For Independence Day: Jimi plays the Star-Spangled Banner!

Backyard American Flag / photo credit / CC BY

Here's Jimi Henxrix playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock, 1969. And if that's not enough for you, check him performing it on the 4th of July in Atlanta!Jimi Hendrix - Star-Spangled Banner, Woodstock Festival, August 17, 1969Jimi Hendrix - Star-Spangled Banner, Atlanta, July 4, 1970Have a happy and safe 4th of July, everyone! - Denise … [Read more...]

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 Tour

Ticket to Ride - Larry Kane

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles 1964 Tour That Changed the World by Larry Kane Backbeat Books / October 28, 2014 / 978-1480393042 / 272 pagesIn conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' 1964 tour of America, Backbeat Books has republished Larry Kane's insider's view, Ticket to Ride. Just 21 years old, Larry was the only American reporter to accompany the … [Read more...]

(Music Review) IR 29.1: New Generation Dub

IR 29 - New Generation Dub

One of the biggest crimes committed by the music industry has been their ability to co-opt, dilute and turn even the most radical of genres into something safe for mass consumption. Disco, punk and rap have all been taken and watered down so they would sell in Peoria. Even worse is how the industry corrupts these forms, turning them inside out, so instead of preaching against … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Music of the Sahara: Tinariwen’s new album Emmaar

Tinariwen - Emmaar music review

In the early 1960s the creation of artificial borders in the trackless wastes of the Sahara desert might have been cause for celebration among the inhabitants of the newly created countries. However, the throwing off of colonial masters in Niger, Mali, Algeria, Morocco and others, also resulted in turmoil for the nomadic people who had called the region home for close to a … [Read more...]

Review: The Doors Examined by Jim Cherry

The Doors Examined

The Doors Examined by Jim Cherry / Bennion Kearny Limited / paperback / 978-1909125124 / 240 pagesJournalist and author Jim Cherry has a long history with rock 'n' roll journalism, and currently writes the column, "The Doors Examiner." The Doors Examined includes some of those columns, along with material seen here for the first time.A huge amount of information is … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Soutak by Aziza Brahim

Soutak by Aziza Brahim

At first glance the Sahara Desert of North West Africa seems like one of the most inhospitable places on the face of the earth. Movies, and other Western media, usually show us images of trackless wastes, endless miles of sand dunes dotted with the occasional oasis and scrubby plants. However, this supposed barren land has been home to various nomadic people for centuries. … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devil’s Tale

Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia - Devil's Tale

When the Ottoman Empire invaded Eastern Europe they brought more than just their armies with them. Even today evidence of their occupation can still be found. Muslim communities in Serbia are only the most obvious reminder of their one time rule as traces of their cultural influence can still also be seen in other, more subtle forms, including musical influences. The invading … [Read more...]

(Music Review) Acá: Viggo and Friends

Aca - Viggo Mortensen and Friends

Some people say, "Politics make strange bedfellows" (Don't say it to Putin - he might take it the wrong way and have you thrown in jail) but the first time I heard Viggo Mortensen had collaborated on an album with the notorious, infamous, riotous, speed metal, punk, over the top guitar player Buckethead, I thought politics has nothing on music. The idea that the actor, poet and … [Read more...]

Review – How Music Works by David Byrne

David Byrne

We all listen to music. Maybe we only have it playing in the background, use it to help us sleep or meditate, or perhaps you sit and listen to it carefully. However, no matter how or why you listen, it can't help but have an effect on you. The majority of us just take it for granted that we enjoy the music we listen to and never really stop to think why. While we can talk about … [Read more...]

Music Review – David Broza: East Jerusalem West Jerusalem

David Broza - East Jerusalem West Jerusalem

There are some subjects I know not to talk to most people about, because they probably won't like what I have to say on the matter. Always having been slightly left of most anarchists I'm supposed to hold to certain opinions in order to not let the side down. Yet, I've always been of the opinion that being an anarchist means you can have whatever opinion you want and not have … [Read more...]

Review – The Clash Special Edition Releases

The Clash Reissued CDs

I remember a conversation I had with my brother when I was a teenager. He asked me if I thought I would still be listening to any of the music I liked then when I was 50. At the time it seemed like it was an eternity in the future, our parents weren't even that age. However, it did make me think. What would happen to my tastes in music as I aged? Looking at my parents record … [Read more...]

Music Review – An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

There have been many great artistic couples down through the ages. Now a days there seems to be more celebrity couplings than any real co-joining of artistic talents. So when I first began to hear rumours writer Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer (also known as AFP) were romantically involved I was intrigued. It felt a little odd to be interested in the love life of two … [Read more...]

Review – Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana

The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Photo credit: Deborah Feingold

Once upon a time there was pop music. You either liked what you heard or you didn't, and you didn't particularly care about anything else. There were other types of music other people listened to, but that wasn't pop music. There was country and western music which was played by people who dressed funny and whose audience seemed to made up of senior citizens and people with … [Read more...]

Sly as a Vox

Ultravox Ha Ha Ha!

They’re back! The often-awful eighties with the pre-school neon colors and the radio infested with neo-synth-pop bubblegum bands. Although a few groups like Phoenix, the Killers and the recent stellar release from Empire of the Sun have picked up where the best of the eighties left off, the majority of time I’m left looking for who to blame for the atrocities I’m forced to … [Read more...]

