Never relent.

Nicole and I were in Northampton over Thanksgiving. We stopped into a record store to browse and stumbled upon a box full of cassettes that cost 25 cents to a dollar each, and we had to indulge. We left with $3.50 worth of old tapes that we’ve been playing in the Volvo for the last few weeks. Among our selections, most of which were released in the late ’80s:

– Metallica, …And Justice for All

Still amazing, despite the super-condensed guitars, drums that sound like tapping my fingers on a desk, and the utter lack of a bass.

– Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power

R.I.P. Dimebag.

– Kate Bush, The Sensual World

Includes an ode to her computer.

– Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill

Sen Dog always sounds constipated.

– R.E.M., Document

Yet another treasure. I think “Welcome to the Occupation” is about Guatemala, or something.

– Robbie Robertson, Robbie Robertson

The guy can’t sing but he’s written some of my favorite songs with The Band. Daniel Lanois produced this record and U2 backed some of it up; “Showdown at Big Sky” and “Sweet Fire of Love” sound like awesome U2 songs with a bad singer.

Then I found a few more of my old tapes — including an old fave, The End of Silence by the Rollins Band. I loved that album and still know every word.

Unfortunately, a decade and a half later I’ve realized that the album is very, very bad. Especially the lyrics. It’s total therapy rock.

But I’ve always admired Rollins for his honesty and intensity though he completely deficient in the subtlety department.

So… check out this rant. It’s amazing. He’s right, of course, and as always he’s intense.

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