Pearl Jam - Vs. (1993) album cover

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

While the nation should be celebrating another win by my Rutgers Scarlet Knights, apparently it’s considered bigger news that Notre Dame is back at #1 for the first time in 19 years. In fact, almost exactly 19 years. Before this week, the Fighting Irish last held the top spot in college football in the poll released November 16, 1993.

To put all of this into context, here’s what was going on in the world of American pop culture the last time Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world.

Top 10 Movies

Addams Family Values (1993) movie poster1. Addams Family Values
2. The Three Musketeers
3. Carlito’s Way
4. My Life
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
6. Man’s Best Friend
7. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
8. The Remains of the Day
9. Cool Runnings
10. A Perfect World

Will you look at that — the top movie of the week was not only a sequel but an adaption from an old TV show. First time for everything I guess.

Top 10 TV Shows

1. 60 Minutes
2. Home Improvement
3. Roseanne
4(t). A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion and Coach
6. Murder, She Wrote
7. Seinfeld
8. Murphy Brown
9. Grace Under Fire
10. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

The saga of Brett Butler and Grace Under Fire is a sad one indeed. It’s also proof positive that Chuck Lorre actually knew how to create and produce comedies with real substance at one time.

Top 10 Albums

Pearl Jam - Vs. (1993) album cover1. Pearl Jam, Vs.
2. Frank Sinatra, Duets
3. Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell
4. various artists, Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles
5. Mariah Carey, Music Box
6. Janet Jackson, janet.
7. Billy Joel, River of Dreams
8. Eazy-E, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa
9. Too Short, Get In Where You Fit In
10. Toni Braxton, Toni Braxton

I own and listen to just one album on this list, and you can probably guess which one if you are a regular here.

Top 10 Singles

1. Meat Loaf, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”
2. Janet Jackson, “Again”
3. Ace of Base, “All That She Wants”
4. DRS, “Gangsta Lean”
5. Xscape, “Just Kickin’ It”
6. Salt-N-Pepa, “Shoop”
7. Bryan Adams, “Please Forgive Me”
8. Mariah Carey, “Hero”
9. Zhane, “Hey Mr. D.J.”
10. Mariah Carey, “Dreamlover”


The New York Times Best-Selling Fiction Books

1. Robert James Waller, Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend
2. Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County
3. Stephen King, Nightmares & Dreamscapes
4. Anne Rice, Lasher
5. Tom Clancy, Without Remorse
6. Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven
7. Dick Francis, Decider
8. Dean Koontz, Mr. Murder
9. Ken Follett, A Dangerous Fortune
10. Tony Hillerman, Sacred Clowns

I can’t offer much of an opinion on any of these books. I’ll probably get around to the Stephen King at some point. Same for Lasher, although it’s already been a few years since I tackled the book that came before, The Witching Hour, and I haven’t really had a burning desire to return to the series.

The New York Times Best-Selling Non-Fiction Books

1. Rush Limbaugh, See, I Told You So
2. Howard Stern, Private Parts
3. Jerry Seinfeld, SeinLanguage
4. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, The Hidden Life of Dogs
5.  Betty J. Eadie with Curtis Taylor, Embraced by the Light
6. Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
7. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years
8. William Shatner with Chris Kreski, Star Trek Memories
9. M. Scott Peck, Further Along the Road Less Traveled
10. Erma Bombeck, A Marriage Made in Heaven… Or Too Tired for An Affair

I was a huge Stern fan back in the ’90s, so not only did I buy and love the Private Parts book, I loved the movie too.

People found this post by searching for:

    "1993 pop culture", "pop culture 1993"

Listening Booth — The New Mastersounds, “You Mess Me Up”

The New Mastersounds - Out on the FaultlineWith all the crap I’ve been dealing with thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I’ve had precious little time for music listening. And that means I haven’t been able to really dig into the new record from the New Mastersounds, Out on the Faultline.

