Music

Matt Jaffe and the Distractions - "Plastic Tears" (audio) (premiere)

The young prodigy rocks like it's 1978 on his new track.

Earlier this summer we premiered a track from young San Francisco phenom Matt Jaffe in which I compared the youngster to Nick Lowe, and you hear that old Stiff Records sound even more vividly on the taut new rocker "Plastic Tears". Full of tense energy and a contagious hook, Jaffe and his band tear through the track with superbly controlled intensity.

Not only that, though, Jaffe possesses some refreshing dark humour on the track. "Plastic Tears is a song about hearing too many sob story ballads at open mics," he explains. "I don't doubt that people have genuine emotion, but too many dirges in a row starts to wear. I love a bunch of mellow singer/songwriters, but this song is a stance against over indulgence in sentimentality."

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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