Counter-Culture History, 1969-1972: ‘The Smith Tapes’

Image: Princeton Architectural Press

The 1960s were such a time of obvious change in the United States. Portions of society lost their innocence, while others were empowered. Music often made a statement, and drugs influenced lives. What was life like at the end of that decade, and at the turn of the 1970s? The boundless optimism of earlier in the ’60s had disappeared, and times, they were a’changin’. The best way to learn about a certain time is to go straight to the source. Continue reading

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 14: Edging Closer to Darkness

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It’s Radio Free Hipster time again, my friends, and this one features an intoxicating mix of old favorites and new hotness. I think you’re going to enjoy it. I also think you look really nice today. Continue reading

‘Compose Yourself’ and Compose a Masterpiece

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Music is often considered to be another language, and, if that’s the case, then our literacy in that language can be defined by our ability to read musical notes and piece together a composition. But we all have to start somewhere. And if Mozart is Shakespeare, then Compose Yourself is more like Dr. Seuss, helping kids discover and become aware of the sounds and patterns of the musical language. Continue reading

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 13: Lucky Number

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Experience the pleasure that can only be found in the music of Canada’s pride and joy, Jesse Dangerously and the Wordburglar, with brief sojourns back to the proverbial day with Optimus Rhyme and MPFM. All that and more can be found in this edition of Radio Free Hipster. Continue reading

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 9: The Livin’ Is Greasy

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The first Radio Free Hipster of the summer includes talk about Mikal kHill and Tribe One’s ‘two weeks notice,’ commemorates the recent passing of Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, and gives props to Weird Al’s longtime drummer, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz. Continue reading

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 8: Joyous Rapture

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The last couple of weeks have been–What’s the word?–oh yeah, brutal. However, in this episode I have elected to play totally against type and focus on the positive. For the most part. Hey, I’m as surprised as you are. Continue reading

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 1: Starting Over

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Radio Free Hipster is back, in part, because I offered to return as a feature of GeekDad’s ongoing Patreon campaign. But it’s also back because making and distributing a curated, narrated, custom mixtape for even a few disparate friends and listeners is something I enjoy. I hope you enjoy it too. Continue reading

The Nerdy Dozen: 12 Indispensable Albums of 2014

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I probably reviewed fewer albums in 2014 than I have in, like, a decade. But that doesn’t mean I was at all short of quality music over the past 12 months. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a dozen of my favorite releases from calendar year 2014. Continue reading

How Great Can This Day Be: Lori Henriques Makes Music for All Ages


When it comes to music, young children like simple rhythms, funny rhymes and repetition. A lot of repetition. They can listen to the same thing over and over forever. And they will. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself listening to insipid drivel that will make you want to stab your eardrums with a pencil, unless you proactively seek out the good stuff. Lori Henriques writes the good stuff. Continue reading

Marian Call: Yippee Ki Yay


Marian Call, my favorite geek songstress, has released a new holiday EP titled Yippee Ki Yay. Like most of Marian’s catalog, this release is an eclectic mix of tracks, eight in all, that emphasize her voice and witty writing style. The album opens with Marian’s acapella rendition of Ave Maria which I’ve had the privilege of hearing live. What follows is a delightful path through the beauty and comedy of Marian’s work. Continue reading

All in the Family: GeekDad Interviews Hip Hop Family Tree‘s Ed Piskor

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Three of my favorite things are comic books, documentaries and hip hop music, so when I discovered Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree I was in heaven. In anticipation of the upcoming HHFT box set, Ed was nice enough to talk with me via email about the project itself and the unique kinship between comics and rap that it represents. Continue reading