See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Media Blackout 

MB117 salutes the world's greatest rock critic!

Lester Bangs — 1948-1982 (RIP) :: Has it been 25 years already?

Elvis Presley – "Hey Jude" (RCA) :: Words can't even begin to describe the dire depths of this appalling aural indignity. Never has a major recording artist been more embarrassingly out of his league both vocally and aesthetically. When Elvis momentarily stops singing toward the end, rather than try and hit a high note, you want to stand up and cheer. No wonder RCA waited until he was dead before they released it.

Jeremy Fisher – Goodbye Blue Monday (Aquarius) :: Jeremy sounds so much like Paul Simon that you won't believe your delicate little shell-like ears. Except Simon never sang a line like: "She runs guns, everyone wants guns, there she goes." But he should have.

Paul Simon – "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" (Columbia) :: Blow him away, Kay.

The Love Kills Theory – Happy Suicide Jim (Xemu) :: Catchy convulsive pop songs that take their quirky fuzztone cue from Pretties For You. The "Jim" in the album title refers to conniving cult crackpot Jim Jones. The red Kool-Aid pitcher on the album cover that's smiling and waving and looking so fine refers to an impending lawsuit by Kraft Foods.

Buck Brothers – Me (Back2Forward) :: Ron Mael writing for the Diodes? That's how schizoid this album is! Inspirational lyric: "My time has come, I'm gorgeously stupid, I can't remember my name. I'm gorgeously stupid and I think you're just the same."

Sparks – "Everybody's Stupid" (Columbia) :: That's for sure.


Neil Young – Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise) :: What's really interesting is how downright gabby the singer is between songs as he previews the yet to be released Harvest. And although I initially chalked such loquaciousness up to shy hometown nervousness, the torrent of piercing glass-shattering high notes he unleashes on "Down By The River" and "Ohio" proved me wrong.


Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to

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October 21, 2020

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