Author Archive

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

Monstrance: Don’t Call it a Jam

After a hearty hello via transatlantic telephone, Andy Partridge asks me, “so, now, are you tape recording this?” I tell him I am, asking if it’s okay. “No, I absolutely prefer it!” He explains, giving an example. “You get about twelve sentences in, and then you pause. And the interviewer taps about five or six

Mon Frere: Let the Music Do the Talking, I Guess

“Basically, I guess that’s a bit more, um, farther than we wanted to go.” Such was the response to a question about the cover art on Mon Frere’s releases, 2005’s Real Vampires EP and the trio’s newest release, the full length Blood Sweat and Swords. The artwork on both makes liberal use of goth imagery,

Peter Millis: Mountain Music Meets the Bard

Peter Millis believes that there’s a strong musical connection between pre-Elizabethan England and WNC. His work with the Montford Park Players serves to illustrate that relationship. Actor/musician Peter Millis got involved in drama as an adult playing and singing in an Appalachian drama called Way Back When. And although he’s played for friends, family and

The Machine: A Living, Breathing Thing

The Machine are a four-piece band based in New York and dedicated to bringing the music of Pink Floyd to concert audiences. Since the last Pink Floyd concert (not counting the brief Live 8 reunion gig) was in October 1994, bands like The Machine are one of only a precious few ways to get a

Eliza Lynn: Music as an Emotional Safe Haven

“I don’t remember not singing,” says folk/blues/jazz/Americana musician Eliza Lynn. “I remember being on the way to preschool, riding down Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive, making up songs.” “It’s just sort of a way of being for me. I’ll be driving, waiting at a stoplight, writing songs about sittin’ on empty.” In fact, she explains, “I write