Album Review

Big Star’s Big Reissue, and More

It happens with surprising frequency: an artist crafts something auspicious or even brilliant, and the record companies say “no thanks.” Decca got a shot at the fledgling Beatles and took a pass. Columbia decided that Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions—which contains his classic “Hallelujah”—wasn’t good enough to release. And then there’s the case of the ironically… Continue reading Big Star’s Big Reissue, and More

Album Review · Video

A Buck Owens Anthology, and Three More New Releases

Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1966. If you think you know country music but haven’t familiarized yourself with Buck Owens’s catalog, it’s time to return to school. Along with Merle Haggard, Owens played a key role in popularizing the back-to-basics Bakersfield (California) Sound, and he influenced a generation of artists, including… Continue reading A Buck Owens Anthology, and Three More New Releases

Album Review

The Pretenders’ Latest, and Three More Noteworthy Releases

The Pretenders’ new Alone, which the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced, is being billed as the group’s first new record in more than half a decade, because 2008’s Break Up the Concrete was the last CD to appear under that band name. In fact, though, you could argue that every Pretenders album is a Chrissie… Continue reading The Pretenders’ Latest, and Three More Noteworthy Releases

Album Review

A New Anthology from the Late, Great Guy Clark

With the deaths of such prominent artists as Prince and Leonard Cohen making headlines in 2016, you may have missed the fact that we also lost the great Guy Clark, who passed away in May. He crafted cogent, plainspoken, memorable lyrics about everything from hard-living drifters to homegrown tomatoes, and his songs have been covered… Continue reading A New Anthology from the Late, Great Guy Clark

Book News

Talking about John Lennon on PBS

Last night on PBS-TV stations in the Northeast U.S., I discussed my book Lennon on Lennon on One on One with Steve Adubato. We talked about what the book revealed, how Lennon changed over the years, and why I used the word “conversations” in the book’s subtitle. We also chatted a bit about Bruce Springsteen. If… Continue reading Talking about John Lennon on PBS

Album Review · Film/TV Review

A Lavish Reissue Celebrates One of Rock’s Greatest Concerts

No rock group ever bade farewell to its fans more memorably than the Band. On Thanksgiving Day in 1976—after eight years of gigs in roadhouses, bars, and dance halls and another eight in the big time (some of that with Bob Dylan)—the group returned to San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, the venue where they’d first performed… Continue reading A Lavish Reissue Celebrates One of Rock’s Greatest Concerts