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PHAIR WEATHER FRIEND: Hanging Out In Guyville 25+ Years Later

It’s been a life-altering twenty five-plus years since we were all twenty five (or thereabouts), an age when most of us don’t have much of a clue about how life-altering the next twenty five years are going to be.

Welcome To The Breakfast Show: 50 Years of Living With Let It Bleed

Talk about setting a high bar. How do you match an album (1968’s “Beggars Banquet”) that has “Sympathy For The Devil” as its opener? Simple. Make “Gimme Shelter” the opening salvo on your follow-up record. Some of us didn’t need a big box set (out now) marking the golden anniversary of “Let It Bleed” to […]

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

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
Bruce Springsteen, circa “The River.” Photograph by Joel Bernstein It may not exactly be breaking news that the indomitable Bruce Springsteen and his (nearly as) indomitable E Street Band are currently on the road again. After all, going out and playing music for months on end is…

Leaving Traces and Circles Around The Sun: Farewell Neal Casal (1968-2019)

Neal Casal was a multi-tasking, multi-genre musical threat: a fine singer, composer, and detail-oriented storyteller; a fluid and lyrical lead player as well as bedrock-solid rhythm guitarist; and an unassuming personality who proved a versatile sideman and good-natured complement to the legends and stars in the spotlight.

A LATE BLOOMER IN FULL FLOWER: Becoming Asa Brebner (1953-2019)

“I don’t believe in God, but I believe in music and sharing that with other people. That’s kind of my religion. If I have a religion, that’s what it is.”
— Asa Brebner

PICTURES AT ELEVEN: Drawing Dad Close Amid The Lines Of A Life

Leafing through one of my decades-old sketchbooks while unpacking from our exciting but exhausting move from Boston to Philadelphia last summer, I flipped through, with casual curiosity, the sturdy paper stock pages of pencil drawings, mostly of superheroes and baseball players and my dank cabin at my first (and only) sleep-away camp. As I turned […]

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

Originally posted on RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog:
Glands main man Ross Shapiro, far right. 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,…

STONED BRUSSELS ON THE BISCUIT: Revisiting The Legendary ’73 Radio Broadcast

As a small tribute to today’s birthday boy, guitarist extraordinaire Mick Taylor, (who turns an improbable Seven-O), here’s my take on one of the most famously obsessed-over, and mythologized slabs of live rock & roll of the past 50 years that Mr. Taylor was intrinsic to bringing to life — and which, until fairly recently, wasn’t even officially released (and even then, as a mostly digital-only treat). Hence this review, written by my alter-ego “Leedslungs71,” of another enterprising foray into the nether realm of unofficial, fan recordings that have kept this blistering concert and indelible moment alive and humming across generations of listeners for more than forty years. (This piece first appeared at the terrific Collectors Music Reviews blog and website, which is populated by those of us who care about such things).

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

Time always seemed to stand still 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, […]

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.

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