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Author Archives: BJ Johnson

Tom Waits – the Onion AV Club Interview

In this excellent Tom Waits interview by Keith Phipps for the Onion AV Club, we learn the origins of the phrase “Today you will play jazz, tomorrow you will betray your country,” that honey doesn’t spoil, and that his kids turned him on to Blackalicious (but he can’t attend shows with them because that would be too embarassing). For example: ... Read More »

The Spaghetti Western Roadtrip

If yer planning a roadtrip, bring along Ennio Morricone. Read More »

My Cabbie Recommends Tom Jones – Reloaded

We were on the way to punk rock karaoke at Annies, the “best bailbond bar in town.” Our cabbie wanted to know. “Real punk rock” or merely “punk-influenced pop?” “I mean, are you gonna sing Black Flag?” Then, perhaps following up on an unspoken question about the authenticity of Talking Heads, “I heard a great one yesterday on KALX,” he ... Read More »

Second Look: Human Nature (DVD).

To the extent critics noticed Charlie Kaufman's Human Nature when it was released last spring, it was mostly to pan it. For their part, movie-goers stayed away in droves. We put it on our Netflix list anyway ... and were pleasantly surprised. Read More »

New Ground Zero Designs Are Inspiring

With the new designs for the ground zero site revealed yesterday, the seven teams of architects outdid themselves. Read More »

Flying Too Close to the Sun.

We fried four turkeys Thursday. I think they're digested by now. We also fried twinkies. Read More »

Live Music: Ornette Coleman Plays a Mean Violin.

For the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Ornette Coleman brought his violin, his trumpet, his electric turquoise suit - and a slate of new songs written for the occasion. Read More »

Emusic Review: The Month’s Top Downloads (and the Bands Got Paid!)

This is a music review with an agenda – to promote online music services that work. It is possible to design a downloadable music business in which the artists get paid royalties and the fans get what they want – quality downloads, no hassle and a fair price. At the moment, unfortunately, Emusic is the only service I’ve found that ... Read More »

Robbing the Future

Dan Bricklin, co-inventor of Visicalc, discusses how copy protection could "break the chain" of archival techniques that has existed for thousands of years. Read More »

Rhapsody: They Still Don’t Get It

Rhapsody is a $10 per month jukebox ... chained to my computer. But I’m just not going to pay for a jukebox unless it comes with the saloon. Read More »