'American Horror' goes for a very specific kind of Seventies suburban downer ambience - 'Flowers in the Attic' paperbacks, Black Sabbath album covers and late-night flicks like 'Let's Scare Jessica to Death.' It even has 'Go Ask Alice'-era urban legends.— Rob Sheffield
The most lust Rob Sheffield quotes that will activate your inner potential
The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.
When I was a junior, my school introduced badminton, which was clearly a P.
E. department ploy to get me away from the wrestling room, and it worked, since the first time I played badminton was like the first time I tasted sushi or heard the Beatles or read Wordsworth. This was a sport? This counted for gym requirements?
When I started out as a music journalist, at the end of the 1980s, it was generally assumed that we were living through the lamest music era the world would ever see. But those were also the years when hip-hop exploded, beatbox disco soared, indie rock took off, and new wave invented a language of teen angst.
In my headphones, I led a life of romance and incident and intrigue, none of which had anything to do with the world outside my Walkman.
'The Voice' has lots of singers who fit the 'Idol' mold of young, innocent ingenues with psycho stage moms. But it also has long-suffering adult pros, with a whiff of thirtysomething despair in their voices. That adds an edge of realness.
At an incredibly divisive point in pop history, Donna Summer managed to create an undeniable across-the-board experience of mass pleasure - after 'Bad Girls,' nobody ever tried claiming disco sucked again. It set the template for what Michael Jackson would do a few months later with 'Off The Wall.'
Ron Swanson is more than the MVP of the 'Parks and Recreation' squad, more than just the funniest character on TV - he's the perfect depiction of aggrieved American manhood at the twilight of the empire.
Seeing Taylor Swift live in 2013 is seeing a maestro at the top of her or anyone's game. No other pop auteur can touch her right now for emotional excess or musical reach - her punk is so punk, her disco is so disco. The red sequins on her guitar match the ones on her microphone, her shoes and 80 percent of the crowd.
Tonight, I feel like my whole body is made out of memories.
I'm a mix-tape, a cassette that's been rewound so many times you can hear the fingerprints smudged on the tape.
Anyone watching '30 Rock' always knew Tina Fey was playing a fictionalized version of herself, a workaholic comedy writer who also plays one on TV. She's the boss; Liz Lemon just works here.
God bless America - what other civilization would give Patrick Dempsey another shot to rule as a sex symbol, twenty years after 'Meatballs III: Summer Job?' His reign as Dr. McDreamy on 'Grey's Anatomy' is proof that there's nothing we love more than giving Eighties celebs a heartwarming second stab at life.
Our lives were just beginning, our favorite moment was right now, our favorite songs were unwritten.
The sax solo as we know it today would not exist without Gerry Rafferty.
His 1978 soft-rock classic 'Baker Street' has to be the 'Ulysses' of rock & roll saxophone, giving the entire chorus over to Raphael Ravenscroft's sax solo, creating one of the Seventies' most enduringly creepy sounds.
Love dies in many different ways, and it's natural for the grass to seem greener on the other side. But it's not a competition; there's plenty of pain to go around.
You can hear the Celtic heartbeat all over Europe and America, from Bing Crosby to Jack White, from the Smiths to My Bloody Valentine, from House of Pain to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
Thanks to the greatest invention of recent years, the MP3-playing alarm clock, I can now choose the song that wakes me up in the morning.
Sending Paris Hilton to jail for being the most loathed celeprosy lesion in the history of the species seems like a happening idea at first - forty-five days at Century Regional Detention Center is so the new thirty days at Promises Malibu! But it sets a dangerous precedent to jail celebs just because someone hates them.
The first season of 'Community' stumbled a bit because the plotlines too often veered into realism, but that is not a problem anymore. Not when prize episodes concern a campuswide blanket fort, or a secret garden with a magic trampoline.
The 2000s were the time when bromance became a kind of love that dared to speak its name. As a high-water mark of bro culture, nothing can ever top the MTV series 'Bromance,' with Brody Jenner and his search for a new BFF.
