Blondie Week – Day 5: Video Vault: “Heart of Glass”

TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK’S RELEASE OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  PARALLEL LINES, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE FOURTH AND FINAL INSTALLMENT OF BLONDIE WEEK BY AUTHOR KEMBREW MCLEOD! Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” music video doubles as an allegory of their journey from the margins to the center of pop culture. It begins with a series of establishing shots of New York City’s streets, moving from Lower Manhattan to midtown and finally zeroing in on Studio 54. “The beginning of ‘Heart of Glass’ is a shot of the outside of Studio 54,” Blondie guitarist…

Blondie Week – Day 4: The Origins of “Heart of Glass”

TO CELEBRATE TODAY’S RELEASE OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  PARALLEL LINES, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF BLONDIE WEEK BY AUTHOR KEMBREW MCLEOD! “Heart of Glass” was one of the first songs Chris Stein wrote for Blondie in 1974, and it was included on their 1975 demo as “The Disco Song.” Valentine recalled, “It was a joke, sort of. It was ironic—that’s the way I always took it—because it was just called just ‘The Disco Song.’” Blondie had largely abandoned this trifle until Parallel Lines producer Mike Chapman asked…

Blondie Week – Day 2: Clem Burke’s Punk Hair Tips

TO CELEBRATE THE UPCOMING RELEASE (MARCH 24th) OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  PARALLEL LINES, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE SECOND INSTALLMENT OF BLONDIE WEEK BY AUTHOR KEMBREW MCLEOD! Blondie drummer Clem Burke often prepared for CBGB gigs by applying a motley combination of DIY hair products: beer, sugar water, or whatever else was around. He then placed his head inside a preheated oven until his ’do baked to perfection. “You would put the back of your head in the oven,” Burke explained, matter-of-factly, “kind of leaning back in a chair.”…

Blondie Week – Day 1: Excerpts from Blondie’s Fan Mail, circa Parallel Lines

TO CELEBRATE THE UPCOMING RELEASE (MARCH 24th) OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  PARALLEL LINES, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF BLONDIE WEEK BY AUTHOR KEMBREW MCLEOD! After Parallel Lines went multiplatinum, the number of adolescent fans outnumbered the group’s adult hipster contingent by a wide margin. We can get a glimpse of Blondie’s new audience by combing through the “Pen Pal” section of their fan club newsletter (which was run by a young Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who later fronted the L.A. cowpunk group The Gun Club). Blondie’s Pen…

Video Vault 95: The Feelies

In celebration of the reissue of the 2 vastly underrated albums The Feelies recorded for A&M – 1988’s Only Life and 1991’s Time for a Witness – here is the music video for “Doin’ It Again,” a choice track from the latter record. It’s the rare music video that features a percussionist eating corn on the cob. Enjoy it, Nick [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjj7bIlaUGw]

Video Vault 94: Joanna Newsom

Is it weird that last year’s Divers might be my favorite Joanna Newsom album? There’s stiff competition for that title, to be sure. Newsom’s debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender, is more singular, and the subsequent Ys and Have One on Me boast more formal ambition. On her fourth album, though, Newsom’s approach is much more inviting for the uninitiated. Barring the 7-minute title-track, the songs on Divers are manageable in length (no 17-minute epics about skin this time around) and among her most sonically approachable. It’s a winning tact for an auteur whose work can sometimes be intimidatingly conceptual. That’s not to say Divers is lacking in grandeur, however;…

Video Vault 93: Sunday Never Ends

Everyone knows Macaulay Culkin from his string of classic films in the 90s, notably the peerless first two movies of the Home Alone series, but not enough people know of his appearance in the Harmony Korine-directed music video for Sonic Youth’s “Sunday.” And so here it is. Have a good weekend, all – be glad it’s not Sunday just yet. Enjoy, Nick [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CXD8PK6Djc]