Renaissance Man may be an overused label, but it fits Jeffrey Lewis — snug but comfortable, like those old T-shirts he wears in Youtube videos that have him singing the histories of Chinese Communism and New York punk
In my 2004 book Dixie Lullaby, I wrote about a confrontational encounter I had with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes backstage in Los Angeles in 1992. This is the story of that incident.
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.
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.
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).
In July 1990, I landed my first magazine cover: a story on Velvet Underground co-founders Lou Reed and John Cale, who’d reunited to perform and record Songs for Drella, a tribute to their mentor, the late pop artist Andy Warhol.
In 1996, seven years after I wrote my first profile of the late Vic Chesnutt for Option magazine, I flew down to his Athens, Georgia, home to do this full feature for Rolling Stone.
Thirty years ago this August, The Pixies released their third album, Bossanova. That year, I sat down with Black Francis over rice and beans at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan.