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by Ian King

26 May 2015


“Folding corners into perfect shapes / Went forlorn in a vapor of Elysian escapes”

That’s how these lines to “She Takes Me” read in the liner notes of lowercase’s Kill the Lights, at least. Coming out of the singer’s mouth, that second bit resembles something more like “when forlorn pings make hell each escape.” Not a full minute into the album, and already results diverge from intent. It won’t be the last discrepancy between the lyric sheet and the words that are actually sung—that is, if they even come out as words at all.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

22 May 2015


Mendelsohn: One more spin on the Pink Floyd space shuttle, Klinger. Are you ready? This will be the last go around. As much as I love this band, as large as they loom in my rock psyche, there aren’t too many other albums in their repertoire that I think merit extended examination: maybe Animals, maybe Meddle, maybe even their late-game return with Division Bell. This week will mark the fourth Pink Floyd record we’ve discussed—at number 207 is Wish You Were Here.

Klinger: And given my ambivalence toward Pink Floyd, I’m of two minds as to how to react to this announcement. Part of me wants to thank you, and yet another part of me wants to make you listen to The Final Cut just for making me go through all this so many times.

by Adrien Begrand

21 May 2015


By early 1985, charity singles were all the rage. Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, helmed by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats, became an instant classic at the end of 1984, with its bevy of UK and Irish pop stars propelling the song to the top of charts worldwide.

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie on 20 January 1985, recorded the next day, and released in early March, “We Are the World” might not have been as superbly crafted a song as “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, but its American star power was staggering, the likes of which pop music will never see again on record. True to form, its sales were astronomical, well in excess of 20 million worldwide. Even Canada got into the action that spring, with the quaint, syrupy “Tears Are Not Enough” (which became that country’s top-selling single of 1985), followed Latin American supergroup single “Cantaré, cantarás”.

by Scott Interrante

20 May 2015


Photo: Press (via Wilson's official site)

Few songwriters have had a career as long and successful as Brian Wilson. Since the early ’60s, Wilson has penned some of the most iconic and influential American pop music of the past century. Although his life is marked by tragedy and trauma, his legacy runs deep in popular culture. With the upcoming release of Love And Mercy, a biopic starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as Wilson at different points in his life, and the recent release of his 11th solo album No Pier Pressure, it feels like a good time to look back at his 50-plus year career and celebrate some of his best work. From massive hits to obscure, experimental pop compositions, Wilson’s music is always thoughtful, idiosyncratic, and as thrilling today as it was in the ’60s.

by Sloane Spencer

19 May 2015


Photo: Gregg Roth

Lilly Hiatt released Royal Blue, to the surprise of fans of her singer-songwriter styled debut from a couple years ago. For those who have seen her live with her band, though, Royal Blue comes closer to catching Hiatt’s quirky, reflective, and trippy personality. Royal Blue moves forward, demonstrating her growth as an artist in her own right, finding her path, and doing so her way. With an honest, open discussion of the self-doubt necessary to create art and some songwriters who are catching her ear, Hiatt shares who she is in this conversation with Country Fried Rock.

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2015 Nelsonville Music Festival - 28-31 May, 2015 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Merle Haggard, St. Vincent, and the Flaming Lips headed up another eclectic year at Ohio's Nelsonville Music Festival.

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