I mean to correct that today, and the first step is sharing the official video for the first song off the LP, “You Mess Me Up.” It’s a fun video for an even funner song. That’s right, funner.

The group’s last album, Breaks from the Border, made my 2011 year-end best of list, and I have a feeling this one will too.

Out on the Faultline is available now! And if you’re on Spotify, you can check out this track and most of the ones featured in my Listening Booth series by subscribing to this playlist.

Sunday Jazz: Fantastic New Music from Negroni’s Trio — On the Way

Negroni's Trio - On the WayOne of the downsides to so much good music coming out this year is that I don’t get nearly enough time to enjoy or write about everything I want. And so I’ve been remiss in mentioning one of the many great new albums from this year — On the Way by Negroni’s Trio.

I very recently discovered the trio — Puerto Rican-born pianist José Negroni and his son Nomar on drums, as well as a rotating bassist — through the magic of the internet and they are my favorite current jazz act. In many ways they’ve supplanted The Bad Plus as my go-to group for adventurous, muscular jazz. If you really want to get technical, you can consider their music Latin jazz, but that’s just a label. What it is is stirring, melodic, daring music that any music fan can appreciate.

On the Way — the group’s seventh album — was recorded live at the Miami-Dade Kendall Campus Theater in Miami, Florida. That means you get the spark and intimacy of a top-notch live jazz show, but it’s so flawlessly executed you’d swear it was recorded in the studio.

Joining the father-and-son Negroni team is Josh Allen on bass, as well as saxophonist Ed Calle (four tracks) and violinist Federico Britos (one track). For your listening enjoyment I’ve updated my Sunday Jazz on GFS Spotify playlist with two of the record’s most potent tracks — “On the Way” and “Blue Forest.” But really, all 10 songs are worth your time.

On the Way is out now on AA Records & Entertainment. You can visit Negroni’s Trio on their website or follow them on Twitter at @NegronisTrio.

"On Iowa" - W.R. Law, 1919

Vintage College Football Sheet Music (1890s – 1930s)

While most of my Football Friday posts focus on the National Football League, I don’t want to forget the college game. After all, that’s where American football got its start — and where it was most popular up until about the mid 20th century.

So for something a little different, I’ve pulled together a gallery of vintage college football sheet music covers, most of which feature timeless school fight songs. Why sheet music, you ask? Honestly, I have no idea. But you know I love old ephemera, so that’s all the reason I need really.

"Football; Or, Misery and Mud" - W.G. Eaton/Wal Pink, 1894

“Football; Or, Misery and Mud” – W.G. Eaton and Wal Pink, 1894

"The Victors" -  Louis Elbel, 1899

“The Victors” – Louis Elbel, 1899

“The Victors” is the fight song of the University of Michigan.

"Hip-Hip-Hoo-Ray" - F.R. Kimball, 1902

“Hip-Hip-Hoo-Ray” – F.R. Kimball, 1902

"Three Times Three for Harvard" - Richard Inglis/William H. Smith, 1902

“Three Times Three for Harvard” – Richard Inglis and William H. Smith, 1902

"The Rush Line" - A.M. Hirsh, 1900

“The Rush Line” – A.M. Hirsh, 1900

"On Iowa" - W.R. Law, 1919

“On Iowa” – W.R. Law, 1919

“On Iowa” is one of three fight songs currently used by the University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band, along with “Iowa Fight Song” and “Roll Along Iowa.”

"Roll On, Tulane (The Olive and Blue)" - Marten Ten Hoor and Walter Goldstein, 1925

“Roll On, Tulane (The Olive and Blue)” – Marten Ten Hoor and Walter Goldstein, 1925

"Football Freddy (My Collegiate Man)" - Edgar Leslie and Con Conrad, 1930

“Football Freddy (My Collegiate Man)” – Edgar Leslie and Con Conrad, 1930

"I Fell Asleep at the Football Game" - Abner Silver, Al Sherman, and Al Lewis, 1935

“I Fell Asleep at the Football Game” – Abner Silver, Al Sherman, and Al Lewis, 1935

"Maybe It's Love" - Sidney D. Mitchell, Archie Gottler, and George W. Meyer, 1930

“Maybe It’s Love” – Sidney D. Mitchell, Archie Gottler, and George W. Meyer, 1930

This is the title song from a 1930 movie starring Joan Bennett, Joe E. Brown, and James Hall. The draw here was the inclusion of 11 members of the 1929 College Football All-America Team, seen on the cover.

