Category Features

CRACKED CHANDLER’S CRAZY CARNIVAL: From Incredible Casuals to Casually Incredible (Try Saying That Three Times Fast!)

“I gave up the idea of thinking I would make any big time dough in the music business a long time ago, and started just loving the fact that I have an obsession,” says Chandler Travis. “I worry about people in life who don’t. I don’t know how you’d get through.”

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A HIT OF SYMPHONIC BLOTTER ACID: Forever Changes But Love’s Masterpiece Endures

The “Summer of Love” it may have been, but much of the music on those iconic records of 1967 contained a far more complicated series of emotions and refracted a darker reality shot through with chaos and doubt, turmoil and altered perceptions. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the music on Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ – not to mention the mystique that continues to surround the work — seems only to have deepened with time.

DOUBLE THRILLER ON THE RHYME: The Glands’ Ross Shapiro, 1963-2016

The Glands were the perfect, enigmatic epitome of ‘indie-rock’ (whatever and however you conjure the term), and a woolly little ball of fuzzy contradictions. They were over-achieving, under-heard slackers from the coolly independent musical hotbed of Athens, Georgia, yet somehow, always seemed to stand apart from it. They were beloved and aloof. They made and released a […]

SINGING SONGS ABOUT THE SOUTHLAND: The Drive-By Truckers Raise A Ruckus

“All these years and lineup changes later, the song of DBT’s improbable start remains the same. But like all good yarns, it’s a story that bears retelling, because it’s about fate and fortune and famine, and a terrific rock & roll band whose defining moment almost didn’t happen.”

THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT: Rick Berlin, Old Stag In Badville

“In Western culture, if you’re not making money for somebody else, you’re a flop. And I’ve never succeeded, I’ve never made any money doing this, ever. And yet, I’m so compelled to do it. I’m not at the level of Van Gogh, but I think about him.” — Rick Berlin

THE TIES THAT BIND: The Timeless River That Runs Through Bruce Springsteen’s America

The best way to understand why Bruce Springsteen matters to his audience, and the American cultural landscape in general, is to turn to the man himself. Throughout his career, it has been virtually impossible to separate the rock star from the hippie kid who grew up in Freehold, New Jersey and the populist songwriter whose lyrics owe as much to John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie as Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry

BOWIE ON RECORD: VINYL FROM THE VAULTS

Much in the same way Miles, Elvis, Aretha, Dylan, Jagger, Jimi, Lennon, Bruce, and Madonna telepathically triggers an instant association, so does that particular arrangement of vowel-heavy letters in “Bowie” conjure an identity, a personae, an attitude, a style (or many of them) — even a perspective and way of looking at the world.

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

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
What better fit for a Flashback Friday Halloween than to examine a pivotal point in the singular career of David Bowie, a man of many masks, guises, and gazes: the doomed astronaut of Space Oddity, messianic rock god alien of Ziggy Stardust, paisley dandy, diamond…

STONED PILOT AT THE TEMPLE: On The Passing Of Scott Weiland (1967-2015) & The Purple Core Of Grunge’s Foxiest Frontman

“What I was, and always will be, a fan of was rock ‘n’ roll spirit. And Scott Weiland effortlessly brought that spirit with him whenever he strutted onto a stage with his feather boas and orange spiked hair and glitter-glam eyeliner. In doing so, he enabled those of us watching and listening to lose ourselves in those huge, buzzing guitar riffs swarming around his voice; to become something other than what we were in the daily grind and mundane circumstances of our lives. On stage and on record, Weiland enacted a decadent, different kind of reality of unfettered hedonism, risk, and living on the edge, that implicitly invited us to become vicarious participants for one or two hours.”

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE: The Drive-By Truckers Roll From Darkness To Daylight And Hit The Road Behind A New Live Album

The band’s 2001 landmark, ‘Southern Rock Opera,’ caught on with a broad audience that included hipsters and college kids, aging classic rockers, and ordinary folks who loved the sound of loud electric guitars set to lyrics that meant something. Both album and band also fared far better in the North and West than the group’s home turf: “The South is our weakest region – I think it’s because it’s too close to home,” said bandleader Patterson Hood. “We’re singing about stuff that’s right down the street. And nobody wants to hear that.”

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