Country Funk Comp Shows the Strange Treatment of Country Music

I wrote about a new compilation of country music and the strange way the genre is treated by the press for the Atlantic. Below, one of the songs off the compilation, which shows the singer Bob Darin basically rapping–in 1969.


Miranda Lambert’s Platinum

I wrote about the new Miranda Lambert album, Platinum, for the Atlantic. It’s one of the strongest albums of the year so far, and it comes at an important moment for country music. Below, check out Lambert’s take on soul, entitled “Holdin’ On To You.”


I wrote about a book compiling BBC interviews with the Beatles for the Atlantic. See the piece here. The Beatles obviously did a lot of great stuff, but some of their earliest tunes might still be my favorites:


I wrote about the new R Kelly album for the Atlantic. See the piece here. Below, an older Kelly track, “A Woman’s Threat.”

Everything Is Everything

I wrote about a Donny Hathaway box set for the Atlantic, you can read the piece here. Here’s “Je Vous Aime,” a track from Hathaway’s best-known album, Everything Is Everything.

Purple Snow

I wrote about a new compilation from the Numero Label, Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound, for the Atlantic. Read the piece here.

Below, one of the my favorite productions from Minneapolis-funksters Jam & Lewis, Janet Jackson’s “When I Think Of You.”

Super Rhythm(er)

I wrote about a new book, Beat Box, for the Atlantic. It’s about one man’s collection of 150(!!) drum machines. Read the piece here.

Drum machines are often named terribly–wrap your mouth around “Super Rhythmer.” But the use of drum machines is one of the most important story lines in the last 40 years of pop. A lot of mega hits were made with drum machines. Here’s Roxy Music’s “Dance Away,” a smash in 1979. According to the book, the drum machine was set on “cha-cha” for this track.


I wrote about Eminem’s new album for the Atlantic. Check the piece here.

Here’s “Rhyme Or Reason,” a tune off the new album that samples the Zombies’ classic “Time Of The Season.”

Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

I wrote an article for The Atlantic connecting a recent editorial by ex-Talking Head David Byrne, a blog post by the New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones, and two books coming out in November: one on indie-music scenes around the country, one on Memphis’s Stax Records. Check the piece here. The apt song for a piece about how successful art often destroys the conditions that make its success possible has to be Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” from his Otis Blue album. Otis showed up at Stax and put together this entire album in a day and a night.

One-Way Discographies

I wrote another piece for the Atlantic on a group of indie-rock bands from the ’80s and ’90s that have re-formed and put out new music this year. Read it here.

Above, the cover of one of the classic ’80s Pixies’ albums. Below, the first Replacements’ song I ever heard, from one of their great albums, Let It Be.

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