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  1. about 17 hours ago on Frazz

    When I was in high school and college at the end of the 1980s, I drove a ‘75 Chevy Nova with a 350 cu in engine. It had terrible fuel efficiency, but in those days I had no appreciation of the damage fossil fuels were causing to our environment and gas was cheap (it got down to 69 cents a gallon when I was a senior in high school). And the car was fast. I didn’t make a habit of drag racing, but on the rare occasions when someone stopped next to me at a red light wanted to race, I usually left them in the dust (one exception being a Corvette that I ran even with until I had to drop back because I needed to make a turn from his lane). My friend and I once tried to figure out the car’s top speed (its speedometer only went to 100 mph, and at top speed the needle was well past that), but we weren’t very confident of our results (I think it was somewhere in the 130 mph range).

  2. 9 days ago on Get Fuzzy

    I wonder how many people recognized that reference to Love of Chair from the Electric Company? I wouldn’t have myself if I hadn’t bought the DVDs for my daughter. My own memories of the show were a bit spotty (some of the things I remembered clearly were Tom Lehrer’s “Silent E”, Letterman, and Spiderman), and anyway I think Love of Chair was mostly from the years before I started watching.

  3. 9 days ago on Peanuts

    As Gummo noted, they/them has a long history of use as an indefinite singular pronoun.

  4. 13 days ago on Peanuts

    Not true of “most” news media, just of certain propaganda sites. While the major media sources often get some details wrong, sometimes present news in a problematic way, or once in a while get things totally wrong, in the vast majority of cases they are reliable as to the basic facts. A lot of what is spread on social media, on the other hand, is about is reliable as Peppermint Patty’s story about Lincoln.

  5. 13 days ago on Ink Pen

    Red headed? There was this guy with hair of sort of a weird orange color, but I wouldn’t have called it red. And no “research” is necessary for people who actually followed the news as it happened. For those of who did that, it was obvious that he accomplished nothing worthwhile, and the “accomplishments” he claimed were either made up or involved taking credit for what others had done. Unless, of course, you consider things like ruining America’s standing abroad, exploding the national debt to benefit the wealthy, undermining democracy and rule of law, and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths due to his mismanagement of the pandemic to be “accomplishments”.

  6. 22 days ago on Pooch Cafe

    Fair enough; taste in music is pretty subjective. For me, the sound on And Then They Were Three was a bit muddy, though there were certainly some good songs (“The Burning Rope” is probably my favorite from that album). I think Duke was an improvement sound-wise, and they still did many of the songs in the old style. Abacab was the biggest break from their early sound, though as I’ve said it was a change that I liked (and it still had a few complex songs like “Dodo/Lurker”).

  7. 23 days ago on Pooch Cafe

    Yes, there’s certainly a vocal segment of fans who have that view, but it’s really a pretty narrow-minded one. They have said many times, and I for one think it is the truth, that they never consciously became “commercial”, they just started writing more concisely (while still occasionally doing ten-minute songs). They also made use of new sounds, new equipment and new technology and Tony, Mike and Phil started writing by jamming together, and those things also inevitably made some difference in what they produced.

    While some fans for would have only been happy if they’d done the same kinds of songs using the same equipment that they had in the early 1970s, most musicians get tired of doing the same things over and over. And while some fans may only like one genre of music (prog, in this case), most musicians like a broader variety of music. There’s nothing wrong with pop; after all, the band that inspired most of the prog musicians of those days, the Beatles, were essentially a pop band, though they were the most inventive one of all time (and one that also evolved musically over time). I think a lot of those early Genesis fans could learn to appreciate the band’s 80s output, if they’d listen with an open mind, rather than hoping for “Supper’s Ready II”.

  8. 26 days ago on Pooch Cafe

    They were good after Peter Gabriel left as well; their musical style just evolved. Their first post-Gabriel albums were just as solid “prog rock” as the early ones, and while they moved in a pop direction, it remained thoughtful pop, and they still did prog-flavored songs. “Home by the Sea” and “Domino” – and, yes, even “That’s All” and “Land of Confusion” – are as good in their own way as “The Musical Box”. And by going solo Gabriel was free to explore sounds he couldn’t in a band context, so it was really a win-win.

  9. 27 days ago on Monty

    Are you just being facetious? Plenty of rock stars were “political” before “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Just to name some of the more obvious examples, there was Neil Young’s response to Kent State (the CSNY song “Ohio”), a number of songs by Bob Dylan (e.g. “Hurricane”) and John Lennon (e.g. “Give Peace a Chance”), and George Harrison’s “Bangla Desh”, not to mention countless other anti-war and pro-civil rights songs.

  10. 27 days ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Yes, I agree about both the general tendency of people to prefer the music of their youth (hence my own fondness for a lot of 1980s music) and the fact that there are a lot of exceptions. There was even a well-publicized study to the effect that for after sometime in our 30s we mostly stop listening to new music, though again there will always be exceptions.

    While his taste may be unusual for his age, I applaud your son’s fondness for Queen and Weird Al, and while I haven’t listened to the one They Might Be Giants compilation in my collection more than a few times, when I pulled it out recently I found I liked a lot of their songs.

    Adele’s music is actually somewhat retro; a lot of it has a late 1960s, early 1970s soul/R&B vibe. Aretha Franklin even covered her “Rolling in the Deep”. Lady Gaga also has done songs in a variety of styles. As your son might be able to tell you, she actually got her stage name from a Queen song, and Queen’s Brian May played on her “You and I”, another song that wouldn’t be out of place on a playlist of 1970s rock.