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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: story of the album


Smith’s ‘World’ offers safe exploration

My West Virginia hometown hugs the Ohio River and has many recommending features, but it’s not what we would call a hotspot for live music. Michael W. Smith hails from …


A soundtrack for childhood memories

I was going on 13 when I started listening to “Tea for the Tillerman.” It was 1971. We’d recently escaped the rat race, as my parents called it, and moved …


Purim opens strange, sensuous world

We all had fruit crates: Splintery wood, stapled labels with oranges and melons and maidens, and, inside, hundreds of record albums, which were – even as the crates became cases …


Robbins’ ballads, writer’s life follow same trail

The first record I recall is Marty Robbins’ “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.” We lived in a trailer my family dragged to road construction sites. What drew me was the …


‘Pyromania’ lights fire in young Leppard fan

“Gunter, glieben, glauchen, globen.” I barely remember life before age 13, before hearing those nonsensical words from Def Leppard’s 1983 breakout album, “Pyromania.” The teenage son of my mother’s friend …


Smiths provide soundtrack for loss, longing

Weirdly, I don’t remember where I got my first Smiths album. I don’t even really know how I discovered them. They certainly weren’t in rotation on any of the radio …


For the ‘Dog Problems’ of youth, nothing beats unapologetic pop

Recently, there was a thread that came across my Facebook feed that posed the question “What’s the one album you had wished you’d written?” Scattered answers ranging from “Kid A” …


Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti’ gets better with age

When Led Zeppelin’s only double studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” debuted back in February 1975, it made nary a blip on my radar. As a 7-year-old, my interests leaned more toward …


Kellogg brings family into focus

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers’ self-titled 2005 release helped me realize it was OK to get married. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that, not even my wife. As …


West’s ‘808s’ changed hip-hop, perspective

With his 2008 album “808s & Heartbreak,” Kanye West injected a distinct brand of introspective emotionalism into hip-hop and created an incidental sub-genre (see: Drake) in its aftermath. Those in …


Story of the Album: Nothing channels pain, pleasure like Metallica

A letter to the members of 1984 Metallica: James, Kirk, Lars and Cliff – who I realize is not alive: I did not listen to your band when I was …


Turned on by ‘Turn the Radio Off’

I ripped the cellophane from the CD on New Year’s Eve 2000, grinning at the big “Parental Advisory” sticker on the front and chuckling to myself at the picture of …


Story of the Album: Blues best cure for any ailment

I was a skinny, white, blue-eyed kid from Spokane with long, platinum blonde straight hair who couldn’t even play a flutophone worth a hell. Johnny Winter was a skinny, white, …


Conquered by ‘King of America’

When I was a teen in Spokane in the 1980s, there weren’t many chances to hear Elvis Costello. My only exposure to his music was through MTV, which finally arrived …