He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Two

Continued from Part One … This may be a difficult question to answer. What do you see as uniquely French characteristics in your work? I think it’s maybe not that difficult. We should not forget that electronic music had nothing to do with the U.S. at the beginning. It has nothing to do with jazz,

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part One

Last fall I had the honor of interviewing Jean-Michel Jarre for the second time (the two features based on our 2017 conversation are here and here). This second interview again resulted in two separate features; one ran in Stomp & Stammer; the other on Rock and Roll Globe. Here now is the full 2018 interview,

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… For the title track of To the Bone, Wilson wrote the music, leaving the lyric composition to Andy Partridge, formerly of XTC. “If I’m going to go into a collaborative process, then I want it to be just that,” Wilson says. “Compromise is the wrong word, but you give and take,

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part One)

In some ways, the 2017 album To the Bone introduced a more user-friendly Steven Wilson. Certainly, Wilson’s fifth solo full-length features a good deal of the musically ambitious progressive rock styles that led to his being named Prog Rock King by the 2015 Progressive Music Awards in London. But the record also finds Wilson displaying

“Descent” is Metal and Darkwave Coexisting

In creative and entertainment media, the “alternative” label is tossed around so freely that it risks losing its meaning. Hidden away in the basement of a building on West Asheville’s main thoroughfare, a bar called The Black Cloud aims to restore that meaning. With a heavy metal/goth vibe that sets it apart from most bars

Album Review: Heather Gruber – Dance into the Desert

A collection of songs designed to convey a narrative of the artist’s sojourn from East Tennessee to Los Angeles, Dance into the Desert is shimmering pop. Gruber has a lovely voice, and her knack with a winning melody shines through on all of these songs. At one moment she might me trilling along while plucking

EP Review – CarnyMusic

CarnyMusic is the name San Francisco-based multi-intrumentalist, singer and songwriter Mike Carnahan gives to his latest project. A four-song, 18 minute set, this self-titled EP features somber, melancholy textures on “Riptide.” The spare funereal drum and insistent, folky acoustic guitar provide backing for Carnahan’s faraway vocal; some carefully-added sonic elements (keening and ghostly guitar lines,

Album Review: American High – U.N. Article 14

For a quick bit of context, “Article 14” refers to a section of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that people should be free from persecution. (It’s perhaps worth noting – and more than a bit troubling – that a 2004 court case in the United states concluded that the 1948 isn’t

Album Review: Norine Braun – Through Train Windows

There’s long been an appealing character to songs inspired by travel. Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Norine Braun’s Through Train Windows is the latest entry in that tradition; it’s a collection of songs that came about through the artist’s rail travel across her native country as part of the “Artist on Board” program. Intentionally removed from at

Lake Street Dive: We Want Them Back

Lake Street Dive has come a long way since the 2012 debut of its YouTube video, a cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” With 9 albums and/or EPs to its credit, the Boston-founded, Brooklyn-based group has steadily built upon its successes. Lake Street Dive’s origins were built upon country and jazz, but