Rest in peace, Adam Schlesinger: The Wonders, “That Thing You Do!” (1996)

Word circulated late this afternoon that Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the group Fountains of Wayne and composer of the music for TV's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, passed away at the age of 52. The cause of death was complications from the COVID-19 virus. Schlesinger was nominated for Oscars and Tonys, and won Emmys and Grammys. The Grammy … Continue reading Rest in peace, Adam Schlesinger: The Wonders, “That Thing You Do!” (1996)

What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)

(Above: Map of most popular girls' names by state forty years ago.) I was having some fun on my radio show last week. (I should mention: there is now a weekly radio show.  It's called "Rock School with Len," and it airs Thursdays at 10am Eastern on WCKS Radio, the student station at Grand Valley … Continue reading What’s in a name? Mike Doughty, “27 Jennifers” (2008)

Going to the jack-o-lantern: Lyrics misheard by children, young and old

(Above: The lack of a pumpkin on the sleeve should have been my first clue.) I've always been one to judge a song by its lyrics. I should clarify that: if the song has lyrics, I want them to be great. (I'm a sucker for a terrific instrumental, but even then I probably start making … Continue reading Going to the jack-o-lantern: Lyrics misheard by children, young and old

Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

In the last post, I talked about working in both retail and in radio.  In both careers I got to deal with people, often at their worst.  I also worked on or around Christmas in both jobs, and it is for that reason that I think I never truly appreciated the holiday like I did … Continue reading Christmas on the air: The songs I hated – and loved – to play

Movin’ out: Songs of Relocation (Various)

(Above: Celebrating the first night in the new home with what's available.) You'll notice that creative output of this blog has tapered off in the last several weeks.  That's because my wife and I have been in the process of packing up everything we own (and some things we don't but are caretakers for) and … Continue reading Movin’ out: Songs of Relocation (Various)

Graduation and the Top 40: Adrian Kimberly, “Pomp and Circumstance” (1961)

(Above: The author, 31 years ago, leaving high school.) I've been to a lot of graduation ceremonies.  From eighth grade through earning my PhD last year I've had the opportunity to participate in several.  In my role as a faculty member at GVSU I'm invited to attend them every term.  I don't go every time, … Continue reading Graduation and the Top 40: Adrian Kimberly, “Pomp and Circumstance” (1961)