MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Chapter FOUR – First, They Laughed: A Big Bad Blast of Buckethead — Hitting the stage incognito isn’t new but no one else has been outfitted like this: an oriental theater mask, a nylon hoodie, and a family-size chicken bucket from KFC. Reactions are derisive and derogatory until the guy starts […]
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MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Chapter THREE – Falling into the Abyss: Front Line Assembly — Industrial rock flirts with pure noise, goes out on dates with electronica, and then shacks up with body-bouncing beats. Having embraced all three of these approaches, Front Line Assembly makes music that is aggressive, loud, abrasive, anarchic, nihilistic, and existential. […]
Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Rock Writing, 1990s to 2010s, Los Angeles – Chapter One: Earplugs and Loose Shoes
ADSP Chapter 1: Rock music is fun and frightening, uplifting and unsettling, glorious and god-awful. For longer than may have been wise, I went to clubs at least three times a week, often catching three bands per night. Then I wrote about it. In this introduction, you will find a few highlights among the lowlifes.
MuseWire COLUMN: You say you want to make money in the music business and you don’t care how. Let’s see if you’re ready. Greedy? Check. Ruthless? Check. Predatory? Check. Okay, you just might be well-prepared to screw artists by putting on a music conference. Indie musicians dream of many things. Fame. Fortune. Somebody playing one […]
MuseWire COLUMN: In blending soul, R&B, gospel, and rock, Solomon Burke had the ability to reach from the stage and shake listeners to their very core. The might and majesty of Burke is honored in this updated version of a review of his 1997 stage show. It is just before midnight and I am standing […]
MuseWire COLUMN: David William Kearney is a guitar slinger who will happily do axe-battle with you using blues, R&B, or rock. He’ll take on all comers with sweet toned ballads or psychedelic frenzy. And as this long-lost nineteen-ninety-eight article shows, the man has incredible roots. Oh, and he’s still gigging. From the band’s first few […]
MuseWire COLUMN: Joke book or important guide to the music industry? Author and compiler Jeffrey Weber believes it is both. One thing is certain: you will laugh, wince, howl, grimace, and laugh some more. Two musicians walk into a bar. One doesn’t order a drink. Hey, it could happen. If you smiled, this book (“You’ve […]
MuseWire Column: Playing in rock bands, creating soundtracks for motion pictures and television, and writing modern classical music would be an impossible combination for most people but composer/performer Jocelyn Pook is succeeding in all of these arenas. Jocelyn Pook does not hear sound the way most people do. Whereas someone else might hear a droning […]
MuseWire REVIEW: Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington’s music is not often discussed alongside the work of Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, and Arnold Schoenberg, but Reed College professor David Schiff convincingly makes a case for comparing and contrasting the creativity of each of these composers. Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy, and Alban Berg show up, too. For music majors, […]
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: After several visits to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the primary reactions were trepidation and consternation. The building itself is quite impressive but the well-packaged contents of the RARHOFAM are often silly and ultimately insignificant.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: His name was Paul Atkinson and he played electric guitar. He made music in the most inventive of the British Invasion bands, The Zombies, whose gorgeous harmonies, infectious hooks and intriguing jazz-pop blend made huge sellers of ‘She’s Not There,’ ‘Tell Her No’ and ‘Time of the Season.’
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: When you hear the word ‘image’ you may think of a pretty picture or the manufactured persona of someone who is famous for being famous. But if you say ‘Baron Wolman image,’ suddenly you’re talking about beauty, truth, and iconographic permanence.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Got a new product to announce? Then have a launch party! Got a cause, a business, a candidate? Launch party! But what’s the recipe? You line-up these ingredients: venue, food, alcohol, DJ, band, singers, photographers, videographers, and ink-slingers like me. Stir together and serve chilled.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Smoothly written and dynamic, Sean Wilentz’ book is full of insight, commentary, and historical perspective about songwriting’s greatest poet. Like his subject, the work is reflection and refraction of fact, fancy, and fable.
