Rob Sheffield quote

"When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free."

Rob Sheffield

Born: February 2, 1966

Occupation: Journalist

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Rob Sheffield

When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free.

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Rob Sheffield

Unlike me, Renee was not shy; she was a real people-pleaser. She worried way too much what people thought of her, wore her heart on her sleeve, expected too much from people, and got hurt too easily. She...

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Rob Sheffield

The Word 'Repulse': I hate this word. I believe 'repel' is a perfectly good word, and 'repulsion' is the noun, as well as the title of an excellent Dinosaur Jr. song. A compulsion compels you; an impulse...

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Rob Sheffield

It's always that one song that gets to you. You can hide, but the song comes to find you.

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Rob Sheffield

I realize that I will never fully understand the millions of bizarre ways that music brings people together.

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Rob Sheffield

But the answer is simple. Love is a mix tape.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

Monogamous musicians are like vegan hockey players.

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Rob Sheffield

But bringing people together is what music has always done best.

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

She was the first person on either side of her family to go to college, and she held herself to insanely high standards. She worried a lot about whether she was good enough. It was surprising to see how...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

The way I pictured it, all this grief would be like a winter night when you're standing outside. You'll warm up once you get used to the cold. Except after you've been out there for awhile, you feel the...

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Rob Sheffield

One of Renee's friends asked her, "Does your boyfriend wear glasses?" She said, "No, he wears a Walkman.

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Rob Sheffield

It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t kill you maims you, cripples...

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Rob Sheffield

The hungry feeling and the lonely feeling merged until it was hard to tell them apart.

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Rob Sheffield

Our lives were just beginning, our favorite moment was right now, our favorite songs were unwritten.

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Rob Sheffield

Morrissey was my Mrs. Garrett, the house mother from the Facts of Life, a soothing adult figure giving me words of wisdom.

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Rob Sheffield

You know the Prince song where the girl's phone rings but she tells him, "whoever's calling couldn't be as cute as you?" I long to live out this moment in real life.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

'American Horror' is the debasement of the suburban family, the way a lonely kid would have imagined it in the Seventies.

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Rob Sheffield

Celebrity despicability is a precious thing.

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Rob Sheffield

Donna Summer would be remembered as a ground-breaking artist today even if she'd retired the day after she recorded 'I Feel Love' in 1977.

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Rob Sheffield

'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.

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Rob Sheffield

Every American wants a clean slate, but nobody wants to lose what they've got.

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Rob Sheffield

'I'll Tumble 4 Ya' has to be one of the most ridiculous hit singles that any international superstars have given the world.

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Rob Sheffield

I've built my whole life around loving music. I'm a writer for 'Rolling Stone,' so I am constantly searching for new bands and soaking up new sounds.

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Rob Sheffield

It takes only one bad amp to turn your ears to oatmeal: That's how old hippies became Yanni fans.

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Rob Sheffield

Like most fans of 'So You Think You Can Dance,' I wouldn't know a pasodoble if it beat me with a rake.

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Rob Sheffield

Madonna was so flamboyant in terms of her look, her style, her public pronouncements, her religious taboo-smashing.

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Rob Sheffield

One nice thing about growing up Catholic is it makes you open-minded about other people's religions, since ours is nuttier than yours.

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Rob Sheffield

Thank you for the music, Sleater-Kinney. This gang of three was the best American punk rock band ever. Ever.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

We all get as miserable as Erika M. Andersen sometimes, but we rarely approach her musical-ideas-per-miserable-minute ratio.

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Rob Sheffield

You can't beat the beehive for glam punkette attitude.

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

Ronnie Spector's hair was taller and meaner and scarier than all four Shangri-La's combined, plus the drummer from the Honeycombs. You just know her rat-tail comb was a switchblade.

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Rob Sheffield

'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...

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

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....

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

Davy Jones was the grooviest of the Monkees, which makes him one of the grooviest pop stars who ever existed. He was the best dancer in the Monkees, the Cute One, the one with the coy English accent, the...

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Rob Sheffield

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'...

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Rob Sheffield

Hometown Aerosmith fans are different from other Aerosmith fans, and that mainly has to do with Joe Perry. It's tough to overstate his strange grip on the local psyche. Tyler is a star who belongs to the...

