Mike Mills: R.E.M. and Beyond

I grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, so when R.E.M. got together in the nearby college town of Athens and started making noises in 1980, my friends and I thought of them as a local group. We followed with interest their rise in popularity; I recall an episode a few months before the release

Yes’ Geoff Downes: We’re Still Here

Note: this interview with Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes took places just before the group’s summer 2017 run of dates; the tour was canceled in September after the tragic death of Virgil Howe, son of Yes guitarist Steve Howe. – bk Progressive rock legends Yes will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018. Though the band has

Stone Foxes’ Blues Once Removed

The music of San Francisco-based rockers the Stone Foxes has one foot in classic blues, and the other in a modern, individual sound. The band has refined its approach across four albums, starting with its self-titled 2008 debut and built a large fan base in the process. But in the nearly two years since the

Steve Katz and His Rock ‘n’ Roll Stories

If one wished to chart a path through the folk, rock and pop landscape of the mid 1960s onward, one could do worse than to use the career of Steve Katz as a guide. As a key member of several high profile bands, he had a first-hand perspective on the music scene. Through it all,

Paula Boggs: Soulgrass with a Message

Paula Boggs has one of the more unusual biographies in music. Before devoting herself full time to performing and making albums, Boggs was an Army paratrooper, a U.S. Attorney, general counsel for Starbucks, and a vice president at Dell Computer Corporation. But there’s a definite thread running through her history that led her to where

EP Review: DJ Audio — Shut it Down

The advent of low-cost, do-it-yourself recording technology has put the power to create music in the hands of a wider group of creative musicians. Knocking down barriers to entry has meant that the virtual stranglehold the corporate music industry has exerted is now far less absolute. But alongside those advances, these seismic changes in the

King Crimson: Iconoclastic Innovators

Note: This feature is based on an interview with King Crimson guitarist/vocalist Jakko Jakszyk. Stay tuned for another Crim feature — coming soon — based on interviews with Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. — bk After decades as a successful touring musician and recording artist, Jakko Jakszyk is fronting the band he discovered in 1969,

Album Review: Various Artists — Songs, Bond Songs

Andrew Curry‘s label has released an impressive clutch of tribute-type albums, including ones focusing on 80s pop, “lite rock” and so on. For the most part, the artists involved tend to fall at least loosely into the power pop subgenre. Curry Cuts’ latest project is Songs, Bond Songs. And as the title (and wonderfully clever

Album Review: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo — Mozartistic

At its best, kid-hop is a family friendly version of hip-hop, with lyrics full of universal appeal. Because while not everyone can identify with slice-of-life reality depicted in some rap and hip-hop, everyone has been a kid. Many still are. And at its best, kid-hop takes the form of the music made by sometime Asheville

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Down to Earth Astrophysicist

Astrophysics applies principles of chemistry and physics to the study of astronomy in a quest to better understand the universe. It’s heady stuff, and can be intellectually intimidating to the casual observer. Luckily, the world’s most prominent astrophysicist is Neil deGrasse Tyson, who holds a doctorate in the field and also happens to be one