My guilty pleasure

I'm not ashamed.  From today's Boston Globe, the "Guilty Pleasures" feature (scroll down to get to me) -

Birthday parties
Birthday parties are pretty stupid. Why celebrate me? I didn't do anything special that day except crawl out of my long-suffering mother. Fortunately for me, they're also rare. The last two I remember involve friends pouring pepper in my eyes during a junior-high sleepover and my college roommate throwing a party attended by people who brought their textbooks to study. Rock 'n' roll. Since then I have moped around every May 5, assuring people I don't want any attention. But secretly I hope they'll do something special for me. I know it's immature to want people to get together and sing a song for you and eat cake and stand around looking at you. It's selfish, too. People have TV shows they could be watching. Though now that I'm turning 30 (oof!) I think I'm going to go all out. I want all my friends there. I want them to get me thoughtful gifts (a new laptop, or at the very least a case of Red Bull,), and to toast what a great friend I am. No, a great human. A humanitarian, I guess. A hero of sorts. I want streamers and hats and secret guests from the past. Maybe even my favorite band. Anyone got Morrissey's phone number? Getting old is troublesome, but this year I want everyone I've ever known to band together to send me off into the horrible decline toward middle age. Oh, and ice-cream cake. That's not too much to ask now, is it? [Luke O'Neil]

Alan Jackson
I'm fully aware that my hard-earned indie-rock, cutting-edge-arts, and dark-blue-political credibility is at issue, but I love Alan Jackson. I was a latecomer, starting with 1998's "High Mileage," with its classic George Jones-ish country melodies and the great anti-Wal-Mart song "Little Man." I was spending a lot of time in Nashville then, where my boyfriend at the time was playing kind of regularly at the Grand Ole Opry. I remember people telling me about this groundbreaking song, "I'll Go on Loving You," which turned out to be as weird a song as you'd ever want to hear from a commercial country superstar. I might really dislike the guy if I ever met him in person, but I still routinely play "Right on the Money," and "Gone Crazy," loudly, while driving around not very inconspicuously in my Dorchester neighborhood. [Joyce Linehan, Ashmont Media]

Currently listening:
By Alan Jackson
Release date: 15 January, 2002