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Rob Sheffield

I will always love the Clash, because I loved them so much when I was fourteen, and I love how you can start a conversation with almost literally any dude about the Clash.

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Rob Sheffield

In the old days, when a star left a still-thriving hit show, they'd celebrate by killing him or her off. But 'The Office' dispatched Michael Scott in a crueler and more final way: they made him normal....

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Rob Sheffield

In their heyday, the Pet Shop Boys were the Interpol of the Eighties, dressing up to sing really weird pop songs about lust and loneliness in the big city. They're low-pro now, not retro-worshipped in...

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Rob Sheffield

It goes without saying that 'Buncha Losers' comedies speak to tough times. The massive unemployment of the Reagan years gave us 'Taxi,' 'Cheers' and the genre-defining 'Night Court,' a show you could never...

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Rob Sheffield

It was R.E.M. who showed other Eighties bands how to get away with ignoring the rules - they lived in some weird town nobody never heard of, they didn't play power chords, they probably couldn't even spell...

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Rob Sheffield

It's kind of amazing how popular 'Grey's Anatomy' is. What other show can boast such an annoyingly sincere cast of doctors, sniveling through such perfunctory love triangles?

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

Like many other touchstones of twenty-first-century pop culture, 'The Sopranos' was hatched in the late Nineties, predicting a future that never arrived. It was designed for a decade that would be just...

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Rob Sheffield

Most of an award-show host's job is showing up and keeping a cool head and soldiering through it, whether it's the Oscars or the Hallmark Channel's 'Hero Dog Awards.'

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Rob Sheffield

On 'Idol,' Steven Tyler will be sitting at a table with two other judges, and part of his job will be keeping his yap zipped while they talk. This makes no sense at all, since Tyler has zero yap-zipping...

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Rob Sheffield

Our amour fou with 'The Sopranos' is headed for long-term parking, like so many of its most memorable characters. We'll never see a show like this again.

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

'Revenge' is a shameless soap in the style of Eighties shoulder-pad slap-offs like 'Dallas,' 'Dynasty' and 'Falcon Crest.' Yet there's no wink-wink camp.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

'So You Think You Can Dance' comes on as a high-minded leap up the evolutionary ladder from other reality shows - on this one, you're supposed to learn something, and the guest judges are fellow dance...

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Rob Sheffield

That's the secret of 'True Blood' - all the creatures that roam Bon Temps become a metaphor for our insatiable lusts and inner desires. Humans craving what they can't have and those secret appetites transforming...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

'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...

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

'The Sopranos' gets praised as novelistic, but it follows the most banal of life patterns, showing the sheer tedium of being a mobster. It has dead spots, boring plotlines, weak episodes. Characters develop...

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Rob Sheffield

'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....

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

When Ke$ha tries to rap like L'Trimm, she sounds like any ordinary lonely teenage girl stuck in a nowhere town, singing along to her radio and dreaming of a party where she's the star. Ke$ha's greatness...

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

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...

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Rob Sheffield

I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language.

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Rob Sheffield

I didn't know what I was. I didn't have a noun.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

Like any teenager who reads The Great Gatsby, probably, I was madly in love with the teacher who had opened it up for me.

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Rob Sheffield

...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.

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Rob Sheffield

A song nobody likes is a sad thing. But a love song nobody likes is hardly a thing at all.

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Rob Sheffield

I get sentimental over the music of the ’90s. Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I’m concerned the ’90s was the best era for music ever, even the stuff that I loathed at the time, even...

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Rob Sheffield

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....

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Rob Sheffield

I was totally clueless about social interaction, and completely scared of girls. All I knew was that music was going to make girls fall in love with me.

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Rob Sheffield

It was bewildering and humbling to keep discovering how many brave things people can fail to talk themselves out of doing.

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Rob Sheffield

Falling in love with Renee was not the kind of thing you walk away from in one piece. I had no chance. She put a hitch in my git-a-long.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count the music to bring me back, or more precisely, to bring her forward.

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Rob Sheffield

Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of life.

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Rob Sheffield

I was the only kid at Camp Don Bosco who would admit he was an alter boy back home, so I served two masses a day all summer. But I loved the cassock and surplice, ringing the bells, lighting the candles...

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Rob Sheffield

Somtimes you lie in a strange room, in a strange person's home, and you feel yourself bending out of shape. Melting, touching something hot, something that warps you in drastic and probably irreversible...

