Sometime Close To Infinity: The Airborne Toxic Event at Lollapalooza

The Airborne Toxic Event
Lollapalooza, Chicago – August 3, 2014

You weren’t lucky enough to be at that show. You’ve never even seen the band live. But the show is in your Top 10 Concerts list all the same. You cry each time you watch the video, filmed brilliantly.
The band elevates a simple stage with duct tape Xs and spotlights churning drunkenly across it. They elevate it to something close to Heaven with nothing more than instruments.
The crowd is invested from the first note in a way that is now rendered obsolete. Hands are raised, guitars are plugged in, and the crowd cheers as though they’ve been waiting their whole life just for this.
It's the kind of show that can break your heart and put it back together again, make you realize the reason you stayed alive this goddamn long. This kind of passion pounds through your computer speakers, your headphones, your television set. You didn’t have to be there to feel a fraction of it, but you wish you were.
The rain starts to fall heavi…

The Year In Review: 2018

2018 was a banner year for me. Despite cries of all new music being terrible (and yes, a lot of it is - looking at Post Malone and Florida Georgia Line specifically), there were some real gems released this year. Enough to include a few runners-up!

Runner Ups The Struts – “In Love With A Camera” An over-the-top, bombastic blast of British rock that hasn’t been this good since The Darkness. The trope of girl-obsessed-with-fame has been done many times from “Fallen Angel” by Poison to “Lucky” by Britney Spears, but it’s never sounded this carefree. The Struts played the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with their song “Body Talks,” but this one wins for the perfect mix of passion, power, and good old fashioned glam rock n’ roll. Proving rock isn’t dead in 2018.
Makes sure the light’s only hitting her good side / Ain’t just the flash that will knock me blind

Sabrina Carpenter – “Sue Me” A slinky kiss-off to an ex that made her life hell and then hated on her for moving on. A song that starts …

The Year In Review: 2017

My 20th Year In Review caps off a year that should have been better. Musically, politically, and emotionally.
UPDATE 1/21/2018: In an unprecedented move, I'm revising my Top 10 of the year list and moving a few songs to runner up status. Some songs were too good not to include here.

10. The Killers - "The Man"

A disco-glitter nod to David Bowie's "Fame", old-school Vegas, spangled cowboy boots, and fringe. Brandon Flowers is one of the best frontmen in rock music today - one of the very few people under 40 years old who can be classified as a "Rock Star" in capital letters. Try not to dance to this one.

I know the direction, the lay of the land
I know the score like the back of my hand
Them other boys, I don't give a damn

9. Ed Sheeran - "Galway Girl"

Ed can summarize my love for this song as only he can: "They [his record label] were really, really against 'Galway Girl,' because apparently folk music isn't cool. But ther…

The Best Performances of All Time: David Bowie @ Live Aid

I'm beginning a new column where I highlight some of the best live performances in the history of rock music. And this is the performance that inspired me to do so. 
Date: July 31, 1985
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England Tour: LIVE AID 
Setlist 1. TVC15 2. Rebel Rebel 3. Modern Love 4. Heroes
There is an elegance, an intimacy about the performance that's almost unheard of from a rockstar with a capital "R". And yet. It's a performance for the ages, reaching past the nosebleeds to the entire world - a billion viewers via satellite. It's the slow build, the hope that we can beat them, just for one day. There's roughly six minutes of perfection before we're brought back down to the dirt, but there's that sweet hope he embodies. And we kissed, as though nothing could fall.
The intimacy comes from the music's driving beat and the synthesized guitars that reach towards heaven. Bowie has the power to make you - yes, you - think he is singing just to y…

Meghan's Best 100 Songs of the 1980's

A few years ago, I came up with a definitive list of the Top 100 Songs of My Life, but why not break it down even further?

The decade of decadence, excess, power ballads, new wave, and the birth of rap.

I chose these songs based on two criteria - their impact on my life and their impact on the world of music in general. Chart performance (or "fame") was taken into account as well, but not a main reason.

1. Skid Row - "I Remember You"
2. Melissa Etheridge – “Like The Way I Do”
3. Huey Lewis & the News- "The Heart of Rock 'N Roll"
4. John Waite – “Missing You”
5. U2 – “With Or Without You”
6. Great White - "Save Your Love"
7. Whitesnake - "Here I Go Again"
8. The Smiths - "Unloveable"
9. Bruce Springsteen - "The River"
10. Bon Jovi - "Stick To Your Guns"

11. Guns N Roses - "Paradise City"
12. Bryan Adams - "One Night Love Affair"
13. Bonnie Tyler - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"
14. Th…

The Year In Review: 2016

The Year In Review: 2016 

The 19th anniversary of my Year in Review finds us at a crossroads. Most of us will agree that we wish we could undo 2016 as a year. We lost so much at the hands of this trash fire year, especially musically. The most notable (and terrible) musician deaths of the year included David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles. Despite it all, we were blessed with some incredible albums and songs - proving that amongst the ashes, some beauty remained.
10. Joey Cook & the Partyraddlers – “Bones”
A shockingly unique song in a world of carbon copy songs. There's elements of indie rock with Americana folk, a gothic song with a sense of dread. Lead singer Joey Cook had an impressive run on American Idol in 2015, making it to the Top 6 with quirky covers of "Fancy" (Iggy Azalea) and "King Of Spain" (The Tallest Man on Earth). Recently she's sang with Postmodern Jukebox, but if this is any indication, it's her solo mat…