Latest Blog Posts

by Chris Ingalls

3 Oct 2017


Photo: Sam Jones (Warner Bros. Records)

Tom Petty was a superstar, adored by millions, and was selling out arenas right until the very end. But I think people took him for granted.

He wasn’t exactly your typical current-day celebrity. He was 66 years old, and his first album came out in the mid-‘70s. Not exactly reality TV show fodder. And yet I guarantee that the Facebook timelines of about 90 percent of the people who read this are positively flooded with posts bemoaning Petty’s passing.

His appeal was pretty simple: he was a prolific and vastly talented songwriter whose appeal spans generations. And he made it all seem so easy. There was nothing terribly complicated about his music—it was solid, meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n’ roll, informed by his idols: the Byrds, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. So much of Petty’s music (aided by his faithful backing band, the Heartbreakers) was filtered through so many older greats, and the result was unmistakably Petty. Passionate, urgent, occasionally relaxed (no doubt due to some herbal assistance), heartland rock delivered with his inimitable, Dylanesque Southern drawl.

by Christopher John Stephens

20 Jan 2017


Photo from Barbara Kopples' Miss Sharon Jones (2016)

Sometimes a singer’s work is too conveniently packaged. Is this one simply a stylist dedicated to carefully approximating their genre? Is that one an innovator? In the case of Sharon Jones, who died last November after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, the truth is somewhere else.

by Stephan Wyatt

18 May 2016


It took a sinfully long time for Austin City Limits to induct Guy Clark into their esteemed hall of fame, but some artists don’t collect their due until it is too late.

by Jonathan Garrett

27 Apr 2016


First, a confession: I’ve never really understood the collective mourning when most artists die. Not to sound callous, but what exactly am I supposed to be mourning? I don’t personally know the artist in question. In the vast majority of the cases, said artist stopped making music that mattered to me years before his or her death. The actual act of passing does absolutely nothing to change my relationship to the artist. Bowie’s Station to Station sounds every bit as good as it did two years ago or 20 years ago.

by Timothy Malcolm

9 Mar 2016


On 6 April 1966, nearly 50 years ago, the Beatles entered Abbey Road Studios in London and began recording a musical masterpiece. Revolver would be released on 5 August of that year, and would mark the moment the Beatles leaped forward from a tight and professional rock band to, perhaps, the most influential studio artists in rock ‘n’ roll history.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article