John Cale – Music for a New Society/M:FANS

A case can be made for John Cale having delivered the most richly varied catalog in the rock canon. A before/after view of his Velvet Underground tenure makes clear his role as the group’s experimental soul. After indulging his avant classical roots for a bit post-departure, Cale delivered the brilliantly pastoral Paris 1919 (at the… Continue reading John Cale – Music for a New Society/M:FANS

Killing Joke – Pylon

The lifespan of a longstanding, influential band can be an odd trajectory. This is especially true for Killing Joke, the act that more or less set the template for what would become commercial industrial rock in the 1990s. So I suppose that “commercial industrial rock” requires a bit of explanation, right? Such generic hair-splitting is… Continue reading Killing Joke – Pylon

The Dickies

The Dickies: Not On Top Of It, Really You’d think a legendary punk frontman intentionally knocking a female concertgoer in the noggin would see a flurry of media coverage. An incident like that typically gets plenty, and fiery criticism from the public typically follows. But when it happened in Brisbane last April, so few outlets… Continue reading The Dickies

Chris Stamey – Euphoria

You, the readers of Stomp and Stammer, are the true gourmands of rock ’n’ roll – a highly evolved, sophisticated and smart bunch, the proverbial Last of the Mohicans, a dying breed of aesthetes. I’m betting you’re getting uglier every day, too. (God knows I am. Sheesh. These days, my mantra is just don’t look in… Continue reading Chris Stamey – Euphoria

Shuggie Otis

Shuggie Otis: The Music Keeps Calling Him Back “I look back now,” says Shuggie Otis, “and I think, ‘Wow. I must have a lot of patience!’” The multi-instrumentalist is reflecting on the curious arc of his career so far: his fame began in earnest when he was a young teen, continued into his early twenties,… Continue reading Shuggie Otis

The Sonics

Sonic-ize Yourself! Half a Century On, The Sonics Still Go Boom You may think the Seattle rock ‘n’ roll scene reached its apex in the early ’90s with the emergence of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Screaming Trees and Mudhoney. Certainly, that was an epic sound heard around the world, comparable on the Richter Scale used… Continue reading The Sonics

Booker T. Jones

Born Under A Good Sign: Sound the Alarm, Booker T. is Back It’s been a long road from Memphis for legendary musician Booker T. Jones. Jones grew up there, attending Booker T. Washington High School alongside fellow future music giants songwriter David Porter, Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Maurice White, saxophonist Andrew Love of the… Continue reading Booker T. Jones

Glenn Phillips

Something Lost, Something Found: Glenn Phillips Reflects on His Fiery First Musical Memoir It’s been forty years since the release of Lost At Sea, guitarist Glenn Phillips’ first solo album. Forty years! That means it’s been that long since I interviewed him for my high school newspaper, Phillips being the first local Atlanta musician I… Continue reading Glenn Phillips

Flamin’ Groovies, Part 1

Shake Some Action All Over Again! Okay, all you list-makers and mixtape-compilers, what’s the one song that should be on every goddam list, mixtape or, for that matter, K-Tel compilation of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs… ever. Think for a sec. Okay, got it? You sure about that? Positive? Hah. You’re wrong. It’s not… Continue reading Flamin’ Groovies, Part 1

Flamin’ Groovies, Part 2

Between The Lines: Flamin’ Groovies Singer Chris Wilson Looks Back on the Band’s Classic Period In the fall of 2005 I interviewed Chris Wilson from his home in England; at the time he was still somewhat estranged from erstwhile songwriting partner Cyril Jordan – intriguingly, he was also working on a Groovies-inspired project with some… Continue reading Flamin’ Groovies, Part 2

The Empty Hearts – The Empty Hearts

A “supergroup” made up of ’80s sidemen, The Empty Hearts consist of southpaw guitarist Elliot Easton (The Cars), drummer Clem Burke (Blondie), vocalist/strummer Wally Palmar (The Romantics), and bassist Andy Babiuk (The Chesterfield Kings), with late keyboardist Ian McLagan (Small Faces) tickling the ivories on the handful of tracks that require them. Their self-titled debut… Continue reading The Empty Hearts – The Empty Hearts

