Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Help Paul Williams

Called by many the “father of rock criticism” after founding Crawdaddy Magazine at the age of 17, crucial early champion of Philip K Dick, author of the underground classic Das Energi, confidant of John Lennon, biographer of Bob Dylan and traveling companion to the Grateful Dead, Paul Williams has lived a half dozen remarkable lifetimes, and his work as rock critic, holistic philosopher and avant-garde underground gadfly forms a unique and indespensible link through the past 40 years of pop and rock culture.

In 1995, Paul Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident, leading to early onset of dementia, and a steady decline to the point where he now requires full-time care. The burden on his immediate family has been immense.

Donations are currently being accepted over at PaulWilliams.com to help out with the family's expense. Fans of Sixties' music will undoubtedly be familiar with Mr. Williams and the magazine he founded, Crawdaddy! Basically, this was the first serious Rock magazine on the scene, predating even Rolling Stone by a year and a half. Mr. Williams' contributions to the cause of great Rock music have been enormous, and as such, I am calling on all you Children of the Sphere to help his family out, even if it's just a dollar or two.

And while you're over there, click on the "Writings" tab, scroll down a little bit and treat yourself to every issue of the original Crawdaddy! magazine, completely scanned and free of charge! I J-Pinnacle insist these are mandatory required reading for all denizens of my blog. Now go forth and feed your mind on some serious first generation rock crit!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here in Your Bedroom - 126 PowerPop Hits of the Modern Rock Era

Compilation (various artist)

Well if the last few months of doing this blog have taught me anything, it's that the people that read it aren't interested in anything recorded after 1982. Try as I might, my last series of offerings (Phantom Planet, Top 100 Hip-Hop Songs and the Wu-Tang Clan EP) were total stiffs, sparking only a handful of downloads and zero total comments. Yet my Who and Beach Boys comps are still flying off the shelves, loosely speaking. I'm starting to sense a pattern here.

Anyway, after tossing around the idea of abandoning this blog entirely, I decided to at least go ahead and share one other comp of songs not hailing from the pre-CD era before giving up all hope. Contained here, 126 of the catchiest Alternative/ AOR/ Modern Rock hits of the last 15 years. If you can't find something to like on these, you'd better check your pulse.

The set starts off with Silverchair's 1995 grunge-gum classic "Tomorrow" and navigates through the highs and lows of mainstream rock radio, ending up on a sullen note with Death Cab for Cutie's 2008 hit "I Will Possess Your Heart". In between, you'll hear dozens of songs you remember but lost track of somewhere along the line, by artists with names like Nada Surf, Spacehog, Semisonic, Kula Shaker, Vertical Horizon, Three Doors Down, My Morning Jacket, Goldfinger, Jimmy Eat World and over a hundred others. If you've ever banged your head along to one of those "Buzz Ballads" ads on TV, this is sorta like that, only like a hundred times better because it contains pretty much anything anyone would want to hear from the years 1995-2008 that got played on Rock and Alternative radio.

We've been spinning this set non stop around my house lately, and you may find yourself doing the same if you give it a chance! Especially recommended as a starting point for those of you who've been hiding under a rock for the last 15 years and want to get caught up: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6