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Storytellers are to be cherished and Clark Terry should be on a pedestal for his thoroughly entertaining autobiography. Brimming with life, love, music, and great characters, this book is as much a history of the twentieth century as it is a history of his ninety years (and counting!) .
MuseWire COLUMN: Not a musician, yet a giant of jazz. Undiplomatic, but an ambassador of American culture. Often impolite, but always truthful. Unequaled, yet a champion of equality. And that just touches the surface of Norman Granz, producer of more music than one might think humanly possible. Social justice made great strides in the United […]
BOOK SERIAL: ‘Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,’ written and lived by John Scott G. Chapter 1 Your Place in the Universe. Much like you, I came into this world unable to type. That skill was acquired later, allowing me to take part in the highly-paid ‘word nerd’ thing enjoyed by swanky novelists, playwrights, poets, bloggers, and writers of auto dealership advertising.
MuseWire COLUMN: You may think of spoken word recordings as esoteric or antiquated, but in Jacob Smith’s new book they have a different purpose: to illuminate the roots of today’s society. When NASA launched the Voyager missions during 1977, the two spacecraft contained gold-coated phonograph records and music from around the globe. Among the recordings: […]
MuseWire COLUMN: Rock and roll allows for a wide range of styles, including music that shocks listeners, attacks social conventions, intimidates casual onlookers, and angers the vast majority of people. A band called Foul Play accomplishes all of those things. Fortunately, they are quite good. And very funny. It is eleven-thirty on a Thursday night […]
MuseWire REVIEW: Mysterious goth band The Catholic Comb created a disturbing smoky concoction in 2005 and then apparently remained underground. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of them, either, but now that I know, I’m a convert. Sometimes a good album goes unnoticed. For a while. This one came to me purely by chance. I say by […]
MuseWire COLUMN: Larry John McNally uses emotion like a paintbrush when creating songs. You may not know his name, but you’ve heard his work performed by Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Jennifer Warnes, Atlantic Starr, Average White Band and more. When a songwriter emphasizes emotional truth in his songs, […]
REVIEW: From his smooth writing style to his commitment to interviewing nearly every possible source involved with the material, there’s a lot to like about Joseph Vogel’s new book on the King of Pop. In fact, considering the poor quality of much that has previously been churned out on this topic, I think a lot […]
REVIEW: Singer and professional vocal coach Teri Danz decided to put her own private lesson plan into a book with accompanying CD. The results cover less than fifty pages but singers will find something valuable on every page. You can sing, right? You hit all the notes just perfectly, you’re never short of breath, and […]
REVIEW: Playing together since 1986, Dennis Davison and Jonathan Lea have now done the impossible: they have created an original Christmas album that still rocks (well, folk-rocks, anyway). Plus, it covers all the emotions that surround the season, not just the traditional upbeat ones. That the album does so at all is deserving of a […]
REVIEW: Music of the avant-garde is for those who are open to outrage, shock, conceptualized art, and boundary-pushing ideas. If you fit in that category, you will enjoy these tales of pioneers wrestling with the 1960s triumphs of their tragedies. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.
MuseWire COLUMN: Until a few days ago, Nektar was nothing more than a puzzling footnote to me. According to everything I had read, this band was a standout progressive rock outfit in Europe during the nineteen seventies. Not making it big in the United States, their fame remained underground to many stateside music lovers, including […]
Music Industry Newswire COLUMN: Buddy Holly. Songwriter. Rock and pop star. Not a one-hit or two-hit wonder, but a 27-hit wonder, all in about 18 months of worldwide fame. Born September 7, 1936, died February 3, 1959, but his songs will live until there is no more music.
REVIEW: Hearing one of the softer tracks from this album playing in my studio, a visitor dismissed it as “NIN lite.” I hear it as something much more complicated: “NIN expanded to include the invasion and conquest of modern classical music.” A chameleon alters its appearance to blend into its surroundings. A load-bearing wall supports […]