Author Archive

Pete Yorn: A Singer/songwriter for All Seasons

Pete Yorn collaborates because he wants to, not because he has to. A jack of all trades, Yorn–who got his start as a drummer–is proficient on all manner of instruments. So while he’s quite capable of doing a one-man show in the studio, like a select few others (Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Lindsey Buckingham, Todd

Youth at Jazz: Keeping the Jazz Fires Burning in WNC

WNC’s long “roots music” tradition is well-known and justifiably celebrated. But there’s a whole lot more going on musically in the region, and much of it has an equally important connection to history. Asheville’s Youth At Jazz program is at the forefront of efforts to link today’s youth to the proud tradition of the American

Veruca Salt: Rocking Out from a Centered Place

“People always told me that [former co-leader Nina Gordon] brought the pop and I brought the rock — I thought we both brought both — but clearly we were going in different directions, as clichéd as that sounds.” Louise Post believes that Gordon and she shared a musical vision, one that Louise continues with the

The Veronicas: We Could Get Used to This

Note: this feature was based on my first in-person interview, way back in 2005. — bk Yes, they’re a pop group. But with a sound that owes more to Veruca Salt than to Madonna, identical twins Jess and Lisa Origliasso lead The Veronicas — and their fans — down a rocky path. Will their success

Thrice: Forever Changes

Dedicated fans can be a fickle bunch. They develop a strong affinity for a particular group based on any number of factors: personality, looks, lyrics, even the music. But some fans will freeze the group’s image in time. Woe be unto the group, then, if their personality develops, their hairstyles change, or — heaven forfend

Joe Satriani: Pushing the Limits of the Human Experience

On his new disc, Super Colossal, the originator of the Pitch Axis Theory continues his tradition of combining mind-melting feats of guitar pyrotechnics with memorable riffs and ear-candy melodies. Yet Joe Satriani always tries to go somewhere new. “On this record, once I had the title track, it gave me — in my own mind

Considering Stacie Rose

Thirty minutes into an interview that has covered the creative process, motivation for songwriting, and the difference between recording and performing live, Rutherford NJ-based singer songwriter Stacie Rose turns the tables. She asks me a question: “So, do you like the new record, by the way?” I’m so taken aback that I ask her to

Radio Birdman: Bird is the Word

Some 32 years after bursting on the scene with the seminal Radios Appear, Radio Birdman has returned with Zeno Beach. Yet they deftly manage the trick of sounding fresh and new. Intentionally or not, Radio Birdman made their name as one of Australia’s original punk outfits. Vocalist Rob Younger puts this into context: “Well, we

The Polyphonic Spree: Fragile Army, Reinforcements of Hope

There are so, so many things out there that remind you: this is all good. –Tim DeLaughter Tim DeLaughter, leader and lyricist of Dallas-based The Polyphonic Spree, reflects on the underlying philosophy of his music: “I want to facilitate a little beacon of hope…” he pauses and gestures toward the stage, where the 21-person group

Circus Devils: The Devil’s in the Details

“Circus Devils is fun.” That’s how Bob Pollard, former leader of indie-underground heroes Guided by Voices sums up (one of) his (many) current project(s). An exercise in what he calls “punk prog,” on the fifth full length Sgt. Disco, Circus Devils displays the twisted musical worldview of Pollard plus Todd Tobias. Todd adds that “there