From Motown to Mowtown

photo credit: Digital Third Eye

An obsession with polished aspirational black music finally carried me to Detroit. I had come to rediscover the heartbreak of first love and unearth a few last Okeh "cover ups". Poking my nose against a high window in the MGM Grand Hotel I survey this strung out city constructed on the lands of the People of the Three Fires. Michigan Central looms in front of me, the morose … [Read more...]

Todd Clouser launches Music Mission. Here’s how you can help.

Todd Clouser Patreon project

Musician Todd Clouser has launched a new project, Music Mission. He writes,I have been working with communities in need throughout the Americas - a youth orchestra in Oaxaca, a small indigenous Shipibo town in Peru, EL Faro in inner City Mexico, a community center offering world class music workshops in Chiapas - in teaching, making new music together, and having an … [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...]

Chiseled in Rock

Alvin Lee, 1975 (detail) by Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com

Literature is a morgue: I go there to identify my friends. One of them evaporated yesterday, March 6, 2013. The last pic he nailed through the ether toward me had his Woodstock cherry red 335 erecting from the lap into the skies. I was, obviously, born ten years after him, yet that tiny space in time made no difference.If one were to study history thoroughly, one might … [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...]

Enter to Win a Beatles Yellow Submarine DVD!

Beatles Yellow Submarine - Giveaway

Yellow Submarine, has been digitally restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time.Bonus features for the Yellow Submarine DVD and Blu-ray include: - a short making-of documentary titled "Mod Odyssey (TRT: 7:30) - the film's original theatrical trailer - audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann - several brief interview clips … [Read more...]

Review – How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

[Editor's note: 5/21/2014: How Hip Was My Alley has been re-titled Dad, the Times We Had: Baby Boomers in Paradise.]Kenton Crowther's previous volume, Alleycats and Beatsters, collected the author's writings built on the Beat Generation and the essence of "hip." This time out, he casts a wider net; How Hip Was My Alley gathers over three dozen pieces on a wide variety of … [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...]

The Art of the Statement – Be the Mule

Graham Lambkin / 1999 Mules / 50watts.com

I found humanity through music. I lose focus and grow cynical at times, but if I am honest as a listener, and remain receptive, the chance of transcending my emotional disturbances and triumphs through music remains. There's the possibility of unity, and humility, but always humanity, in sharing our art. The very idea of allowing our naked self to be exposed through what we … [Read more...]

from COUNTRY

Country

Nin’s making ham-hock soup, feeding her hypomania: A.M. radio talking-headsrail for holiness on and on for keeping “Christ” in Christmas, the needles, I’m surescreaming eagles in the VU-Meters at consoles saluting Limbaugh − Rush, Rush, Rush! It’s a32-degree morn − waiting for the snow, a southeast spurge mixed with a northeast plunge; the JD 155on … [Read more...]

The Time that John Lurie Called Me

The Time John Lurie Called Me by Todd Clouser / photo credit: Stephen Keates http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Indie9999

My artistic, maybe even my personal, aesthetic had me identifying with the music of John Lurie the first time I heard his compositions on record. Close to a bunch of things I cannot, or do not care, to be. The celebration of the idea. The joy in imagination. But serious, measured, and often biting. Love in darkness. The acknowledgement that illusion permeates commercial music … [Read more...]

Todd Clouser – The Naked Beat coming soon!

Todd Clouser

Todd Clouser writes: Dear Friends - Thank you for your time in reading. The Naked Beat is nearly here.We are running at the release of our next record with the zeal of youth.Feb 19 The Naked Beat drops to stores and online outlets everywhere.Feb 16 Minneapolis, MN Release show at Icehouse21 Marzo - Lanzamiento MX - El Imperial, MX City, DFA Love Electric - … [Read more...]

An Essay on the Arcana Series

arcana - john zorn

I sat down to write this as a commentary on the series of books edited by John Zorn, all of which are entitled Arcana. The series comes in six parts, including hundreds of essays written by musicians, artists, on their creative process, technique, philosophy, social commentary, and more. Some artists address alternate technique discussion, others essays on a unique approach to … [Read more...]

Nov 14, ’12: The Big Mix at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA

BIG MIX

What do you get if you take Beat icon Michael McClure (who penned Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz"), add Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer Ray Manzarek (Doors keyboardist), stir in jazz/Indian fusion saxophonist and composer George Brooks (Etta James, Summit, Bombay Jazz), infuse with legendary bassist Kai Eckhardt (John McGlaughlin, Garaj Mahal, Zeitgeist), and shake it all up with … [Read more...]

Review – The Abbey Road Sessions by Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue Abbey Road Sessions

I was in college back in 1987 when Kylie Minogue had her first hit with "Locomotion," which I remember dancing to on nights out. But after that, though I occasionally heard songs on the radio, I confess her music mostly fell of my radar. (I mostly listen to indie and singer-songwriter type music, with some classic rock, world music, classical, folk, jazz & blues in the … [Read more...]

Review – Chris Mann’s Debut Album, Roads

Chris Mann Roads review

For his debut album, Roads, The Voice alumnus Chris Mann weaves together an unexpected mix of classical, country, and pop songs together into an intimate, warm musical tapestry.You'd never know that this is Mann's first time out. His confident, deeply-felt delivery of the songs give the impression of a veteran singer and performer.Most of the songs on this album are … [Read more...]

Bob Dylan’s TEMPEST Out Now!

Bob Dylan - Tempest

Bob Dylan’s new album, Tempest, was released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in March 1962.Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35thth … [Read more...]

Review – Moondog: The Viking of 6th Avenue, by Robert Scotto

Moondog

Process Media ISBN # 978-0-9760822-8-6Born in Marysville, Kansas in 1916, the son of an Episcopal minister, Louis Hardin Jr. lived a relatively simple life in America's heartland until the age of 16 when he was permanently blinded when he mistakenly toyed with a blasting cap. A life-altering event for anyone, but from out of this tragedy Louis would find the resolve to … [Read more...]

Legendary Poet, Lyricist Pete Brown

Pete Brown

On June 16 ("Bloomsday"), 1964, Pete Brown gave the first ever poetry reading at Morden Tower, now a literary landmark in Newcastle, England. The Morden Tower Readings, conceived and organized by Tom and Connie Pickard, went on to host readings by more poets than can be listed here, especially from the Beat and Black Mountain movements, including Allen Ginsberg's first European … [Read more...]

Diamanda Galas – Love is a Ballad that Eviscerates

Diamanda Galás, as photographed by Kristofer Buckle

When I listen to the music of Diamanda Galás, I am reminded that I have veins. There is something in her voice that punctures the flesh, the ears, the heart, in order to get at something visceral. Hers is a sound that courses like blood, infiltrates capillaries, and passes through arteries. It is also the sound of years of hard work, of rigorous vocal training, and of … [Read more...]

The Last Waltz Considered

The Last Waltz was a revolutionary documentary. It was the first concert movie shot in 35 mm, the record of a celebration of the Band's last concert on the site of their first show as The Band. It is the visual evidence that more than thirty years ago Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel had the good sense to go out on top. There are many … [Read more...]

Singer-Songwriter Elizabeth Anderson Interview

Elizabeth Anderson - The Stars Are Falling

I was recently fortunate to have a conversation with Elizabeth Anderson, a talented singer-songwriter whose debut CD, The Stars are Falling, was recently released. We chatted about her sound, her musical inspirations, and the art of songwriting.How did you get started with playing - and creating - music?I started playing the piano in the second grade, and began … [Read more...]