One of the better double bills of the summer so far is James and The Psychedelic Furs. For the former, I sat down with band leader Tim Booth to talk about the group’s latest album, Living in Extraordinary Times, the current state of the world and how he found out Batman was a fan of James. Check it out over at Vanyaland.
Earlier this month, the folks behind Ultimate Classic Rock launched a site dedicated to all things Prince, aptly dubbed Ultimate Prince. It’s a deep repository of reviews, criticisms and news surrounding the life and death of the Purple One, and this week I took part in a roundtable to discuss the curiosity that is Prince’s soundtrack to the 1989 Batman film.
A group of us talked about how it stands up 30 years later, what the best songs are and how it might have been different with other compositions included and, perhaps most importantly, what to make of the song “Batdance.”
June 15 marks the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s first full-length LP, Unknown Pleasures, and today I was a guest on Indie617‘s Morning Glory with Michael Marotta to sit down and talk about it.
The two of us discussed a variety of the record’s aspects, from the iconic cover to the fresh and “futuristic” sound of the music. You can head over to the Indie617 site to read more about the talk and listen to all the segments in the Soundcloud player below.
Howard Stern Comes Again, the first book by the legendary shock jock in nearly 25 years, lands on shelves today. Music has always played a major part of his radio show, whether it’s by having many of his favorite musicians perform or be interviewed on the show. He’s also got into a number of feuds with a bunch of acts during his time on the air, and over at Ultimate Classic Rock, I broke down 10 of them, settled and not so much with everyone from Madonna to David Lee Roth to Tool.
[Note: Typically I link my writings directly to the publication to read. This week over at The Daily Times, I covered the Kate Smith saga, but since there is a paywall, have included the piece in its entirety below for non-subscribers as I think it raises some important points.]
The eradication of Kate Smith and her revered version of “God Bless America” by the New York Yankees and Flyers – the latter who went so far as to cloak a team-dedicated statue of the singer in black before moving the structure – is the very essence of hypocrisy.
No matter which side you are on, it has to be acknowledged there is a serious double standard in place, one that is convenient for multicultural inclusiveness on one hand, yet utterly ignorant on the other. Because, if Kate Smith is going to be banned, then a long, hard look needs to be taken at The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses – just to name a few.
There are few things I enjoy more than the Record Store Day events throughout the year. For the main, big one in April, I try to make it up to Portland, Maine. That’s where Bull Moose records is based, where the head Chris Brown co-founded the vinyl holiday 12 years ago. Over at The Daily Times, I came up with a baker’s dozen of things to pick up out of the 400 plus titles released this year.
Yeah, it’s become a bit corporate in recent years, but I still love RSD. Heading out now for the second round in Portland. Here’s some early items sent out via my Instagram, and here are a few I picked up earlier this morning.
Today marks 25 years since the death of Kurt Cobain. The Nirvana frontman took his life in the greenhouse above the garage in his Seattle home on April 5, 1994. Over at The Daily Times, I looked back on the weeks leading up to his untimely passing, what happened when the news hit the wires and the immediate effect it had on both Cobain and Nirvana’s legacy.
Here’s a performance of “Drain You” from France exactly two months before the eve of Cobain’s death: