2 Articles
Tom Long

I’ve wanted to write about the record The Strain by Teeth for some time now, but given the subject matter, I’ve never quite been sure how to approach it. For those who are familiar with the compelling story of John Grabski, creative force behind the short-lived duo, I certainly can do no better than what has already been written.

Through the benevolent powers of the internet, John found a community to share his story of his battle with cancer. Shortly before his death, he recorded a seven-song LP with his brother Ben and Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. It’s an unvarnished document of his fight with cancer: the medicine and surgery, the hope and vulnerability, the struggle to make sense and learning how to deal with the limited time one has. The project adopted the motto Rock vs. Cancer; Rock Wins, which captures the spirit of the record.

Tom Long

Is it me for a moment?

I’ve become a huge fan of The Best Show on WFMU hosted by the irascible Tom Scharpling. The call-in show has been on the air for about a dozen years, although I’ve only been listening to the podcast for the past few. It’s a formula I instantly fell in love with. Tom starts the show with a mix of indie rock and Led Zeppelin sandwiched between two theme songs, puts down his producer AP Mike, threatens to quit and then takes calls from a cast of regulars and people who don’t always have much to say. Frequent guests have been people like comedians Julie Klausner and John Hodgeman and musicians like Ted Leo. If you haven’t heard this show, check it out.

Lately Tom has been playing cuts from the Deluxe Edition version of The Who’s 1973 classic album Quadrophenia, which came out in November. The Director’s Cut edition is available on Amazon.com for only $133.78.