Music Review – Tartit With Imharhan – Live from the Sahara

Tartit With Imharhan - Live from the Sahara

When the annual Festival Au Desert in Northern Mali was cancelled in 2013 due to the territory's occupation by terrorist organizations intent on imposing a very narrow definition of Islamic rule, organizers of the Festival were determined, if the world couldn't come to them, to bring the music of the Festival to the world. Formed in 2001 the Festival takes place during the … [Read more...]

Jim Morrison and Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac and Jim Morrison

“If he (Jack Kerouac) hadn’t written On The Road, The Doors never would have existed.” — Ray ManzarekManzarek might have added that if Jack Kerouac hadn’t written On The Road, none of the late 60’s might have happened the way they did, with kids hitting the road in search of themselves and the transcendental experiences that Kerouac had described in his novels. … [Read more...]

The Naked Beat

The Love Electric

The Love Electric's new video was filmed in New York City, Lisbon, Berlin, and Woodstock.You can get "The Naked Beat" here.About A Love ElectricThe Love Electric is a band that does things differently. An art rock trio of three nationalities, A Love Electric, hailed as the tomorrow of creative rock by Mexico City's leading newspaper La Jornada, performs at some … [Read more...]

Review – Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall

Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall

Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall by Dave Thompson / Backbeat Books / 978-1-61713-564-4 271 pagesMusic journalist Dave Thompson's new book Roger Waters: The Man Behind The Wall is an entertaining intro to the music of the former Pink Floyd front man. Thompson takes an interesting circular route starting out with "The Wall," ostensibly another Floyd album but a vision so … [Read more...]

Review – Les Paul: The Lost Interviews by Jim O’Donnell

Les Paul: The Lost Interviews by Jim O'Donnell

Les Paul: The Lost Interviews: Five Never-Before-Published Talks With a Guitar Genius by Jim O'Donnell / 978-1492218913 / 152 pagesWhat comes to mind when you hear the name "Les Paul"? Maybe the iconic guitar, launched at the dawn of rock and roll and played by many of music's most talented guitarists. Or perhaps you think of the musician, the performer, the songwriter - or … [Read more...]

Review – Let’s Start a Pussy Riot

Let's Start A Pussy Riot

Let's Start a Pussy Riot, edited by Emely Neu and Jade French / Rough Trade / June 2013 / 978-0957626201On February 21, 2012 members of the Russian feminist performance art group/collective Pussy Riot put on an agit-prop performance in a priests only section of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Accused of religious hatred, two of the members of the group, Maria … [Read more...]

Review – I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography by Richard Hell / Ecco / 978-0062190833 / 304 pagesWhere do ideas come from? How does an individual up with an idea that starts a whole movement? Does he or she think it up in a momentary flash of brilliance which causes them to have some sort of magical insight? Or is their insight born of a natural progression of … [Read more...]

On The Road Again With John Renbourn

John Renbourn

Back when the M1 motorway was first built, journeying to London from anywhere north of the Midlands was a tiresome, all-day exercise, especially if you were hitch-hiking. This story takes place in 1968 and although by then the motorway had pushed a little further north, almost as far as Leicester in fact, it still required a trek across country to reach the miraculous New Road … [Read more...]

Bob Dylan, John Tams and the Commissionaire

Bob Dylan, John Tams and the Commissionaire

Whenever Bob Dylan’s 1966 UK Tour is discussed, all we ever hear about is the infamous “Judas” incident from the Free Trade Hall, Manchester.But there were several other dates on the tour and on May 16 (just one day before the Manchester show) Dylan played a concert 30-odd miles away across the Pennines in Sheffield and I was there.Our story begins some weeks earlier … [Read more...]

Review – Amelita by Court Yard Hounds

Court Yard Hounds - Amelita - Review

Probably Emily Robison and Martie Maguire have been best known as two-thirds of The Dixie Chicks.But as Court Yard Hounds, the duo has created a very different sound, one which has something for their longtime country music fans, and also for listeners of other genres who enjoy beautiful harmonies, thoughtful lyrics and impressive musicianship.Though the songs on … [Read more...]

Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek

I turned my laptop on just after dawn this morning, as I usually do, and sat down with a cup of strong black coffee to see what was happening in the world. Two stories caught me like punches to the stomach and I woke up without any need for caffeine: a tornado killing scores of people in Oklahoma, and Ray Manzarek of the Doors dying at 74 of bile duct cancer.Jesus, is there … [Read more...]

Review – Bee Thousand by Guided By Voices

Bee Thousand - Guided by Voices

"I love the sound of background noise I wanna hear the crack in the singer's voice Fingers moving on the fret board Every time he plays a new chord"(Art Brut, "Slap Dash For No Cash")When most people think about the best records of the 90’s they recall classics such as Radiohead’s OK Computer, Nirvana’s Nevermind or maybe REM’s Automatic for People. The name Guided … [Read more...]

5 Recurring Themes In Early Bob Dylan Songs

Dylan's Dream LP

One of the most important people in music history, Mr. Bob Dylan still stuns music lovers worldwide with his witty rhymes and colorful guitar sound. With his music being the definition of timelessness, now is the perfect time to revisit his early albums and enjoy the raw melodic expression of Dylan’s unchained stream of consciousness.Dylan is considered by many an integral … [Read more...]

Music Review – Rod Stewart’s “Time”

Rod Stewart - Time / collage by

Rod Stewart / Time / Columbia Records / May 7, 2013Way back when I was a teenager, I discovered Rod Stewart's 1960s-1970s rock 'n roll albums and got darn near obsessed with them for a while. Mom wasn't too thrilled, thinking that his edgy, sexy music wasn't real appropriate for her sweet young daughter.I was a fan then, but over the years, as he delved into disco and … [Read more...]