Author Archive

Free Planet Radio – What in the World?

Asheville NC might not be the first place you think to look for an innovative musical group working in the “world music” genre. But in fact the eclectic mountain city has a deep bench of musicians with stellar world music credentials. River Guerguerian is an award-winning, conservatory-trained percussionist. Canadian-born, he’s of Armenian-Egyptian extraction. And his

Flaming Lips: The Sound of Success

With the charismatic Wayne Coyne fronting the Flaming Lips, it’s easy to overlook the articulate creative expression of Steven Drozd. Steven joined in 1992, ostensibly as their drummer — but quickly assumed the role as a prime mover of all things musical. The relentless contributions of this multi-instrumentalist are a major influence within the ever-expanding

The Fever: Through the Present Darkly

Kemado recording artists The Fever set out a spooky, carnivalesque vibe on In the City of Sleep, their sophomore effort. Taking stylistic cues form Angelo Badalamenti — especially his work with David Lynch on the Twin Peaks soundtrack — The Fever sketch out territory pleasingly (but not overly) familiar to fans of The Cramps, Michael

Under the Microscope with Fall Out Boy

Note: This was my first magazine cover story — bk. It’s the last day of June, and Island/Def Jam recording act Fall Out Boy is “a little bit too far outside San Diego” on an early date on the 2005 Warped Tour, promoting their latest release, From Under the Cork Tree. They’re in Chula Vista,

The Strange Odyssey of Roky Erickson

The history of rock ‘n’ roll is replete with all manner of tragic stories. In a few rare cases, the stories turn around into something more positive. Roky Erickson’s is one of those stories. Erickson was the founder of the first psychedelic rock group, the Thirteenth Floor Elevators. The group was renowned for its 1966

Dungen: folkrockpsych

Even in the 21st century, the vagaries of transatlantic phone calls are such that bad (or dropped) connections are routine. So it was thanks to some persistence on everyone’s part that this interview even took place. We only got a bit more than halfway through the list of questions, but even in our brief time

Tom Dudley Does it Right

If a musician attends the famed Berklee College, then goes on to work as an electronic technician at Moog Music, and then chooses bluegrass music as a career, he must be a musical carpetbagger. Right? Wrong. “My mother was from southern Ohio, near Kentucky…almost Appalachia. My parents sang Carter Family songs around the piano,” guitarist

Dream Guitars – Six-string Dream Catcher

Henry Ford famously put the assembly line approach into use in auto manufacturing in 1913. That technique — with its goals of efficiency and quality control — quickly became a worldwide standard and was applied to every conceivable type of manufacturing. Mass production and standardization changed the world in many positive ways. But the assembly

DeSol: Here Comes the Sun

A couple years ago, Asbury Park NJ-based Latin-rock artists deSoL were signed to Curb Records, a staid, ultra-square label known for being home to Tim McGraw and (shudder) The Osmonds. If that sounds like a match destined to fail, in retrospect it was. Unhappy with the label’s efforts on their behalf, deSoL recently freed themselves

Neil Finn – Back in the (Crowded) House

The date was June 1, 1981. Riding high on the success of their latest hit single “History Never Repeats,” New Zealand art-pop group Split Enz was in the midst of a North American tour. Fake I.D. in hand, this writer was in line outside Atlanta’s Agora Ballroom, waiting to see the quirky pop group and