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Rob Sheffield

Girls take up a lot of room. I had a lot of room for this one.

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Rob Sheffield

But the rhythm of the mix tape is the rhythm of romance, the analog hum of a physical connection between two sloppy, human bodies.

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Rob Sheffield

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.

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Rob Sheffield

Rock stars did not invent burning out. They just do it louder.

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Rob Sheffield

There are all kinds of mix tapes. there is always a reason to make one.

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Rob Sheffield

The dilemma of the eighth-grade dance is that boys and girls use music in different ways. Girls enjoy music they can dance to, music with strong vocals and catchy melodies. Boys, on the other hand, enjoy...

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Rob Sheffield

When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.

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Rob Sheffield

If all music did was bring the past alive, that would be fine. You can hide away in music and let it recapture memories of things that used to be. But music is greedy and it wants more of your heart...

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Rob Sheffield

The Stones suggested that if you dabble in decadence, you could turn into a devil-worshipping junkie. Paul McCartney suggested that if you mess around with girl worship, you could turn into a husband....

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Rob Sheffield

I'd shut the whole world down just to tell you

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Rob Sheffield

If the girls keep dancing, everybody's happy. If the girls don't dance, nobody's happy.

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Rob Sheffield

Sometimes great tunes happen to bad times, and when the bad time is over, not all the tunes get to move on with you.

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Related quote

Rob Sheffield

When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free.

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Rick Danko

You put a song on the record or on tape and you stop singing it. You just don't sit around and sing it anymore unless you're performing. That's kind of sad.

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Levon Helm

Most of our stuff was trial and error. You live with a tape recorder, you turn it on, you play the song and you listen to it.

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Nancy Werlin

But just now, he'd gotten on his knees and proposed marriage, like in a television commercial for a diamond ring. Except of course they had the roll of duct tape instead, which, when you came to think...

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Derek Landy

You have no idea about presents or what they mean. The last present you gave me was a stick.” “You wanted a weapon.” “It was a stick.” “It had a bow on it.” “It was a stick.” “I thought...

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Milarepa

When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the...

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Stephen Chbosky

Patrick started driving really fast, and just before we got to the tunnel. Sam stood up, and the wind turned her dress into ocean waves. When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got scooped up into a vacuum,...

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Mira Grant

Sarah turned her narrow-eyed gaze on him, making me glad once more that Antimony's comic books got it wrong, and telepaths can't actually kill you with their brains. Give you a whopping headache and earworm...

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Eddie Vedder

If at noon you sit down and there's just silence or blank tape, in an hour if you have a song, that didn't exist an hour ago. Now it exists and it might exist for a long time. There's something empowering...

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Bill Bryson

So here I am, my affections torn between a postal service that never feeds me but can tackle a challenge and one that gives me free tape and prompt service but won't help me out when I can't remember a...

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Jon McGregor

If you listen, you can hear it. The city, it sings. If you stand quietly, at the foot of a garden, in the middle of the street, on the roof of a house. It's clearest at night, when the sound cuts more...

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Michael Specter

People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can't set them free. Not even the truth will set them free.

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Corey Clark

This is basically the last resort. I've been painted into a corner, and now I've sort of got to lay it all out in order for things to be straightened up. I've tried to move on with my life and my career...

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Frank Lampard

When you take a lot of stick you want to ram it down people's throats.

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Zack Snyder

When Reality is a prison, Your mind can set you free.

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Michael Weatherly

But that was my very first time on a set and they said, you know, you have to stand on a mark. That little piece of tape that you stand on is called a mark. I kept correcting them and telling them that...

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Richard Hammond

You can stick a BMW badge on a dead cat - and people would still buy it.

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Aaron Eckhart

A GOOD old-fashioned sex tape pretty much guarantees you a star on Hollywood Boulevard.

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Corey Clark

In order for me to get through all the red tape and just allow people to just get at my talent, I've got to set the record straight. And you can't set half the record straight; when you tell it, you've...

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Beck

Set your guitars and banjos on fire and before you write a song smoke a pack of whiskey and it'll all take care of itself.

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Taylor Swift

The difference between a good song and a great song is a good song is one that you know, you'll put on in your car or you'll dance to it. But I think a great song you'll cry to it, or you get chills. I...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss