A Guilty-pleasure Look Back at The Jerky Boys

Americans of a certain age will remember the phenomenon of the prank phone call. In the pre-cell phone era, everyone had either a landline or no phone at all, and unless one paid extra to the phone company (and in those days there was only one phone company), your number was published in a thick

Album Review: LLGLDNBKS — ‘self-titled album’

In 1988, R.E.M. released an album titled Eponymous. The compilation – a survey of the band’s years on IRS Records, released after the band had decamped for Warner Brothers – bore a title that served as a gentle poke-in-the-ribs of sorts to music journalists. It has long been common practice for writers covering music releases

Album Review: Marshall Crenshaw — Miracle of Science

Marshall Crenshaw’s experience in the world of major labels had come and gone by the time he made his sixth studio album, Miracle of Science. After the brilliant one-two punch of his 1982 debut album and the following year’s Field Day, the singer-guitarist’s albums would never again gain serious traction on the charts. And after

Sweet Ride: More of My Look Back at Moby Grape with Guitarist Peter Lewis (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … What kind of things inspire you to write? [You write about life experiences] because somehow that makes the part of your life meaningful. It’s not just something that you had to suffer through and you never want to think about again. It might be possible to go through things that

Sweet Ride: More of My Look Back at Moby Grape with Guitarist Peter Lewis (Part One)

Moby Grape is the prime example of a richly talented group that endured a long series of setbacks; those obstacles blunted the group’s success. Had their luck (and, it must be said, judgment) been better, today the San Francisco quintet might be widely acclaimed as one of the best bands of the late ’60s. In

Moby Grape’s Peter Lewis: A Rock ‘n’ roll Survivor on ‘The Road to Zion’ (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Peter Lewis’ problems at the time weren’t nearly as severe as those facing Spence, who famously came at band mates Miller and Stevenson with a fire axe. Mosley suffered a breakdown of sorts as well in 1969, abruptly quitting the band and enlisting in the Marines (he was diagnosed as a

Moby Grape’s Peter Lewis: A Rock ‘n’ roll Survivor on ‘The Road to Zion’ (Part One)

Ask a hardcore rock music fanatic to name the most underrated band of the 1960s, and the answer you’re most likely to get is this: “Moby Grape.” Though sometimes credited as an early example of country rock, Moby Grape could rock as hard as any San Francisco band. And the came up with catchy, single-worthy

Album Review: Bill Bruford’s Earthworks — Heavenly Bodies: The Expanded Collection

Bill Bruford is a hero in the world of progressive rock. Though it’s something of an oversimplification, the short story on him is that he found drumming for Yes not challenging enough, so at the peak of that group’s popularity, he left to join King Crimson. Either way, before and after he made that move,

Justin Ray: Singing and Swinging

Asheville-based trumpeter Justin Ray has been a member of pop singer Michael Bublé’s band for 15 years. After a long string of tours around the world, Ray decided that he’d create some new arrangements of classic tunes from the big band era, with the ultimate goal of getting Bublé to use those arrangements in his

Dream Theater: The Path That Unites

When dazzling keyboardist Jordan Rudess joined Dream Theater in 1999, the progressive metal band had already been together for nearly 15 years. Through a combination of superb musicianship, thoughtful songwriting and hard work, the group had built a dedicated following. But with Rudess on board, Dream Theater made a significant leap forward on all fronts.