Category Features

SECRET WINDFALLS & DIAMONDS DOWN THE DRAIN: The Vinyl Skyway’s Long Cool Journey

Time always seemed to stop whenever one of The Vinyl Skyway’s songs would crackle to life on the radio inside my parents’ car on a cold-as-chrome winter’s afternoon. I remember being 14 and hunched toward the gleaming dashboard dial as if receiving a secret transmission. There was always something inviting, if somehow slightly baleful, that […]

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll: Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, and the Torched Twang of Americana

Despite its recent arrival as a charted radio format, Americana is nothing new. In fact, its very existence is predicated on the past. Rock & roll has always been an untidy bastard — rooted as much in outlaw country as it is in backporch blues or jukejoint R&B. Just listen to early Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, or Chuck Berry.

OLD GODS HIDING IN LONG GRASS: The Clientele’s Music for the Age of Miracles

Oh, hi there! Don’t mind the bobbing balloons and confetti streaming about, kids. We’re just having a little party. You see, here in the comfy, wood-paneled confines of RPM HQ, we’ve been celebrating the fact that one of our most beloved bands of the past fifteen-plus years, the Clientele, are back — at least for […]

CHRIS BELL’S PURE POP COSMOS: Big Star’s Other Bright Light

News that a biography and at least three vinyl compilations of the work of Big Star co-founder Chris Bell are coming out this year — including “The Complete Chris Bell,” a massive six-LP (!) retrospective due July 7 by Omnivore Recordings (the same folks who’ve issued some tasty Big Star releases in recent years, including […]

BROKEN BISCUITS & A STROKE OF LUCK: How Corin Ashley Picked Up The Pieces To Assemble The Most Challenging Music Of His Life, and Made Himself Whole Again

“Then, on January 6, 2016, an awful thing most 40-somethings like Ashley don’t ever think about happening – because it would be too awful to ponder – happened. Corin suffered a stroke that paralyzed the playing fingers of his left hand and all but wiped out his vocal cords in one felling swoop. Suddenly, just like that, from a hospital bed far away from the stages he had stood on since he was a teenager in cover bands, Ashley didn’t know if he’d ever speak again, much less sing or play. “

Absolutely Pre-Fabulous! The Messiahs Trip Back To The Future in Bobb’s Psychedelic Car

Check out the brand spankin’ NEW Pre-Fab Messiahs video here (a fittingly surreal cartoon for these cartoonishly surreal times): https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DzAnUJ7MjnZ4&h=ATOPhol0JrD6O-uJnI9KreX528r34HTCMovCwE_-GcVYAUFPBRn7xXgvaKerRizt-v0mdtO9IpcmrpBMcoBDK6YhunvmPxF9lwpMcZwlRLIK8RxY17aevvExkg49PSzn3lW37R5oMoGulrB_G5sYB1w https://theprefabmessiahs.bandcamp.com/   Source: Absolutely Pre-Fabulous! The Messiahs Trip Back To The Future in Bobb’s Psychedelic Car

NOTES FROM THE MEMORY MOTEL: Half A Century of Stones in Two Days

To truly consider the Rolling Stones, it’s simply not adequate to ponder a clutch of hit singles or a few best-selling albums, or even an epochal moment or movement in music history. No, to properly contemplate the Stones is to throw a wide net across the stretching seas of the decades encompassing music, fashion, and culture that’s informed their existence (and vice versa). And bring your magnifying glass and microscope.

REGARDING THE END: Life, Death, and The Wondrous World of Robert Fisher’s Willard Grant Conspiracy

Robert Fisher’s Willard Grant Conspiracy conjure a mostly deserted world of long, lingering shadows where guys like Nick Cave and Mark Eitzel brood in a half-light that’s either salvation or damnation — a distinction that depends on whether you think being alone is solitude or isolation. A world where the songs thread through a musty room and gather there like settling smoke. Eventually, if you’re lucky, a cracked window swings open from the wind, bringing a new beam of sound and a fresh light with it to remind you that you’re alive.

FROM STARMAN TO STARDUST: The Singular Sound, Voice & Vision Of David Bowie (1947-2016)

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
Reblogged on WordPress.com Source: FROM STARMAN TO STARDUST: The Singular Sound, Voice & Vision Of David Bowie (1947-2016)

TRUE BLUES: The Stones Get Back To The Bedrock

Ultimately, despite (or perhaps because of) being bashed-about and knocked-out off-the-cuff, “Blue & Lonesome” firmly and expansively situates itself in time and place. Like most good albums, it captures and distills a mood and a feeling, a frame of mind, a state of being, and it’s a welcome, if relatively brief (at 42 minutes), escape.

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