With the recent election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, TV on the Radio may have been the most American band making music in 2008. Little did we know then that the country would face a vicious and sustained backlash that continues to threaten our democracy.
Billed as “The Fully Orchestrated Live Premiere of Big Star’s Third,” the core musicians included Mike Mills of R.E.M., Chris Stamey and Will Rigby of the dB’s, Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, and original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens.
Chuck D looked at me quizzically, his furrowed brow barely showing beneath the bill of his black Raiders cap. “Sure,” the rapper said as I handed him a yellowed copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. “I’ll read it. Sounds interesting.”
I had been writing about the issue of digital sampling in hip-hop for several years in the 1980s. When a judge’s ruling in 1991 forever changed the way hip-hop would be made, I wrote this followup.
I’d long been fascinated by the tale of Naomi Wise, murdered by her lover in a river near my hometown. In 2021, No Depression magazine gave me the opportunity to explore this legend that’s become an iconic American folk ballad, covered by artists ranging from Doc Watson to Bob Dylan.
In late 2016, I was invited out to David Crosby’s home in Santa Ynez Valley, California. I was an editor at Acoustic Guitar magazine at the time, and Crosby wanted to show me his guitar collection.
Lisa Germano was one of the most interesting and adventurous musicians of the 1990s. Today, for some reason, she’s a mere footnote in the history of that era — an unsung heroine.
Sam Andrew’s death follows those of bandmates Janis Joplin, who famously died from a heroin overdose in 1970, and James Gurley, who died of a heart attack in 2009.
When I became editor of Creative Loafing for the third time in the late 2010s, I decided it was time to put That Guy Smitty on the cover — celebrate his legacy while also celebrating a bit of the history of Charlotte’s electronic dance music scene
Before the worst president in American history incited a deadly insurrection at the White House, singer-songwriter Nathan Bell asked me to write the liner notes for his latest album, Red, White and American Blues (it couldn’t happen here).