essay Archive

Take 5: Big Star

Across the landscape of pop music, there have been certain artists whose influence far outpaced their popularity. There’s an old saying that while, for example, the Velvet Underground didn’t sell […]

Preview: Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice

A GRAMMY-winning documentary exploring the life and career of the acclaimed singer, Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice is a critically acclaimed portrait of the beloved performer and […]

Take Five: A Susanna Hoffs Deep Dive

Eternally youthful singer, songwriter and guitarist Susanna Hoffs celebrated her 65th birthday on January 17. Hoffs came to fame in the early ‘80s with The Bangles; her great voice and […]

No Compromise: The Sound of Shakin’ Street

The following is a liner note essay I wrote for Scarlet, a brand-new archival release from Liberation Hall Records. It’s a document of the band’s August 1979 set at San […]

Take Five: Early Graham Nash Songs

Though he’s best known today as a revered solo artist (and former member of both Crosby Stills and Nash and Crosby Stills Nash and Young), Graham Nash found great success […]

Take Five: The Early Rides of Paul Revere

In part because the group’s leader was named after a hero of the Revolutionary War – and because the band’s choice of dress doubled down on that image – Paul […]

Take Five: Early Gems from Billy Idol

Along with his friend Siouxsie Sioux, William Broad was part of the so-called Bromley Contingent, a group of punks who were central to the music and fashion movement in late […]

Take Five: Songs on the Road to ELO

Electric Light Orchestra’s third studio album, On the Third Day was released in the U.S. just over a half century ago: on December 14, 1973. Featuring two minor U.S. hit […]

Take Five: Lead Guitarists from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

Celebrating his 90th birthday this past November 29, John Mayall is the grand old man of British Blues. While Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner and select others deserve credit for launching […]

Take Five: Classic Covers by The Ramones

The Ramones burst onto the music scene like a breath of (if not fresh than) New York City air. The foursome played a high-speed, stripped down punk version of rock […]