Ian McLagan & the Bump Band – United States

Classic rock listeners need no introduction to the late Ian McLagan, a superlative sideman whose electric piano repeatedly stole the spotlight from Rod Stewart on such hits as “Stay with Me.” Although McLagan’s new album United States certainly showcases his impressive keyboard prowess, veteran producer Glyn Johns (who, like McLagan, has worked for both The… Continue reading Ian McLagan & the Bump Band – United States

Stiff Little Fingers – No Going Back

Last year’s most impressive punk rock success story was Stiff Little Fingers’ No Going Back, an album whose production was entirely fan-funded through PledgeMusic, reaching 120% of its goal on the first day. Recorded in February, it ascended to #1 in the U.K. charts by mid-September. Not bad for a feisty Belfast combo who’ve been… Continue reading Stiff Little Fingers – No Going Back

OFF! – Wasted Years

Here we are, well into the career of OFF!, the careerist uberpunk band whose raison de etree is probably to pick the bones of Black Flag for maximum profit. When OFF! emerged on the scene four years ago, few would have predicted that the band would be so prolific. In 2010, OFF! was welcomed as… Continue reading OFF! – Wasted Years

Gregg Allman

Trouble No More Has Gregg Allman Finally Found Health and Happiness? “I’ll go to the end…I’m not trained for much else, bro. Not to mention it’s my passion,” says Gregg Allman when he’s presented with a rumor that the Allman Brothers Band might hang it up after 2014, their 45th year. “You think of how… Continue reading Gregg Allman

Black Sabbath – 13

In the unholy lore of the secret cult of metal, The Big Four is a monolithic presence – an assemblage of power that operates similarly to Christianity’s Holy Trinity. And when I say The Big Four, I am not talking about Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. I am talking about Black Sabbath’s first four albums.… Continue reading Black Sabbath – 13

Iggy & the Stooges – Ready to Die

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, The Stooges went where no band had gone before (or since, for that matter), delivering three albums that would singlehandedly lay the groundwork for what would later become punk rock and heavy metal. The Stooges, Fun House and Raw Power are the unholy triumvirate of albums – three… Continue reading Iggy & the Stooges – Ready to Die

The Swimming Pool Q’s – The A&M Years 1984-1986

I remember when the Swimming Pool Q’s signed to A&M Records in 1984. It was a big deal, a cause for genuine excitement in a city – and region – whose musical treasures were too often overlooked by the rest of the country, especially the know-it-all label execs in New York and L.A. But R.E.M.’s critical… Continue reading The Swimming Pool Q’s – The A&M Years 1984-1986

Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day

So there goes Robert Plant last month, dangling the carrot in front of us again, doing an about-face from his assumed strict no-go stance and indicating on an Australian TV show that he’d be open to a Led Zeppelin reunion tour next year. It’s become a burlesque routine, this talk of a Zeppelin roadshow. They… Continue reading Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra – The Jazz Age

Why is it that so-called “heritage artists” (translation: at least three decades’ music biz tenure) almost always get a pass, despite their very longevity making it more rather than less likely they’ll release a stinker or two over time? I recall how once, as a guest on a radio show, I proposed that then-recent releases… Continue reading The Bryan Ferry Orchestra – The Jazz Age

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Jeff knows I’m not a Dylan person, but anyone with a basic working knowledge of rock music is familiar with some aspect of his career and impact. It’s been years since I cared enough to listen to one of his albums in its entirety because the man responsible for expanding rock’s vocabulary with topical introspection… Continue reading Bob Dylan – Tempest

Loudon Wainwright III

Trust in Dysfunction: Loudon Wainwright III on Outliving His Father While Watching His Offspring Enter the Spotlight His old friend Rambling Jack Elliott can describe, in a snap, the abiding allure of Loudon Wainwright III’s craft – so often applied to troublesome life-or-death themes. “He has mirth in his voice,” says Elliott, who first met… Continue reading Loudon Wainwright III

Mission of Burma – Unsound

My expectations for Mission of Burma’s Unsound were uncharacteristically tempered. It follows the storied Boston quartet’s first true misstep (2009’s spotty The Sound, the Speed, the Light) and in the interim they cut ties with the label run by their longest and most fervent champion – surely not a positive indicator. Unsound opens like a… Continue reading Mission of Burma – Unsound