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Author Archives: Mike Daley

Why the Grateful Dead Were the Greatest American Rock Band: A Polemic and Top Ten List

The Grateful Dead may be, in the fullness of time, seen as the greatest American rock band. At this moment, I believe that they are. Shouts of protests immediately leap to mind: “But, but…the three B’s – Beach Boys, Byrds, Buffalo Springfield!” “The Velvets, duh!?”. Indeed, to posit the good ol’ Grateful Dead as the greatest of all American rock ... Read More »

Four more years? Blame Dave Matthews.

Now that four more years is all but in the bag for Bush, it’s time to do what all right-minded citizens of the world are, or should be, doing this morning. Laying blame. I guess I could blame the neo-con media, who buried the truth at every turn. But it seems that the main issue in this election was not ... Read More »

Epiphone “Bob Marley” Guitar

I was thumbing through a copy of the abysmal Singer magazine when I stumbled upon this guitar: This is a Les Paul Special guitar “inspired” by the legacy of Bob Marley, manufactured by Epiphone. Who would buy this guitar? For one thing, it’s got a guy’s face emblazoned on the front. Furthermore, it has Jamaica flag colour fingerboard inlays. Lastly, ... Read More »

Elvis the first?

I had no idea that the anniversary of the recording (or is it release?) of Elvis Presley’s version of “That’s All Right Mama” was going to be so heavily covered in the popular press. Apparently some people are asserting that this was the first rock and roll record. The question of “what was the first rock and roll record” is ... Read More »

Christian Bök – Eunoia

Last night I was thumbing through Christian Bök’s lexical experiment Eunoia. I picked this book up, with its accompanying CD, at Word on the Street in Toronto a couple of weekends ago. The deal is that Bök (pronounced “book”) has written a novel that uses the five vowels, but only one chapter at a time. So chapter one is “A”, ... Read More »

Alan Lomax and Harry Smith

Listening to Alan Lomax’s Sounds of the South box set. Being a compilation of southern US vernacular musical styles, it invites comparisons to Harry Smith’s Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music. It’s a completely different animal, first of all, because Lomax’s collection is all field recordings, most done by Lomax himself with a portable tape or wire recorder, in churches, ... Read More »