Monday, January 26

Music Monday: The Manson Conviction

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Today, in 1971, Charles Manson and his girls were found guilty of the Tate-LaBianca murders and sent to prison. Charles Manson was kinda the only rock star-friendly serial killer, since he was gently connected to the music scene before heading out into the desert with his followers. There might be more music connected to him than to any other killer (excepting Jerry Lee Lewis, of course) so today we're gonna pay tribute to his conviction. Unusual? Possibly. Historically interesting? Very much so.

The Beach Boys - Never Learn Not To Love


Who wrote this song on paper? Why, Dennis Wilson, of course! It's just a coincidence that it sounds weirdly similar this Charles Manson song that Manson wrote while staying at the Dennis Wilson house. You can probably guess that the Beach Boys have never played this one on the White House lawn. Wonder why, huh?

There's more historical discussion to come, after the jump.

read more…


Tuesday, January 20

The Debunker: Did Jesse James's Gang Rob from the Rich and Give to the Poor?

by Ken Jennings

In January, we stand at the frontier of a new year. Obviously, there's no better month to remember that other mythic uncharted territory, the American frontier of the Old West! In the Western classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a newspaper editor famously says, "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." But that attitude has led to a lot of frontier lore that's just plain loco. We've asked Jeopardy gunfighter Ken Jennings to separate fact from legend--and print only the facts. Let's see if he can clean up this town.

The Debunker: Did Jesse James's Gang Rob from the Rich and Give to the Poor?

In 1882, the famed outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back by one of his gang members, Robert Ford (Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, if you saw the movie). The shooting was immortalized in the folk song "Jesse James," which takes a strongly pro-Jesse/anti-Ford stance. Robert Ford is dismissed as a "dirty little coward," while Jesse James is lauded because "he stole from the rich and he gave to the poor." "He'd never see a man suffer pain," insists the star-struck balladeer. "He'd never rob a mother or child." The song, covered by everyone from Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen, has cemented in the public mind the notion that Jesse James was a colorful do-gooder. Sure, maybe he was an outlaw, but the noble Robin Hood kind! A likable rascal!

read more…


Monday, January 19

Music Monday: Happy Birthday To...

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Do you even know how many musicians were born on January 19th? The answer is ALL OF THEM! So Scott's picked five birthday-havers you might know of and enjoy today. Here's the first...

Dolly Parton - Jolene


She was an odd mix of stylish purity and trashy hillbilly well before Miley jumped on that train. Dolly Parton has always, and will always be cool. Her pop songs are reasonably okay, her country songs are excellent, and she even covered Stairway To Heaven! She's a national treasure and everybody should wish her a great birthday. PERIOD.

More famous musicians listed inside. Come join the birthday party!

read more…


Friday, January 16

A Crappy Change

by Sam Kemmis

Adam Smith said, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” And, if he had lived in today’s world, he almost certainly would have added “erstwhile deal-a-day e-commerce subsidiaries” to that list. 

Which is all highfalutin preamble to saying that we’re raising the price of the Bag Of Crap by $2 and not improving the quality whatsoever

read more…


Thursday, January 15


Wednesday, January 14


Tuesday, January 13


Monday, January 12

Music Monday: Cold

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Are you cold? Scott's cold. Scott's so cold he's writing a Music Monday about it. But you probably figured that part out already, didn't you? You're so smart.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Winterlong


Is Winterlong a proper name? Is winter-long an amount of time? No one can fully say, and possibly no one is supposed too. Maybe Our Hero was waiting on a hippie princess or maybe he spent the whole winter missing someone. Either way, the coldness of being alone is reflecting in this icy-sad song.

Put on your warmin' hat and get a hot drink, because there's four more after the jump. See you inside...

read more…