Author Archives: Robert Burke Warren

About Robert Burke Warren

Robert Burke Warren (@RBWUncleRock) is a writer and musician. He's written for Texas Music, Brooklyn Parent, The Woodstock Times, Salon, the Good Men Project, the Bitter Southerner,Paste, The Rumpus, The Bitter Southerner, Chronogram, and the Da Capo anthology The Show I ‘ll Never Forget. His debut novel, Perfectly Broken, is out now from The Story Plant. robertburkewarren.com

WannaBowies: The Top Twenty Bastards of Bowie

David Bowie, like the Beatles and Bob Dylan, long ago achieved the status of adjective. For Monday Rock City, Robert Burke Warren lists the Top Twenty Bowie Bastards, i.e. the most Bowie-esque soundalikes, stretching from the 70s to the ‘aughts. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, David must be feeling pretty special right about now. Continue reading

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Hasten Down the Wind: Adventures in Babysitting, 1977

What to do when you’re 12 and a mysterious, beautiful, troubled woman moves in next door with her four-year-old? You babysit, of course! RBW offers some more summertime musical memoir. Continue reading

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The Worst People in America: Donald Rumsfeld

A trillion dollars and countless lost lives later, the Rumsfeld delusion endures. Continue reading

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Love & Mercy and the Saving of Brian Wilson

Beach Boy Brian Wilson, musical genius and cultural icon, should have died, but did not. Someone saved him. Who, exactly, did the saving is up for debate. In any case, hot new biopic Love & Mercy, fleshes out the less-familiar trope of “saving the artist,” and our own Robert Burke Warren digs that. Continue reading

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Song Beneath the Song: Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue”

Bod Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue,” from his 1975 classic Blood On the Tracks, is unfinished. Always has been, always will be. Its incompleteness, however, is part of its power. It is no accident. Dylan engineered “Tangled Up In Blue” to be open-ended, unsealed, and shape-shifting, not unlike a jazz composition. He tinkers with it, sometimes radically reinventing it, both lyrically and melodically, to this day, making it one of the most resilient, resonant unfinished songs ever. Our own Robert Burke Warren gets deep into this distinctive, odd nugget from the Dylan canon. Continue reading

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Bigger Than Jesus: The Gospel of U2, Leonard Cohen, and Sufjan Stevens

Robert Burke Warren goes deep into his own story to talk about the persistence of God in pop, and how and why non-believers and doubting Thomases still go for it. Continue reading

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A Song Shall Lead (and Annoy) Them: “Let It Go” from Frozen

“Let It Go” crystallizes something intense and very real but otherwise formless, and little kids, who, bless them, do not know from “cool,” love it more than any other song, ever. Even boys. For the first time in history, boys do not categorically run from a Disney princess. They are drawn to Elsa. I am fortunate to bear witness to all of this, and so are you. At the risk of overstating it, it feels historic. Continue reading

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In Defense of Disco

At its height, the “Disco Sucks” movement drew fifty-nine thousand people to a Chicago stadium to watch a shock jock explode LPs, inciting a full-on riot of mostly white dudes. WTF? Our Robert Burke Warren, who became enamored of disco in the lusty confines of a Catholic school broom closet, writes about the music that arrived at the same time as his teens, and how it inspired him. Continue reading

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Confessions of a Crybaby

Crying is good for you, but sometimes it’s hard to manage, especially when it’s intense and you’ve got stuff to do. Robert Burke Warren comes clean about being a crybaby, the good, the bad, and the redemptive. Continue reading

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