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“It’s glaringly obvious,” Reynolds writes (indisputably in my view), “that all the astounding, time-space rearranging developments in the dissemination, storing and accessing of audio data have not spawned a single new form of music.” The key word in there is data. It may be that to complain (as he does) of feeling “splayed and stuffed” when you go online is merely to say: Yes, I am middle-aged. Burrowing backward in search of retro’s first cause, Reynolds traces the reactionary roots of punk rock—its claim to be rescuing rock and roll from the bloatations of the early ’70s. Posterity may regard as the highlight of Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary Woodstock not the health warning about the brown acid, but the spectacle of Sha Na Na doing “At the Hop.” This crew, at the preeminent ’60s event, surrounded by wobbly idols and dazed wielders of the zeitgeist, were shamanistically retro.Encoded, flattened, trimmed, compressed, and abused, music in the digital age is turning its back on us. Jerry Nolan, drummer for our friends the New York Dolls, claimed the band was “bringing back the magic of the fifties! Sha Na Na channeled the ’50s by overdoing them, performing cover versions—as George Leonard, the band’s brain, tells Reynolds—at “twice the speed of the originals: I insisted we do the music the way it was remembered instead of the way it was.” The singers wore gold lamé; they bopped and jived absurdly, like celebrants of a forgotten rite.

We feel pangs for the products of yesteryear, the novelties and distractions that filled up our youth …Later he wrote the rave-culture history/manifesto Generation Ecstasy, and the exploration of post-punk avant-gardism Rip It Up and Start Again.Now he finds himself marooned in the Noughties, where pop culture runs a “deficit in newness” and everybody likes Fleet Foxes (who are similar to Crosby, Stills, and Nash).Reboots and rediscoverings—the synth, the guitar, the blues, the beard—come and go speedily, flittingly, at the rate of fashion, fashion being nothing but “a machinery for creating cultural capital and then, with incredible speed, stripping it of value and dumping the stock.” back to Sheffield, England, in 1979 to catch a performance by Ian Dury and the Blockheads.(That the Doctor—in this particular episode—mangled his coordinates and ended up in 1879, on a Scottish heath, with Queen Victoria and a werewolf, is strictly incidental.) The floating simultaneity and endless availability of all recorded music, the deadening sophistication of the average listener—these are not spurs to Art. We might of course be old farts, Reynolds and I, with old-fart ears and old-fart memories, freaked out by the world that is blossoming at our old-fart fingertips.The energy revolution will only work if massive new power lines are built across the country, but the "energy autobahns" are facing resistance from all sides.

The black stork, ciconia nigra, is very shy, especially during the spring.

"They have guys that walk around and sell it because they know police are here watching the stores," he said.

"Everyone knows who the guys are."Would legalizing marijuana curb the epidemic?

They, not Jefferson Airplane, were the future, by which I mean, of course, the past.

The irony that their early-morning set came right before Jimi Hendrix “immolating”—Reynolds’s word—“The Star-Spangled Banner” is almost too exquisite to bear. An English band once existed (inevitably, it has just reunited) called Pop Will Eat Itself.

One salutes the unkillability of these gentlemen, one reveres their work, but, honestly. Now he’s on the Bowery to see the reunited New York Dolls, more than three decades after their heyday, perform inside the Varvatos store.