Legendary Pink Dots: Connecting With the Dots in Chapel Hill

Unpredictable and experimental as always, The Legendary Pink Dots make a concerted and successful bid to connect with their audiences. Cutting a swath through the USA’s eastern seaboard — mostly by way of tiny clubs — the Legendary Pink Dots appeared in the dark, humid confines of Chapel Hill’s Local 506 this night to a

Lake Trout: Weird, Catchy and Everything in Between

Take equal parts pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, Kid A era Radiohead and Soft Bulletin period Flaming Lips, and what do you get? I’d love to report the answer is Baltimore-based Lake Trout, but it’s not that simple. Those influences are certainly there, and in the best way possible, but Lake Trout isn’t

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

The Collection

It wasn’t shrinkwrapped, but appeared to be new. The cover sported a black-and-white photo of The Beatles dating from 1969. There was no title on the front. On the back, there was an odd cartoon drawing of a guy with headphones, and endless text, most of which seemed to be gibberish or some elaborate inside

King Khan & BBQ: Exactly the Same, Only Completely Different

The King Khan and BBQ Show is the same as other rock and roll acts, only different. They’re a duo, and the only instruments — both onstage and on record — are guitar, percussion and vocals. Sound familiar? Maybe you’re thinking of The Flat Duo Jets, Dexter Romweber’s band from the 80s. Or maybe the

Tommy Keene in the Naughties (full interview)

In September 2006 I talked with Tommy Keene about his early brush with success, his new record Crashing the Ether, his disdain of genre labels, and much more. While it started out as an interview, it quickly became a conversation. In our lively and wide-ranging talk, we covered a great deal of material. He gave

Tommy Keene in the Naughties (short version)

NOTE: The full text of my 2006 conversation with Tommy Keene is here. It’s like he never left. In fact he didn’t.Tommy Keene’s first major release, 1986’s Songs From the Film was a minor hit on college radio; many saw him then as pop/rock’s Next Big Thing. While his critical stature has never been in

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

Robyn Hitchcock: Vinyl is Forever

The droll (even by English standards) singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock came on the scene in the late 1970s with The Soft Boys, a Cambridge psych-rock group that — depending on one’s viewpoint — appeared too late or too soon. After a string of spotty-or-brilliant (you decide; I’d argue the latter) albums, the band folded, and Hitchcock

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