Constance: Delicate Burdens

Constance: Delicate Burdens If you don’t know someone – I mean really know them in the sense that you’ve made some emotional connection with them, gone out drinking with them, had that mystical one-night stand with them, sat on a back porch playing guitar with them, even if only once – if you haven’t warmed … Continue reading

The Fiery Furnaces Will Rock You

The Fiery Furnaces Will Rock You It’s never been terribly easy to listen to the Fiery Furnaces.  I first encountered them with 2004’s epic Blueberry Boat, a schizophrenic rock opera as hyper as its breakfast-cereal name, which, until the release of this year’s Widow City, was considered their most accessible record.  The group, whose primary … Continue reading

Famous Faces at LSU

In terms of population, LSU is the tenth biggest city in Louisiana. On any given day there are roughly 50,000 students, faculty, and staff running from place to place, not to mention countless campus hangers-on. There are those who center of the crowd — people whose mere appearance generates questions: Who are they? Why are … Continue reading

Explosions in the Sky’s Chris Hrasky [Republic, March 7, 2007]

I think it’s safe to say that we are a region equally accustomed to both tragedy and comedy. We have shown the rest of the country that it’s okay to laugh when you cry, that we are more than King George’s Court Jester. We are inherently self-obsessed, forever wary of outsiders (except those named Drew … Continue reading

The Rising: The Canonization of Bruce Springsteen

Marty Garner The Rising:  The Canonization of Bruce Springsteen In 1974, rock critic Jon Landau wrote “I have seen rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”  Landau, who went on to produce Born to Run as well as manage the Boss’ career following that record, cannot have known how right he was. … Continue reading

Mute Math [Voodoo ’07]

The soundtrack to Transformers: The Movie is about what you’d expect from a Michael Bay movie: plenty of heavy pop-metal, rap-rock, and a new Smashing Pumpkins song.  But tucked away at the very end of the CD is a reinterpretation of the classic cartoon’s theme song.  The cover is so out of place with its … Continue reading

Don’t Call ‘Em Post-rock: Do Make Say Think

Don’t Call ‘Em Post-Rock: Charles Spearin of Do Make Say Think “You know what happens after rock ‘n’ roll?” a good friend once asked me.  “All lead singers die.”  He was referring, of course, to post-rock, the catch-all term for diverse groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky, and Rachel’s, bands whose … Continue reading

Did I Step on Your Trumpet? Searching for Daniel Smith

Did I Step on Your Trumpet?  Searching for Daniel Smith Where is Daniel Smith?  It’s raining here in Baton Rouge as I walk my dog and somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, Daniel Smith and a van full of strange, strange people are driving about.  I can see them in my mind’s eye.  Smiling.  Laughing maybe.  … Continue reading

Sufjan Stevens: All Dressed Up and 48 States to Go

“All research, he decided, begins with your imagination and with your intuition, relying heavily on the convictions of the heart.” — Biography of Sufjan Stevens, AsthmaticKitty.com Listening to his records, one gets the sense that Sufjan Stevens lives in the clouds. Not in that vapid, no-place-like-home-Toto sense, but in a very literal sense. He lives … Continue reading

My Morning Jacket: Third Time’s a Charm

My Morning Jacket: Third Time’s a Charm Imagine: a group of five normal Kentuckians make soaring country/folk/rock, record in a silo, get famous, sign to a major, lose longtime keyboardist and guitarist, hire new guys who can play a catalog 50 songs deep and embark on a tour within two weeks, release a record of … Continue reading