#SNRGTR: Our favorite guitar solos

SNR-GTRStarting tomorrow – fittingly, on TunesDay – S&R will launch SNRGTR, a series spotlighting our favorite guitar work of all time. We were tempted to say “greatest,” but we’ve all read enough online lists from trolls music journalists to know where that leads.

Instead, we have kept it simple, selecting our most cherished axe moments. We’ll tell you what we love and why, we’ll share some audio and video, and even better, we have invited many of our favorite musicians, music writers and superfans to contribute, as well. Continue reading

A brief snapshot from the Information (Overload) Age


In 1993, during my first year in the PhD program at the University of Colorado, we had a guest speaker in one of my classes. The subject was information technology and the Internet. He explained that at that moment, the largest repository of stored electronic data on Earth was at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, about four miles away. That building hosted two terabytes of data.


One of my external backup drives seems to be failing, so I ventured out to get a replacement. Continue reading

SNL original cast

Who’s the greatest SNL alum of all time?

Even in its darkest hours, Saturday Night Live has served as a springboard for wildly successful careers.

SNL original castFor all but a handful of seasons Saturday Night Live has been nigh-on unwatchable. Still, it has generated a veritable conga line of major stars through the years – you may not even realize how long a line.

So this came up recently as I was hanging with some friends:

Which Saturday Night Live alum had/has had the greatest post-SNL career?

Hmmm. Continue reading

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving: a moment of symmetry in a ragged life

It’s been a strange couple of years.

In August 2013 I moved to Seattle to take a new job. I was leaving the city I love, leaving my friends and my life and diving blind into the great unknown. I’ve done this before, several times, but it gets harder as you get older, especially when it feels like you’re running from things instead of toward them. Still, I was optimistic and looking forward to the new opportunity.

Three months later – on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, to be precise – the designated sociopath from the home office in Charlottesville walked into the building, closed the office and fired everyone. Continue reading


Andrea Quenette controversy: what happened at the U of Kansas and why won’t the AP tell us?

Associated PressWhen “political correctness” and bad journalism collide…

I appreciate the fact that we live in an age where finally – finally – we have grown more sensitive on issues like race, gender, sexual orientation and privilege. (I wish I could add class to that list, but so far I can’t.) I’m sincere about this. The language we use can do more harm (or good) than I think 99% of us imagine, and we are a better society for our growing awareness of how important words can be.


We can also take this sensitivity too far. It can become a weapon for cudgeling intellectual discussion (if you’ve been watching the news lately you know which elite northeastern campus I’m referring to) and, as we’re seeing in a story this morning, a smoke machine that completely obscures any attempt at basic communication. Continue reading

Fall in Colorado: it’s been glorious

Monarch Pass, Colorado

Monarch Pass, Colorado

I love almost everything about Colorado. Almost. Sadly, the climate here tends to have very short transitional seasons, and like a lot of people who grew up in my neck of the woods (NC), my favorites times of year have always been fall and spring. I took the long, moderate, invigorating equinox seasons for granted, I guess. Continue reading

Why I’m pulling for the KC Royals tonight

Mighty Casey struck out, but Mighty KC almost never does.

Kansas City beat the NY Mets last night and lead the World Series 3-1. They can claim their first championship since 1985 with a victory in New York tonight. While I typically don’t give a damn about anything KC-related (Chiefs, Sporting, barbecue, the states of Kansas and Missouri in general) I’m really behind them for a basic reason – they’re good for baseball.

For one thing, they’re doing it without spending the GDP of a mid-sized South American nation, and when teams can succeed through smarts and hard work it’s great for everyone.

[Warning: grumpy old man alert] Continue reading

Donald Trump, Public Idiot

Are Bernie and Obama socialists? A brief primer

If you think Barack Obama is a socialist, you simply don’t know what the word means.

Donald Trump, Public Idiot

Braying jackhat doesn’t know the meaning of words.

That’s likely because you’re lazy and willing to trust those who would manipulate you for their own cynical ends, and who really could not care less about your well being. Obama is demonstrably to the right of Nixon (aside from the racist Southern strategy) and he’s not as far from Reagan as most imagine.

For that matter, Bernie Sanders isn’t nearly as socialist as he lets on. “Democratic socialist” is different from socialist. In truth he’s very much in line with European-style Social Democrat parties. Continue reading


SuperShuttle satisfaction survey: you people need to get your act together

SuperShuttle is a smoldering dumpster fire.

I returned home from vacation this morning. I had reserved a lift with SuperShuttle to save a few bucks on airport parking. Never again.

As we landed I flipped on my phone. I had an e-mail from SuperShuttle explaining how to check in on the mobile. Sweet. I followed the instructions and proceeded to the baggage claim. I was to select “Downtown” or “Not Downtown” and submit once I had my bag. Here’s where it went sideways.

  • I was instructed to go out door 505 on the east side and head over to the shuttles on island 5. I did. Found SS there, gave the guy my reservation number, he says cool, and I hop in.
  • Once in we got into the “where are you going?” process. Turns out I was in the wrong van. Continue reading

Great new music for fall: Saturday Video Roundup

Chvrches, Metric, Meg Myers and IAMX lead the charge into autumn

No major theme today – just some cool new discoveries. Let’s start with the latest from Chvrches – folks, end to end this is one of the absolute best pop CDs I have ever heard. “Leave a Trace” is the lead single and it’s the earworm from hell, but I’m not sure it’s one of the five best songs on the disc.

Continue reading

Donald Trump

RIP Yogi Berra, anchor baby

Would the GOP have deported Yogi Berra?

Item 1: Yogi died last week. He was an American icon of the first order and a legendary practitioner of the national pastime. Wikipedia sums his career up nicely.

An 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player, Berra had a career batting average of .285, while compiling 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. Widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

He probably became an even greater figure after he retired. In sum, Yogi Berra was as American as apple pie. Continue reading