People who died

Jul 14, 2015 No Comments

Last week, within a single 24-hour period, I watched Montage of Heck, the new Kurt Cobain documentary directed by Brett Morgen, and Amy, the new Amy Winehouse documentary directed by Asif Kapadia. I guess life was a little too bright and cheery for me that day. But seriously, folks… The coincidence of these two films […]

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Live at the Delancey 7/15

Jul 08, 2015 No Comments

It is my pleasure to announce that on Wednesday, July 15—one week from tonight!—I’ll be playing a solo gig back at The Delancey in downtown NYC, opening for veteran California indie-rock combo The Black Watch, who are currently on their first full U.S. tour in more than 15 years. Come cheer me on as I […]

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“These things I’ll be until I die”

Jul 01, 2015 No Comments

Having been a fan of the Beach Boys since my late teens, I learned the basic facts about Brian Wilson’s life long ago. The prodigious musical talent. The bullying and beating inflicted by his father. The unparalleled grasp of the recording studio’s possibilities. The strange voices he started hearing in his head in his early […]

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Juneteenth in Charleston

Jun 20, 2015 No Comments

One hundred and fifty years ago today, on June 19, 1865, the news about emancipation in America finally reached Texas, the last Confederate holdout. Union Major General Gordon Granger read these words after his army had secured the port of Galveston: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the […]

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A Blurry look back (Part 4): The ’96 interview

Jun 05, 2015 No Comments

It was Saturday, February 10, 1996, a cold late afternoon in midtown Manhattan, and I was standing in the middle of the Roseland Ballroom’s vintage hardwood dance floor, watching Blur soundcheck in preparation for their concert that evening. I had never seen the band perform live before, and was tickled when they and the four-piece […]

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A Blurry look back (Part 3): The later music, and extras

May 29, 2015 No Comments

Continuing my immersion in all things Blur, here are some thoughts on the final 10 CDs of the Blur 21 boxed set. To read about the first eight discs, go here; to find out why I’m doing this, go here. Discs 9 and 10: Blur (1997). Time for big Blur style shift number two, toward a […]

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A Blurry look back (Part 2): The early music

May 29, 2015 No Comments

So I’ve been on a Blur kick recently—you can read more about it in the first episode of this series—and in the depths of my obsession I decided, among other things, to listen to the entirety of the band’s 21-disc boxed set career retrospective, Blur 21, and write something about it. Here’s how Blur 21 […]

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A Blurry look back (Part 1): The intro

May 23, 2015 No Comments

My previous post referred to an upcoming Blur album, the band’s first in 12 years and first with its original lineup in 16 years. That album, The Magic Whip, is now available to all and has been widely lauded by the press, including me in The New York Observer. Listening to it repeatedly put me in a retrospective mood. […]

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The spirit of ’95

Mar 08, 2015 No Comments

The recent announcement of the new Blur album made me nostalgic for 1995. I moved to New York in June of that year and spent most of the summer and fall—and the following winter—listening to the work of musicians based 3,000 miles away, including Blur. What a moment that was for British pop. Not a […]

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A very British Christmas with Wyatt and Davies

Dec 31, 2014 No Comments

With Christmas in the rearview and the all-important Top 10 albums list completed, it’s been my pleasure over the past few days to forget about the latest and just enjoy the greatest. Specifically, I’ve been delving back into the work of two British music paragons, neither of whom I ever need much of an excuse to […]

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