Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

Articles by Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

Anthems For Today: Devo’s Freedom Of Choice At 40

At the start of 1980, the fate of synth-pop superheroes Devo was uncertain. Demo tapes had already garnered the Akron, Ohio natives a glittery fan base including David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and saw their 1978 Warner Brothers debut Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! produced by none other than maverick Brian […]

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Hawkwind’s Warrior On The Edge Of Time: A Special Kind Of Ingenuity

Before Joy Division and The Normal took inspiration from J.G. Ballard cyber-punk science fiction, Hawkwind were collaborating with one of the writing genres creators,

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The Staying Power Of The Eurythmics “Be Yourself Tonight”

Eurythmics Be Yourself Tonight 35

You can honestly count on your fingers (and maybe your toes too, if you are being generous) the number of bands who have several albums that are now timeless records- Albums that could have been put out fifty years ago or today- it doesn’t matter. The ideas, the innovation, the lyrics, and arrangements are fresh […]

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A Look Back At ‘We Are The World’ 35 Years Later


In 1984, BBC journalist Michael Buerk did a series of reports covering what he described as ‘the closest thing to hell on Earth’ – the horrific famine that was impacting Ethiopia. Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldolf was deeply affected by the video footage streaming across his television screen- of images taken from the humanitarian crisis- […]

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The Fresh Funk And Psychedelic Swirl Of Prince’s Around The World In A Day Turns 35


By the mid-1980s, Prince had entered the stratosphere few could penetrate. The success the previous year of his star making film Purple Rain proved that the one-named wonder could be compelling on an international scale across both screen and recorded mediums. The accompanying soundtrack album had produced a myriad of global hits, showcased Prince’s virtuosity […]

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I Do, I Do, I Do: The Omnipresence Of ABBA

For me, ABBA has always been there. I don’t know if my mom listened to the Swedish sensations while she was pregnant with me, or if the albums were just on constant rotation in our house. Either way, their music has been interwoven into the tapestry of my consciousness and arguably the hive mind of […]

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The Indelible Legacy Of Elliott Smith’s Figure 8

It does not seem like two decades ago that I arranged and attended Elliott Smith’s in-store performance at Amoeba Music in San Francisco. It was 2000, the dawn of a new century. The store, formerly a bowling alley, had the resounding echo cascading off the walls of “click, click, click,” as hundreds of people simultaneously […]

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Blackalicious: The Sounds Of Hope

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis. It was not my first choice of schools. In fact, I did not get to contemplate where I went to school; that was dictated by my parents. They were both UCD alumni, and that was really my only option. Within 24 hours of moving […]

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The New Abnormal: A Guide To The Strokes

The Strokes first burst onto the consciousness of cool spotters at the start of 2001. I worked for a record label at the time and spent much of my day either in or talking to various independent records stores around the US. A friend at one of these stores gave me The Strokes EP The […]

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Surviving Isolation Part 2: Dance To Janet Jackson

If you are unlucky enough to have a birthday that has fallen or is about to happen during the lockdown, it is easy to get majorly bummed out about it. I am big on celebrating the day I graced this planet, and usually start prepping any and everyone, from the bartender at my local pub […]

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