Madonna – A True Story

I buy True Blue with money from my piggy bank earned from outside chores and inside begging. This is officially the first record I’ve ever bought on my own. Other records were given to me by my mom or dad or someone else, someone supposedly in tune with music, like my surrogate aunt Nan who sometimes bangs on bongos in the nude or my Uncle Joe who plays the piano in Jersey bars overlooking frozen rivers. The cashier slips the record into a brown paper bag. This thing is mine, all mine. When I get home I’ll pull the cellophane wrapper off and slide my fingers in between the album cover, careful to avoid paper cuts, inhaling the smell of a freshly pressed record, plastic, inky material. My mom is with me. I hold her hand as we cross the street. I peek inside the bag. True Blue. I won’t play her on my fisher price record player because she is way too grown up. She’s all sex. Hips and boobs, John Paul Gautier. She dances for men, to woman, she rolls around arms and bellies and legs. I drop the needle on my dad’s record player. He’s away again so I can play her loud and for as long as I want to. I dance, roll around his sheepskin rug without pants on, in leg warmers, in my mom’s red lipstick, teased hair, neon bracelets around my ankles.

Continue reading →

The Rain Parade – Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

Originally released in 1983, “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip” by The Rain Parade is as near perfect an album I have encountered. To my ears in those days, it was the equal of Love’s “Forever Changes” or Television’s “Marquee Moon”. A stunning debut that has not been diminished with the passing of years. I am happy to say that the new remastered reissue from the label Real Gone Music only improves upon my appreciation for this sonic document.
Continue reading →

New Facts Emerge – The Fall

Released worldwide today, July 28th, the new album by The Fall, has the weight of years working against it. The group has been an ongoing concern for roughly 40 years, and New Facts Emerge is their 32nd studio album. Combine that number with the many singles, live albums and compilations that have been released, and you would be hard pressed to find a person who had not heard, or heard of The Fall. Let alone have no opinion one way or the other, regarding this new album. The lines were drawn a long time ago, love them or hate or turn an indifferent cheek, but ladies and gentlemen, the new album is a triumph.

Continue reading →