Peter Stampfel

Goodbye 20th Century: Peter Stampfel Bids It a Fond Farewell, but Leaves the Light On “Good ol’ Ricola.” Peter Stampfel paused to unwrap a lozenge nearly an hour into a lively conversation. This was no product plug, but rather a coping mechanism. Stampfel suffers from dysphonia, and has completely lost his voice for extended periods… Continue reading Peter Stampfel

Cool Town

Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture By Grace Elizabeth Hale [University of North Carolina Press] Damn, I am old. So why does it blow my mind that 40+ years have transpired since Athens became the nexus of the Southern avant-garde, the wellspring of Georgia post-punk and the cool place… Continue reading Cool Town

Love Tractor’s First Album Reissued, Plus RSD 7-Inch

Love Tractor’s self-titled debut album, originally released on Atlanta’s DB Recs in 1982, has been remixed and remastered by David Barbe and occasional Love Tractor drummer Bill Berry, and will be reissued on Nov. 6 on Athens-based label HHBTM. The gussied-up edition – on vinyl, CD and digital – will feature revised cover art, and… Continue reading Love Tractor’s First Album Reissued, Plus RSD 7-Inch

Feast on This: Pylon Box Details Revealed

We’ve been aware for a while now that a Pylon vinyl box set was in the works. Well, now the full details on the four-album package have been revealed, and it looks amazing! The core of Pylon Box – to be released Nov. 6 on New West Records – will be the band’s first two… Continue reading Feast on This: Pylon Box Details Revealed

Luke Haines & Peter Buck – Beat Poetry for Survivalists

Peter Buck always seemed like the Rock and Roll Lifer in R.E.M.’s lineup. His recent burst of creative activity is nonetheless unexpected. He’s certainly not doing it for the money, and his artistic choices (three low-stakes solo albums, The Baseball Project?!) indicate he’s not pining for a return to arena stages, which is refreshing. Beat… Continue reading Luke Haines & Peter Buck – Beat Poetry for Survivalists

R.E.M. Builds a Bigger Monster

An album that was represented in every used CD discount bin 24 years ago, usually with multiple copies, R.E.M.’s Monster is now getting the expanded reissue treatment. The new deluxe edition of the band’s ninth album, originally released in 1994, will be available in various physical formats, as well as digital, come November 1. The… Continue reading R.E.M. Builds a Bigger Monster

Teen Movie Hell

Teen Movie Hell: A Crucible of Coming-Of-Age Comedies from Animal House to Zapped! By Mike McPaddden [Bazillion Points] There was a time when Atlanta was lucky to serve as the shooting location for an ’80s teen comedy like Fast Food – and Teen Movie Hell carefully captures those heady days when video stores were desperate for… Continue reading Teen Movie Hell

State of Georgia, Public Records Division

Intending to dive into the Record Store Day shenanigans on April 13 in hopes of getting your paws on one of those Sheena Easton “Sugar Walls” picture discs? Well, while you’re feverishly digging through the crates, you might wanna also keep an eye out for these special releases from some Georgia old-timers. Bingo Hand Job… Continue reading State of Georgia, Public Records Division

You’s a Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas-themed albums are a given at this time of year, but it kinda seems to us that there are a few potentially superior choices lurking amongst the usual pop shlock this year… or at least, potentially more entertaining than Eric Clapton’s Happy Xmas. For instance, there’s the Old 97’s Love the Holidays (ATO Records, Nov.… Continue reading You’s a Ho Ho Ho!

R.E.M.’s BBC Archives Released

A generous batch of R.E.M. radio sessions and live concerts exclusively broadcast by the BBC will be released Oct. 19 via Craft Recordings. For completists, the 8-CD/1-DVD mega-box includes audio of a 1984 Nottingham concert, along with a ’91 session (promo tour for Out of Time) and ’95 full concert (the Monster tour), but the… Continue reading R.E.M.’s BBC Archives Released

Azure Ray: Not Drowning, Waving

This past January, Azure Ray reunited for a sold-out show in Los Angeles. They must’ve enjoyed themselves, as they’ve now readied a brand new EP, Waves, which will be officially unveiled on Oct. 26 via Maria Taylor’s Flower Moon Records. The “dream-pop” duo – Taylor and her longtime friend Orenda Fink – formed in Athens, Georgia… Continue reading Azure Ray: Not Drowning, Waving

Charlie Pickett

Charlie Pickett Will See You In Miami The Club Downunder in Tallahassee was a low-ceiling, dingy afterthought of a club below the cafeteria on the campus of Florida State University. It was also, in the early years of the ’80s, the epicenter of rock ’n’ roll for the teenaged dorm dwellers and campus misfits (myself… Continue reading Charlie Pickett

Bruce Licher/IPP Art Book Forthcoming

A founding member of Savage Republic and, later, his own guitar soundscape outfit Scenic, Bruce Licher has certainly made his mark on West Coast experimental music. But he’s arguably more known for his distinctive letterpress graphic design work through his company, Independent Project Press, which has graced album covers, posters and other visual elements for… Continue reading Bruce Licher/IPP Art Book Forthcoming

Steve Wynn’s Rhino Albums Redux

Steve Wynn’s first two solo albums, recorded and originally released in the early 1990s by Rhino Records’ short-lived R.N.A. division, are being reissued in expanded editions on April 27th, courtesy of the discerning musicologists at Omnivore Recordings. 1990’s Kerosene Man firmly established Wynn as a solo artist more than able to equal and expand beyond… Continue reading Steve Wynn’s Rhino Albums Redux

