Category Tributes

THE OTHER “NEW YORK, NEW YORK”: Ryan Adams’ accidental anthem for a stricken city

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
The cover of Ryan Adams’ second solo album, “Gold,” released Sept. 25, 2001. By tragic coincidence, the album’s lead single, “New York, New York,” dropped Sept. 11, 2001. The jarring image of an American Flag turned upside down on the album cover,  and the single…

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.

FOREVER YOUNG & CUTTING EDGE: Bob Dylan Turns 75, Approximately

To hear these inspirations and ideas unfurl like a slow flag or burst like fireworks, explode into the stratosphere, and twist crazily this way and that, you get the sense that this must be what it would have been like to watch Van Gogh mix his colors and apply those bright yellows and brilliant blues to the swaying sunflowers and starry nights he dreamt into being.

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 […]

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

KEYS TO THE HIGHWAY: Remembering Nicky Hopkins, Session Man To The Stars

No wonder Nicky Hopkins felt right at home next to Jeff Beck’s wailing electric guitar. On the day of his birth, Feb. 24, 1944, an air raid hit his hometown of Perivale, England. It was 72 ago today that the late, great British pianist/keyboardist, a longtime session ace and sideman to the stars, as well as core member of […]

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.”

BEANO’S BLUESBREAKING BEST: When Clapton Really WAS God (And Who Created Him? Why, John Mayall, Of Course!)

To me, this is Clapton at his rawest and fiercest; his bluesiest, purest, and most exciting, channeling his hero Freddie King (and even covering a tune or two) with a bottomless bag of stinging riffs, ferocious solo outbursts, and inventive accents of color and melody.

ANTHEMS (AND ROAD TRIPS) FOR THE AGES: Filling The Memory Tank With The Gaslight Anthem

This morning, I happened to see a post from Josey, a young cousin on my dad’s side of the family in Iowa, that referenced a quote from Brian Fallon, the literate, passionate frontman for New Jersey-based roots-rockers the Gaslight Anthem.  The quote was a reminder along the simple but wise lines of using all of your senses to soak […]

BOBBY KEYS & IAN McLAGAN: Sounds Of Stones Sidemen (and Rock ‘n’ Roll) Silenced

Official portraits and lineup cards of the band notwithstanding, both in the studio and on stage the Rolling Stones have always wisely employed, and relied upon, a small nucleus of collaborators, co-conspirators, and simpatico sidemen to help them flesh out  and embroider “that Stones sound” we all grew up on. And despite the Stones’ best efforts for much of the […]

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