Milton Berle was a legend, a figure so engrained in American culture and yet so far outside my cultural world that talking to him on the phone about Elvis Presley in 1997 didn’t quite feel real. He was old and hard of hearing but completely capable of reeling off ancient anecdotes.
“The shows I like the most are when we’re trying to win somebody over,” says Jack White, “When they’re yelling at us, that really gets me going.” Right now, the White Stripes are definitely going. The Detroit duo is indie rock’s great white hope, and audiences are falling for them like a punch-drunk boxer throwing a fight. The guy standing with his wife behind the sound board heard one song on a college radio station, bought the White Stripes’ current album, White Blood Cells, and drove in from Connecticut for the first of their three sold-out New York shows. He’s not disappointed.
I met John Lydon in a New York hotel room on a promotional tour for his first memoir. Although it was a fruitful interview, he ate sushi while we spoke and displayed an overt display of scorn that could have been better saved for someone with a lot less admiration and respect for him and his music…
Dancing about architecture? How about listening about music….
Why do I write about music? Why does anyone? I’ve given that question a lot of thought and I have discerned subliminal motives that are less than flattering. On one hand, it’s the desire to share what moves me, to offer the benefit of serious consideration and historical knowledge to the young and curious. On a deeper level, however, it springs from a desire to be accepted and appreciated, to establish standing in the world that I hungered for as a child.
His songs cast an eerie spell; they hold you in their grip and rarely let go. It’s not only that Nick Drake produced some of the finest melodies and lyrics ever or that he influenced many a romantic young man to take up the art of song. It’s the emotional intensity and sincerity of his music.
Speaking from his home in Omaha, Nebraska recently, Matthew Sweet was supposed to be discussing his new album. But his mind was elsewhere – like, on another planet. “I have a real thing for Mars,” he says. “I’m really interested in astrophysics and astrobiology, so Mars things I’m always kind of excited about.”
Director Julien Temple talks about his new Shane MacGowan documentary, Crock of Gold. “Shane talking to other people he knows or respects gave us a more scattershot approach. We shot him and Johnny [Depp] for eight hours and probably only got three or four minutes out of it. But it was spontaneous and uninhibited.”
Brothers of the Head,, which arrived hot on the platform heels of Velvet Goldmine and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is a faux documentary about a doomed mid-’70s UK glam/punk act led by conjoined twins, told via supposedly vintage verité footage, contemporary interviews and scenes from an abandoned bio-pic allegedly directed by Ken Russell.
The once-notorious Rat Scabies of the Damned is now a charming grandfather, drumming (remotely) in a great band with another London scene stalwart and two LA punk veterans.
The new documentary film White Riot covers the first two years – 1976 to 1978 — of the British activist organization Rock Against Racism. Director Rubika Shah’s style, which incorporates animation and quick edits, builds on the energy of the punk scene and includes plenty of exciting music.
With a huge box set retrospective and a fired-up new solo album, Bob Mould is living proof that old punks never die.
Thurston Moore talks about his new album, By the Fire, his songwriting process, surviving the indie rock lifestyle, playing for 200,000 people and more.
Four Boston college students formed the Remains in 1963 to play straightforward rock ‘n’ roll. Their energy and exuberance was unmatched by any American band of the time and surpassed by only a couple of English bands.
Bubblegum had nothing to do with any style of music per se, only with a style of promoting that music. Unlike any other genre of rock and roll, bubblegum has no musical roots, only financial and marketing ones. Its only musical requirement is baffling simplicity, an insistent 4/4 beat and lyrics a four-year-old can grasp after two plays.
“I remember being an 18-year-old in New York coming to Other Music for the first time and being intimidated by the fact that I didn’t recognize 90% of the names on the bin cards. But that didn’t keep me from coming back. I wanted to find out who they were.”
A wild tale of talent scouting, heedless auditioning and a weirdly happy ending that involves Iggy Pop and Ray Manzarek.
The Go-Go’s’ documentary, which began streaming on Showtime Friday, tells the band’s story and gives all the principals ample time to share their memories, acknowledge their flaws, laugh about past excesses and admit regret over one bad career decision.
Mickey Leigh has been a fixture on the New York rock scene since the late 1970s. The guitarist, keyboard player and singer is also an author and the organizer of the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash charity concert. We’re proud to share this exclusive premiere of “Little Cristine” from his current project, Mutated Music.
In 1979, we got to interview down-to-earth billionaire Richard Branson and his Virgin Records label manager at the company’s West Village office, on the occasion of their new American imprint.