Grant & I

Grant & I: Inside and Outside The Go-Betweens By Robert Forster [Omnibus Press] In 1983, an up-and-coming band released an album of smart, jangly music way outside the mainstream that somehow found an audience and presaged a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. I’m referring to R.E.M.’s Murmur. The same year a promising Australian… Continue reading Grant & I

The Arthur Buck Starts Here

Not to be confused with Buck McCoy, nor the current owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, Arthur Buck is the name of a newly established musical collaboration between ex-Georgians Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck. The pair met up late last year in Buck’s current hideout in Baja, Mexico. An improvisational eight-hour jam session… Continue reading The Arthur Buck Starts Here

Stipe Produces Former Fuck Buddy

Michael Stipe and Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner used to bang each other back in the day and now the insufferable Stipe who cannot be killed and will not just fade away has produced the upcoming Fischerspooner album, Sir, that’s due out February 16th. Stipe just so happened to produce the record in the very same… Continue reading Stipe Produces Former Fuck Buddy

Scott McCaughey Recovering From Stroke

Scott McCaughey is surely one of the friendliest and funniest fellows – young, fresh or otherwise – I’ve ever crossed paths with in my decades in the music biz trenches. He has been in my thoughts, in the thoughts of a lot of us here at S&S, since word spread that he suffered a major… Continue reading Scott McCaughey Recovering From Stroke

Power Pop Musician Tommy Keene Dies

Power-pop songwriter, singer and guitarist Tommy Keene left us in his sleep on Nov. 22nd at age 59, with no further details made public as of yet. Highly revered by folks more famous than he, the Maryland native worked with, wrote with, played with and/or toured with the likes of Paul Westerberg, Robert Pollard, Peter… Continue reading Power Pop Musician Tommy Keene Dies

Game Theory – Supercalifragile

The term “bittersweet” crosses my mind repeatedly when listening to this posthumous collection from Scott Miller. Miller, whose unusually heady brand of power pop was a reliable presence through the ’80s and ’90s as the mastermind behind Game Theory and later Loud Family, had become less prolific in his later years – his last release,… Continue reading Game Theory – Supercalifragile

R.E.M.’s Automatic Anniversary Expansion

It’s been 25 years since R.E.M. released their best ‘90s album, Automatic For the People, which means it’s being gussied up and re-released with all sorts of added treats. For the frugal spender, the two-disc edition will include the full 1992 album remastered from the original tapes, plus a second CD of their 13-song show… Continue reading R.E.M.’s Automatic Anniversary Expansion

Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s Mystery Road Repaved

Almost 32 years from the date of their first performance at Atlanta’s 688 (10/9/85), Island Records will re-release Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s third album Mystery Road in multiple formats on October 6th. Following up 1988’s Whisper Tames the Lion, a year on the road all over the world found DNC on fertile creative ground, knocking out… Continue reading Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s Mystery Road Repaved

David Barbe Sails 10th of Seas

Few figures in the long, storied history of Athens’ rock underground can touch the long and diverse resume of David Barbe. The ‘80s rocker with Mercyland and other bands went on to tour the world as a member of Sugar, alongside my should-be wrestling buddy Bob Mould. A second career as a producer and engineer… Continue reading David Barbe Sails 10th of Seas

40 Watt’s Gear Recovered, Suspect Arrested

What a week it’s been for the crew over at the 40 Watt Club! After over $20,000 worth of PA equipment was stolen from the building sometime in the wee hours last Friday morning, July 29th, not only was a suspect arrested the following Tuesday, but nearly 80% of the gear, which included numerous amplifiers,… Continue reading 40 Watt’s Gear Recovered, Suspect Arrested

Bruce Hampton, 1947-2017

In the end, the spectacular finale of his last night on earth will become the legend, overshadowing the scattered but often significant details of his life. It’s still only hours after he exhaled his last breath, and I can already see that scenario happening. But in fairness, it’s completely understandable. While the sudden loss is… Continue reading Bruce Hampton, 1947-2017

Alejandro Escovedo & Friends Feel the Burn

One of our longtime faves, Alejandro Escovedo returns to record bins on October 28th with a new album that finds him switching things up once again and working with a fresh group of collaborators ­– namely Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, who not only produced and play on Burn Something Beautiful, but co-wrote its 13… Continue reading Alejandro Escovedo & Friends Feel the Burn

Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Some writers live it. Some just make shit up. But if communication is the desired goal, both are means of expression. Writing is a private affair, not an orgy, which is why it is not uncommon for authors to lock themselves away from the outside like some mad scientist experimenting until daylight. The difference is… Continue reading Author: The JT LeRoy Story

“Weird Al” Yankovic

Recording artist "Weird Al" Yankovic performs in support of "The Mandatory World Tour" at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on May 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. *** Local Caption *** Al Yankovic

Polka On My Mind: Georgia, Accordion to “Weird Al” Yankovic Although I realize such misguided people exist in this woebegone world, anyone who claims to steadfastly dislike “Weird Al” Yankovic, or at the basic level professes no appreciation for him or understanding of his ongoing appeal, is someone whose judgment I will always view with… Continue reading “Weird Al” Yankovic