pop Archive

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

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

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

Los Straitjackets: A New Twist on an Old Sensation

Legendary instro-rockers Los Straitjackets have taken worthwhile stylistic excursions before. While their primary métier is surf music, they joined with a host of vocalists for 2001’s Sing Along with Los Straijackets. And their upcoming release–Rock en Español, which should hit the streets by the time you read this–will feature vocals by the front-men of Los

Nana Kitade: Gothic Lolita and J-pop Hit American Shores

I spoke to J-pop vocalist Nana Kitade through an interpreter. Though her Japanese answers (and my questions, for that matter) were subject to filtering in the process, hearing her voice gave me some sense of her reactions. Though the now-nineteen year old Kitade spoke in a childlike, sing-songy voice — a bit like Pebbles from

Billy Jonas: Bridging Genres and Happy Accidents

In a way, Billy Jonas is a man of two worlds. He writes, records and performs family music, and he’s a singer/songwriter who explores deeper issues in his music. “It’s like cross training,” he explains. Billy has released a CD (2002’s What Kind of Cat Are You?) and two DVDs aimed at the family/young audience

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,

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

Interview: Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw is one of rock music’s most underappreciated artists. After a string of critically-acclaimed albums (beginning with his self-titled 1982 debut, right through 2003’s What’s in the Bag?), and a good bit of work in other media (books, films and more) in 2007 he was between record deals. But that didn’t slow him down.