essay Archive

His Phone Calls Suck. But You Will Laugh.

And now for something completely different. If you’ll forgive this sort of inside-baseball indulgence, I’d like to share some spit-take-inducing mirth with you. You might not have given much thought that such a thing exists, but in the music business there’s a job title known as “music publicist.” This person – sometimes in the employ

My Road Trip Soundtrack

As I prepared for my current 12-hours-each-way trip to visit my parents in Florida (making sure to leave my hoodie at home and not anger the self-appointed watcher of their neighborhood pool; he tried to kick me out last time), I was tasked by my traveling companion to put together a small stack of my

Bob by Others

Today’s Bob Dylan‘s birthday. I spent part of yesterday afternoon listening to my The Times They Are A-Changin’ LP, and I’m reminded yet again that the man is (or at least was) a peerless lyricist. That said, generally I still prefer his work when it’s interpreted by others. I know it’s an overly obvious thing

Essay: For the Love of Vinyl

“May I have your mailing address? I have some vinyl I’d like to send you.” That brief message from a music publicist landed in my inbox yesterday, and brought a huge smile to my face. You see, like many people, I am a vinyl fanatic. I started buying LPs around 1973 or so (I was

Vote for Me! Please!

When I started this whole music journo writing gig many years ago, part of my motivation was to build some “street cred” that I could leverage when proposing one of a few book ideas I have rolling around in my head. It never occurred to me that I might (even on rare occasions) stand up

Concert Preview: The Who

I’m very excited to be going to see The Who in concert in Greenville SC, just down the hill from our mountains tonight. It will be the third time I’ve seen the group onstage. The first time was in 1980. Not that final “farewell” tour, but a short mini-tour that took the band to a

Yep Roc 15 Preview

AMA Field Report: Memphis in Nashville

The Americana Music Association Conference and Festival took place September 18-22 in Nashville TN. As a first-time attendee – and as one whose tastes don’t fall neatly into the Americana category – I did my best to go with an open mind. Good thing: the AMA turned out to be perhaps the best festival I’ve

Fantasy Festival: Yep Roc 15

I’m not a fan of professional team spectator sports; that kind of thing has never held any fascination for me. But I sort of understand why others like it, I guess. I also (thank goodness) don’t work in a cube-farm office – got that out of my system back in the mid 90s – so

I’d Like Your Advice…

I’m headed to the Hopscotch Festival later this week in (relatively) nearby Raleigh NC. There is a loooong list of bands appearing. I know several that fall into the must-see category for me; The dBs are first among these. I plan on checking out the Jesus and Mary Chain (I bought Psycho Candy when it