Neko Case [Republic, August 12, 2007]

Comedian Eddie Izzard, when commenting on the National Anthem, said that it doesn’t really matter what you’re singing as long as you’re singing with gusto.  The same could be said of Neko Case; this show would be a hard sellout even if she were going to sing the Orleans Parish Yellow Pages. Fortunately, Case, whose … Continue reading

Editors’ Picks: Voodoo ’07

For nine years now, Voodoo Fest has been a place where beloved obscurities and major label heavyweights can share the same stage.  Some years this works to enormous success, such as it did on that monstrous day in 2004 that we were treated to the Polyphonic Spree, the Killers, Sonic Youth, the Pixies, Green Day, … Continue reading

Coming Clean with the Meat Puppets

Coming Clean with the Meat Puppets Interviewing Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets is about as easy as pinning down his band’s ever-shifting style.  The 49 year-old singer and manic guitarist shifts moods and thoughts as effortlessly as he does genres, particularly on Rise to Your Knees, the Puppets’ new record, which marks the return … 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

Top 5 Live Moments, 2005

Top Five Live Music Moments, 2005 (National) 1.  Mayor Ray Nagin on stage; Voodoo Fest I’ll spare the explanation and just say that it was incredibly heartwarming to see Nagin on stage; he wasn’t smiling, he wasn’t laughing, he was positively giddy over the site of 15,000 coming together.  Every other time I’d seen him … 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, 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

Shooter Jennings/Drive-By Truckers [Voodoo Fest ’06]

Somewhere out in Voodoo land, tight pants’d college kids who came for Broken Social Scene and are staying for Social Distorition will be faced with a dilemma. Shooter Jennings, whose records land barely land on the right side of the pop / authentic country line, is sandwiched between the current indie darlings and the legendary … 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

Vietnam [Twiropa, March 7, 2005]

If compact discs were made of what they feel like, no one would ever touch Vietnam’s The Concrete’s Always Greyer on the Other Side of the Street.  No one wants to pick up a mud pie iced with blood, concrete, barbed wire, oil fresh from a rig, and a dash of tears.  Luckily for you, … Continue reading

Trail of Dead [HOB, March 25, 2005]

February 22nd.  3:00 pm.  My first interview.  I would have been nervous if I were talking to Ballzack, or even my friend’s house party band.  But  here I am, preparing to make a  long distance call to Sweden to talk to Conrad Keely, lead singer of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of … Continue reading