About Me

I am a journalist, critic, and magazine editor whose focus has been squarely on music of all genres for more than two decades. From April 2016 to December 2017, I was editor-in-chief of In Tune Monthly, a music magazine for middle and high school students and teachers, used in classrooms across the United States as a curriculum supplement. Before moving to In Tune, I was the editor of its sister publication Music Alive! and of Teaching Music, the member magazine of NAfME, the National Association for Music Education. My book, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story, originally published by Dell in 2000, is available in four languages and three revised editions, the most recent being published by Backbeat Books in March 2012. I am also the author of 101 Great Playlists: Songs for Every Listener, a Sterling Publishers/Fall River Press e-book that was published in August 2012.

In previous decades, I was senior editor of Guitar One magazine, East Coast features editor for LAUNCH Media’s website (later Yahoo! Music), and senior editor of Musician magazine. The publications I have written for as a freelancer include The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Details, The New York Daily News, Interview, Guitar World, Billboard, JazzTimesThe New York Observer, Harp, Newsday, CMJ New Music Monthly, Blender, Time Out New York, Mojo, Guitar Aficionado, and Bass Player. Some recent samples of my published writing can be found here.

Also a guitarist and composer, I released my first solo album, I Call Time, in the fall of 2014, and a followup EP, Germination, in December 2016. From 2003 to 2009, I was a member of the New York-based band Bedsit Poets, which made two albums, The Summer that Changed (2005) and Rendezvous (2008), for the Bongo Beat label. I received a bachelor’s degree in humanities cum laude from Harvard University in 1998. Born in Illinois and raised in Massachusetts, I have been a New York City resident since 1995.

Contact me at msjrandall@aol.com.