It was like trying to break up with the color orange, or Wednesday, or silent e.
It was the most passionate and tumultuous relationship I'd ever known.
But MTV relishes its vestigial role as a star maker, so every year it puts all its clout into making the VMAs the biggest, splashiest, loudest show-biz extravaganza of the year, honoring all this music for existing, after a year of paying barely any attention to it.
'The Queen Is Dead' is not merely the Smiths' best album, but it is one of those timeless, perfect, inexhaustible artifacts that could only have been made by a gang of sullen, sun-deprived rock & roll boys fighting off adulthood tooth and nail.
Baseball's Opening Day is full of time-honored traditions: the President throws out the first ball, the Cubs' starting pitcher walks away with a 54.00 ERA, the Royals get mathematically eliminated from the pennant race.
You can't beat the beehive for glam punkette attitude.
Every moment of my life has a soundtrack, so I never know when some song is going to jump me by surprise and bring the memory alive.
Big Star invented a vision of bohemian rock & roll cool that had nothing to do with New York, Los Angeles or London, which made them completely out of style in the 1970s, but also made them an inspiration to generations of weird Southern kids.
You'd think if anyone could charm America into caring about the evening news, it would be Katie Couric, the Tri Delt from Virginia who became America's sweetheart on the 'Today' show. But her ratings have been dismal - she comes in last place every week.
The hungry feeling and the lonely feeling merged until it was hard to tell them apart.
Every American wants a clean slate, but nobody wants to lose what they've got.
I didn't know what I was. I didn't have a noun.
Morrissey was my Mrs. Garrett, the house mother from the Facts of Life, a soothing adult figure giving me words of wisdom.
It takes only one bad amp to turn your ears to oatmeal: That's how old hippies became Yanni fans.
Just as Bowie, Zeppelin, etc., became rock stars by remaking themselves in the image of the California girls, the Go-Gos became rock stars by pretending to be the Buzzcocks and the Sex Pistols. Jane Wiedlin always said her biggest influence was growing up in L.A. as a Bowie girl.
...some people aren't worth the trouble of being kind to, because they have neither the brains nor the power to make something for themselves out of your kindness.
One of the best moments of any Liars show is hearing the crowd squawk 'We're doomed! We're doomed!' on cue during 'We Fenced Other Houses with the Bones of Our Own.' Maybe not the most uplifting audience sing-along in the indie rock world, but one of the most reliably entertaining.
One of the billions of things I love about Beyonce: The harder she tries to come on crazy, the less crazy she sounds.
Girls take up a lot of room. I had a lot of room for this one.
If the girls keep dancing, everybody's happy. If the girls don't dance, nobody's happy.
Rebecca Black might sing like a robot, but that's just proof she has evolved beyond us. Her vocal is just a slightly exaggerated version of the robot glitch-twitch stutter that's been mainstream pop vocalese for the past 10 years or so.
There are all kinds of mix tapes. there is always a reason to make one.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is just perfect in 'Veep.
' She gets to show off the spiky claws beneath her patrician finesse. The obvious way to play 'Veep' would be to make Louis-Dreyfus a folksy heroine, one with more common sense or populist heart than her enemies. But she isn't one.
Thank you for the music, Sleater-Kinney.
This gang of three was the best American punk rock band ever. Ever.
'Drive,' that's the one. I love dozens of songs by R.E.M., but that's the one, even though it took me 7 or 8 years to start liking it.
I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language.
Being a pop fan is a lot like Catholic devotion - lots of ritual, lots of ceremony... We touch the icon to enter the sacred space, genuflecting to reliquaries and ostentatoria that make something splendid of our most secret desires and agonies.
Like any teenager who reads The Great Gatsby, probably, I was madly in love with the teacher who had opened it up for me.
Not being able to protect her from things was the most frightening thing I'd ever felt, and it kicked in as soon as we got together. With every year we spent together, I became more conscious that I now had an infinitely expanding number of reasons to be afraid. I had something to lose.