interview Archive

Lowe’s Straitjackets

Though he’s known primarily for his 1979 hit single “Cruel to Be Kind,” singer-songwriter Nick Lowe is a revered figure in rock and pop music. A key figure in the British punk and new wave scenes of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Lowe has since turned his own music in a more low-key direction.

Sidney Barnes: A Preview

Note: I recently conducted a wide-ranging and lively interview with Sidney Barnes; the result of that is an in-depth feature running soon in Record Collector Magazine. In the meantime, this shorter feature will whet your appetite. — bk Born in a West Virginia mining town, Sidney Barnes eventually moved with his family to New York

Emily Saliers: Indi-going Solo

Decatur, Georgia-based folk rock duo Indigo Girls started in the mid 1980s, but Amy Ray and Emily Saliers had been friends since childhood, and musical collaborators for some time. After some singles and an EP, Indigo Girls released their debut album, Strange Fire, in 1987. They’ve gone on to widespread popularity, with more than fifteen

Big as Ever: Russ Wilson’s Famous Orchestra

Asheville, North Carolina is populated with scores of hard-working, ever-busy creative people who endeavor to bring their chosen art to the public. But among those, perhaps the busiest of all is Russ Wilson. It’s difficult to keep a current tally on just how many musical projects he’s juggling at any given moment, but of late

Olivia Newton-John Returns to Live Performance with All-hits Show

Olivia Newton-John has been a pop star for more than four decades. She got her professional start on Australian TV and radio, and cut her first single in 1966. Newton-John made a name for herself with the release of her first solo album, 1971’s If Not For You. On that record and several that followed,

Beats and Melody Coexist Naturally in Tokimonsta’s Music

The musical roots of producer/DJ/recording artist Tokimonsta extend in some fascinating directions. Jennifer Lee is Tokimonsta, and though her music is generally classified as electronica and instrumental hip-hop, she comes from a classical background. That musical foundation is something she seems to distance herself from and embrace in equal measure. “When I was playing classical

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival: Local Focus, Careful Growth

Now in its 10th year, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (October 12-14) is a world-class event spanning 7 venues and three days. But the festival grew from modest beginnings. BEMF co-founders Katie Longmyer and Jen Lyon began by taking over a piece of land in Gowanus and creating “a pop-up, daytime thing where there would

Joe Penland on the Connection Between Old-time Music and Storytelling

“I didn’t know I was a storyteller until I was told I was one,” says Joe Penland. A singer, songwriter and most definitely a storyteller, Penland is part of the ongoing movement to keep musical ballad traditions alive. He’s one of the featured speakers in From Knee to Knee: An Exploration of the Roots of

New Release: RBTS WIN’s “Sensitivity Kit”

The RBTS WIN trio – synthesist Javier Bolea, vocalist/synth player Cliff B. Worsham and guitarist Josh Chassner – makes modern, electronic-based dance music. But RBTS WIN – a fixture of many Moogfests – draws upon some very old-school influences. In addition to a strong hip-hop sensibility (“Javi and I caught the initial wave of hip

New Release: Foul Mouth Jerk’s “Scofflaw”

Michael Capra – aka Foul Mouth Jerk – explains title and theme of his latest release, Scofflaw. “’Scofflaw’ is a prohibition-era term for someone flagrantly flouting the more petty crimes,” he says. And Scofflaw is a collection of party songs and more political ones. “I’m hiding a political stance under some party shit,” Capra says,