No Doubt

Listening Booth — No Doubt, “Settle Down”

No Doubt

It’s been waaaay too long since we got new music from No Doubt, but I guess Gwen Stefani was busy raising kids and releasing stupid clothes. But finally, after more than a decade without new music, the band is back and set to release Push and Shove in September. Here’s the first single from the record, “Settle Down.”

Sounds like classic No Doubt to me, although not as traditionally rock as from around the Tragic Kingdom era. But it’s poppy, fun, and catchy, and that’s all we can ask for at this point. Welcome back!

Listening Booth — Wings, “Magneto and Titanium Man” (live, 1976)

Today is Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday, so in tribute I want to share one of my favorite tunes from Macca’s post-Beatles career. It’s a live version of “Magneto and Titanium Man,” from a 1976 concert at the Kingdome in Seattle. The original cut can be heard on the excellent Venus and Mars album from Wings. This take made it onto a 1980 McCartney home video release, Rockshow, which hasn’t seen a proper DVD issue as far as I know.

Storm Corrision (2012)

Listening Booth — Storm Corrosion, “Drag Ropes”

Storm Corrision (2012) album coverIf you’re a fan of either Porcupine Tree or Opeth, you’ve known for  years of the great musical kinship between Steven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt. They’ve guested, produced, or mixed on each other’s band’s albums, but only now do we get the first true collaboration between them — the self-titled debut of the Storm Corrosion project.

I’ve listened to the album several times already and it’s utterly engrossing. It sounds little like Porcupine Tree or Opeth, which is a good thing. The only time you really get a sense of the other bands is in Åkerfeldt’s guitar playing, which is reminiscent of Opeth’s more mellow moments.

Anyway, one of my favorite songs on Storm Corrosion is the first one — and lead single –“Drag Ropes.” I don’t know how to describe it other than the lost soundtrack to a great Tim Burton film, or maybe the animated “The Tale of the Three Brothers” sequence from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. It’s atmospheric, eerie, and completely mesmerizing.

Storm Corrosion is out now on Roadrunner Records. Get it!

Also, Spotify users can hear “Drag Ropes” and other songs featured in the Listening Booth by subscribing to this playlist.


“Headlong Flight” — NEW RUSH SONG!


Let’s just get down to it, people. “Headlong Flight” is the first official track released from the upcoming Rush album Clockwork Angels. And yea, verily, it rocketh quite hard.

Behold! “Headlong Flight” via Rolling Stone.

Love the fact that Rush brought back Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce, as he did a bang up job on Snakes & Arrows. Geddy, Neil, and Alex all sound as energetic as they have in at least 20 years. Looks like I need to set aside some money to see this tour.

People found this post by searching for:

    "rush headlong flight review", "headlong flight review", "new rush song"

Listening booth — Simple Minds, “This Fear of Gods”

OK I’ll admit it — I’m one of the many dumb Americans whose knowledge of Simple Minds starts and stops with “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and “Alive and Kicking.” But I’m been forced to dig deeper thanks to Slacker, which introduced me to this excellent song. It’s “This Fear of Gods,” from the band’s excellent third album, Empires and Dance.

This is some seriously thick, dark stuff. It has the same propulsive, eerie feel of early Talking Heads and seems to predict the indie dance-pop revival of the last decade. Don’t be turned off by the 7-minute running time. This thing goes by in a flash.

As a matter of fact, just get the whole damn album. But for now, enjoy “This Fear of Gods.”