Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Heavy Metal Bebop Podcast #4: Tyshawn Sorey

The fourth episode of the HMB Podcast — featuring an in-depth conversation with multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey — is now live. Go here to listen/subscribe via Apple Podcasts and here to listen subscribe via Podbean, or check out the episode via the player below.

Friday, May 03, 2019

'Trips,' then and now

Until a couple months ago, I had no idea Trips existed. I am grateful to Mr. Jeff Golick, formerly of the exemplary jazz blog Destination Out, and now an editor at Dover, for cluing me in to a new edition of the book, Ellen Sander's 1973 chronicle of life at the epicenter(s) of the '60s rock explosion. Simply put, Ellen was everywhere during that time, from Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon to Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont, and her lucid, passionate, zealous-yet-clear-eyed prose preserves the spirit of the era better than pretty much anything else I've read.

I feel like I've been using this phrase a lot lately, but I mean it, so what the hell: It was an honor and a pleasure to speak with Ellen for Rolling Stone. Please pick up Trips — you will not be disappointed.

Monday, April 15, 2019

In the court of the Crimson king

Hard to really express what an honor and pleasure it was to travel to London to interview Robert Fripp. Also, here is a report from a daylong Fripp press event that took place the day before the sitdown.

I feel like I'm just now finally getting my head around the entirety of the King Crimson output to date. Just a stunning body of work. Aside from the obvious classics, if you have not spend good time with Three of a Perfect Pair (an album I'd overlooked before) or the recent live albums Live in Chicago or Meltdown: Live in Mexico, I'd highly recommend doing so.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Heavy Metal Bebop Podcast #3: Kenny Grohowski

The third installment of the HMB Podcast, featuring a long-form interview with drummer Kenny Grohowski — of Imperial Triumphant, John Zorn's Simulacrum and many other projects — is now live. You can listen/subscribe in iTunes or stream/download via the player below.

Photo: Petra Cvelbar

A sincere thanks to anyone who has checked out the podcast so far. I hope you're enjoying this new format for the HMB series as much as I am. And for those who might be wondering: Yes, non-drummers will be featured on future episodes! Please stay tuned.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Heavy Metal Bebop Podcast #2: Kate Gentile

The second installment of the HMB Podcast, featuring a long-form interview with drummer-composer Kate Gentile, is now live. You can listen/subscribe in iTunes or stream/download via the player below.

To everyone who has listened or sent feedback on the podcast so far, thank you so much for your support. If you like what you hear and are inclined to rate or review the show in iTunes, that would be sincerely appreciated.

More great conversations have already been recorded for the coming months, so please stay tuned!

Lately (3/17/19)

*A review of an awesome four-band death-metal bill, featuring DFSBP faves Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel.

*A write-up of an excellent new oral history of the band King's X, with whom I've become fairly obsessed within the past year or so.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Heavy Metal Bebop Podcast

Some reading this may be familiar with Heavy Metal Bebop, the online interview series I launched back in 2011 dealing with the intersections of jazz and metal. I'm happy to announce that Heavy Metal Bebop is now a podcast. Go here to learn more and to stream or download the first episode, which features a conversation with Bad Plus drummer Dave King. Or just hit play below:

I've had more fun conducting these interviews than I have in just about any other journalistic endeavor to date, so I'm enormously happy to unveil this latest chapter of HMB. The other HMB Podcast episodes I've recorded so far have been a blast, and I can't wait for you to hear them.

Hope you enjoy! And stay tuned for episode 2 sometime in March.

Update: You can now hear and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Lately (2/12/19)

*An interview with La Dispute's Jordan Dreyer about the band's history and new LP. To my ears, this band made one of the best rock albums of the past decade or so with 2014's Rooms of the House, which I discussed a bit here. Their other albums are also excellent, and that includes Panorama, out next month. LD are one of those bands who are already legendary in their niche ("post-hardcore," "emo," what have you), but anyone who appreciates intense, well-crafted, thought-/feeling-provoking rock really needs to check in with them.

*A review of January's Black Flags Over Brooklyn fest. Kim Kelly put together something really special with this one. Caught some extraordinary sets that weekend and tried to do 'em justice.

*Wrote up a couple new tracks by James Brandon Lewis and Angel Bat Dawid, respectively, both very much worth your time.

More soon…

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lately (1/14/19)

Happy New Year, and welcome once again to this little corner of the internet. As ever, if you're reading this, I appreciate your kind attention and do not take it for granted. Cheers to you. Onward!

Here are:

*A rundown of my 2019 Winter Jazzfest faves. I only caught a tiny fraction of what went down at the fest, but still managed to hear a broad array of world-class groups. I'm happy that WJF is now a firmly entrenched annual staple of the NYC concert calendar, and I look forward to many more.

*A piece on the Jawbox reunion, with commentary from three of the four members. I'm a huge fan of this band, and have been for around 25 years, so this was simply an honor and a pleasure to put together. See also an older DFSBP piece in which I delve into some of the reasons I find their music so inspired/inspiring.

*A brief write-up on the latest from Krallice, which I would not hesitate to name one of New York's, and the world's, premier avant-garde ensembles, regardless of genre. More on them, and what they mean to me, here.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Best of 2018: Digest

*Jazz list.

*Metal list.

*All-genres-in-play list.

*Live list.

*All-genres-in-play top 10 list archive, 2005 through the present.

*Jazz-only top 10 list archive, 2008 through the present.

Thank you as always for your kind attention. Cool things are afoot for 2019 — stay tuned and take care!