shows no sign of fading away, so it must be good.
19) Public Enemy - Fight The Power Easily--easily--the best rap song so far.
18) R.E.M. - Losing My Religion Eariler, the voters proved they weren't Metallica fans; now, they prove they aren't R.E.M. fans, either. Good grief, "Underneath the Bunker" is a more interesting song than this.
17) Def Leppard - Photograph No doubt, it belongs on this list, but #17?
16) No Doubt - Don’t Speak Go back to #78. Now, realize the same thing applies here, only a little more so.
15) Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) Just slightly more of a song than "Once in a Lifetime." But only slightly.
*14) Sinead O’Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U Another Prince song. Has no business being on this list, though.
13) TLC - Waterfalls Overrated at #13, but a good song.
12) Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know It's hard to believe people thought Alanis was "alternative" back in 1993. This song always seemed a little too L.A. slick for me, but it isn't horrible, and it had been a while since a truly petulant "woman scorned" song had entered the public consciousness.
11) Van Halen - Jump You inevitably become the thing you mock, and that happened to David Lee Roth, didn't it?

10) Madonna - Like A Virgin #10 of the last 25 years? I don't even think it's the 10th-best Madonna song.
09) The Police - Every Breath You Take As ambiguous as Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and every bit as intriguing.
08) Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You Somebody fill me in--when did Dolly Parton change her name to "Whitney Houston"?
07) Prince & The Revolution - When Doves Cry Something you may never have noticed about this song-: there is no bass in it whatsoever.
06) Run-D.M.C. - Walk This Way With an assist from Aerosmith, no doubt.
05) U2 - One Certainly a good song, well worthy of being in the top 10.
*04) Eminem - Lose Yourself I wish he would.
03) Guns N’ Roses - Sweet Child O’ Mine Did you know you can sing "What Child is This" to the tune of this song? Try it sometime! "What child is thiiiiis who laid t' reyyy-ust in May-uh-ry's lap is sleeping . . ."
02) Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Too high at #2, but certainly a top 20 song.
01) Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit Yes, it probably is the best--so how come so little of the music which came out after this song kicked open the doors to the "alternative nation" was judged worthy to be on this list?

Tomorrow I'll post the song I think should have been on this list, but weren't. But I need to sleep on it first.


Also at the Freep: Chevy will kill off the Cavalier nameplate in 2005. Chevy's new cheap car is expected to be called the Cobalt and to be "European styled" (read: "to look even more like the Volkswagen Jetta than the Ford Focus does"). Also, Chevy will start selling a Daewoo cheapie it's going to call the Aveo. I told you they were going to miss the Geo Metro.


The Detroit Free Press has some outstanding coverage of Ford's 100th anniversary. Be sure to check out their "5 Fords to forget" column . . .

Monday, June 09, 2003


So long, Frank Lloyd Wright.
I can't believe your song is gone so soon.
I barely learned the tune
So soon
So soon.

I'll remember Frank Lloyd Wright.
All of the nights we'd harmonize till dawn.
I never laughed so long
So long
So long.

Architects may come and
Architects may go and
Never change your point of view.
When I run dry
I stop awhile and think of you

So long, Frank Lloyd Wright
All of the nights we'd harmonize till dawn.
I never laughed so long
So long
So long.

"So Long Frank Lloyd Wright," by Simon and Garfunkel
I wonder if there will ever be any more songs written about architects--or any architects worthy of having songs written about them.


Once again, the Stanley Cup is bound for New Jersey. The Hockey Gods have spoken and they've vindicated the Jersey Trap, the worst thing to happen to the National Hockey League since the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It's not like it would have been better for the Ducks to win. I mean, come on, that's Disney we're talking about. Still, I don't the Ducks are the real losers here. Sports fans are, since now we have naught to entertain us but snkxxxx the NpbpbpbzzzzzzzBA fina68i8gtbmy2nio5

Wow, even thinking about that Spurs/Nets series made me fall asleep in mid-word.


. . . yes, I am holding back on blogging until I get the new site up and running. Bear with me; this blog is going to be so much better, you'll totally forget this period of (relative) silence.

Saturday, June 07, 2003


Shamelessly stolen from you-know-who.

When I go to sleep, you become my thief
Why don't you steal what you can keep?
But you won't let me be
You break into my dreams
And every day seems different
Sometimes I pretend you'll come back again
And you'll console the heart you stole
Have pity on the man
Who knows that you have gone
And has begun to break down

I feel almost possessed
So long as I don't lose this glorious distress then
You can take all I have left
I know it's over
If you can't be my lover
Be my thief

I'm so drowsy now, I'll unlock the door
What fades in time will hurt much more
So here's that happy scene
Where you come back to me
It's only found in fiction

I feel almost possessed
So long as I don't lose this glorious distress then
You can take all I have left
I know it's over
If you can't be my lover
Be my thief

"I didn't lead you on,
But there will always be
A little larceny in everyone

So hush and don't you cry
I'm trying to be kind
Because I have a perfect alibi"

Elvis Costello/Burt Bachrach, "My Thief"

Friday, June 06, 2003


Quelle surprise redux: the militant Palestinian group Hamas decides it doesn't want any part of Mideast peace talks.

Apparently it isn't enough for the Palestinians to win; the Israelis must also lose to satisfy Hamas. But, with the Palestinian authority pulling in another direction, maybe they'll start blowing each other up for a change.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


Serena Williams is all bent out of shape that Justine Henin-Hardenne committed a sin of omission when she failed to intervene over a disputable call that went in Henin-Hardenne's favor during their match at the French Open today. Williams was shaken by the fact that the French crowd seemed to be rooting against her.

Quelle surprise.

It's probably true that the uptight lily-white world of women's tennis doesn't understand African-American athletes very well, and I'm sure the Williams sisters have encountered more than their share of covert and overt racism in their rise to the top. They've been accused of being classless before when their only crime was exuberance, something demonstrably lacking in the tenis world. But this really is classless and smacks of sore loserdom. Sure, it was tough out there--but what does she expect? It's France, and we're in a cultural war with them. You jeer your enemies when they succeed, and you rejoice when they fail. That's just one of the basic rules of war. Too bad she doesn't understand it that well.


Umpire Tim McClelland, who discovered Sammy Sosa's corked bat, turns out to be an Iowa boy. Lessee--he lives in West Des Moines, and DQ'd George Brett and Sammy Sosa. Hmm. If I were Doug Mientkiewicz, I'd start toeing the line when McClelland was umping my game, since he seems to be taking revenge on his neighbors . . .