Music therapy

Layne Staley, 12 Years Later

April 12, 2014 Addiction

“What’s my drug of choice? Well, what have you got?” –Layne Staley, Alice in Chains This month marks 12 years since Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley was found dead. Mood music: Like Kurt Cobain, Staley had a big impact on me in the early 1990s. But while I identified with Cobain’s depression, I identified […]

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20 Years Ago: The Day Kurt Cobain Died

April 5, 2014 Addiction

I remember exactly where I was 20 years ago today, when I saw the news flash about Kurt Cobain’s suicide. I was lying in bed, depressed and reclusive because of frequent fear. Mood music:  I was living in Lynnfield, Mass., at the time. I had a room in the basement, just like I had in Revere. […]

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RIP, Oderus Urungus

March 24, 2014 Music therapy

As a troubled kid, I had a special appreciation for Gwar. For the lost soul in need of metallic rock therapy, these guys delivered. What’s more, they were perfect for when heavy-duty escapism and entertainment was required. I’m sad to hear that Dave Brockie — a.k.a Oderus Urungus — has died at age 50. Mood music: Brockie […]

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Rock and Metal Christmas Songs

December 12, 2013 Music therapy

I dislike most rock ‘n roll Christmas songs. The Kinks asking Father Christmas for money? Not a fan. Billy Squier singing that Christmas is a time to say I love you? Hate it. I love those artists, just not those songs. Though I’m a heavy metal fan, I have to admit Christmas songs of that genre […]

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Getting The Band Back Together (Sort Of)

October 2, 2013 Music therapy

As some of you know, I sang in a band called Skeptic Slang in the early 1990s. I’ve also been playing guitar religiously for the past year. A former bandmate has decided to start playing again as well, which can mean only one thing: The band is back together. Mood music: Well, sort of. We […]

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Songs That Mattered After 9-11-01

September 7, 2013 Coping tools

Like so many other times in my life, music made the difference between sanity and insanity. I focus a lot on the metal. But in the weeks after 9-11, I turned to a broader group of musicians to help me along. They did their jobs well, helping us all see that it was OK to […]

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On My Sixth Birthday, the Ramones Changed Everything

August 27, 2013 Music therapy

I’m tickled to discover that my birthday is a special day to The Ramones, too. Turns out, yesterday was also the 37th anniversary of the band’s debut album. They were always an important band for me, especially after I learned that Joey Ramone was a fellow OCD sufferer. Mood music: I owned multiple Ramones albums […]

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Review: Pop Gun’s “American Soul”

June 6, 2013 Music therapy

Music is one of my main coping tools, and I’ve latched on to a new CD from some old friends that I know will get me through the stresses of a new job and the slow commute that goes with it. I’ve already determined that Pop Gun’s American Soul is an excellent soundtrack for ensuring […]

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Is It Better That They Died?

May 22, 2013 Music therapy

A conversation with friends last night about Ray Manzarek’s death led to talk about Jim Morrison and other musicians who died young. The question we asked aloud was what would Morrison, Kurt Cobain and others have done with their music had they been afforded longer lives? Mood music:  Five To OneThe DoorsWaiting For The Sun […]

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Thanks And Godspeed, Ray Manzarek

May 21, 2013 Music therapy

I was shocked yesterday to hear that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away at 74 following a long bout with cancer. The importance of his music on me can’t be overstated. Mood music:  The EndThe DoorsThe Doors Jim Morrison always gets much of the credit as a member of this band, […]

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