Kurt Wildermuth

New York Dolls’ ‘Too Much Too Soon’ Lived Up to Its Title (More or Less) 

New York Dolls’ ‘Too Much Too Soon’ Lived Up to Its Title (More or Less) 

The New York Dolls didn’t just play rock and roll. They swung, achieving a groove that set them apart from other rockers at the time and since.

Built to Spill’s ‘Keep It Like a Secret’ Still Surprises at 25

Built to Spill’s ‘Keep It Like a Secret’ Still Surprises at 25

Has any songwriter used the words “things” and “sounds” and made small matters seem more significant and full of possibility as much as Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch?

Miles Davis’ ‘Filles de Kilimanjaro’ Makes a Jazz Noise

Miles Davis’ ‘Filles de Kilimanjaro’ Makes a Jazz Noise

Miles Davis was a shapeshifter, and in his restlessness, he urged and created the groundwork for protean music that reflected shapes and shifts.

Pop-Rock Not for the Masses: Nellie McKay’s ‘Get Away From Me’ at 20

Pop-Rock Not for the Masses: Nellie McKay’s ‘Get Away From Me’ at 20

Nellie McKay is appealing but with an edge, offering hooks but also barbs, looking back at the past and ahead of her time. She could be a pop star in 2024.

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘It’s My Way!’ at 60: Maybe Not Entirely Her Way!

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘It’s My Way!’ at 60: Maybe Not Entirely Her Way!

For decades, Buffy Sainte-Marie was celebrated as America’s most famous Indigenous musician. Recent revelations force a reconsideration of her music.

Public Image Ltd’s Debut Album Put the “Post” in Post-Punk

Public Image Ltd’s Debut Album Put the “Post” in Post-Punk

The Sex Pistols blew away the old rock of the ’50s and ’60s, but then John Lydon formed Public Image Ltd and created new musical possibilities with post-punk.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ at 55: Still Telling Naked Truths 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ at 55: Still Telling Naked Truths 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Two Virgins inspired so much ire and distaste back in the day that we can take this opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.

Is Lo Fidelity Allstars Style Big Beat Back After 25 Years?

Is Lo Fidelity Allstars Style Big Beat Back After 25 Years?

The current resurgence of Britpop could trigger nostalgia for late 1990s big beat like Lo Fidelity Allstars, while trip-hop remains a vital influence.

A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright As a Gay Pop-Rock Prophet

A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright As a Gay Pop-Rock Prophet

In 1998, Rufus Wainwright seemed like someone new: a pop-rock performer on a major label who didn’t have to come out because he had never been in the closet.

Violent Femmes’ 40-Year-Old Debut Is a Work of Singular Vision

Violent Femmes’ 40-Year-Old Debut Is a Work of Singular Vision

Violent Femmes’ heart, sound, and aesthetics belong to an earlier, acoustic, analog, atomized rather than the Internet-connected world. It’s like a musical Catcher in the Rye.

Calexico’s ‘Feast of Wire’: Mestizaje Was on the Menu as They Evolved

Calexico’s ‘Feast of Wire’: Mestizaje Was on the Menu as They Evolved

Calexico’s 2003 album Feast of Wire hauntingly soundtracks the plight of Central American migrants who arrive at America’s border long before – and well after – the dissolution of Title 42.

Tearing Down the Fence Between Lisa Germano and ‘Happiness’

Tearing Down the Fence Between Lisa Germano and ‘Happiness’

With 1993’s Happiness, Capitol Records tried to sit Lisa Germano on a fence between Americana and alternative. With 1994’s Happiness, 4AD Records dismantled the fence.