Rock n’ Roll and other Forms of Art

I do a little arts coverage every now and again; everything ranging from artist profiles to composer interviews to performance reviews. I used to do a lot more when the magazine trade was booming – plowing through bluegrass albums for Dirty Linen, drinking with local rock bands for the city papers, and interviewing burlesque performers for truly strange venues like Atomic Magazine. I keep a lower profile these days, but here are a few pieces I’ve done a little more recently that I like, and a few from the archives.

STEREOPHONICS PAINT A NEW PICTURE WITH “GRAFFITI ON THE TRAIN” (Marquee Music Magazine)

Some history: I don’t listen to the radio at all anymore, having long since migrated over to other mediums, generally podcasts or audiobooks. But my wife has this habit of listening to Absolute Radio, broadcasting from London over the web, and has been known to fall madly, deeply in love with bands like Elbow and Oasis and The Kaiser Chiefs and Florence + The Machine. This was one of those bands. When they came through Denver on an exquisitely rare club tour, playing The Bluebird Theater for less than 400 people, I was very glad to track down founder Kelly Jones for this interview about songwriting, creating the band’s live sound, and inebriated rambles through Japan.

DAVID BYRNE EXPLAINS “HOW MUSIC WORKS”

That man dances like no other. That’s all I have to say.

BLACK 47: THE HOUSE BAND OF IRISH NEW YORK

i always liked this profile of Larry Kirwan and the great Irish rock band Black 47, so I decided to resurrect it when I heard the band was breaking up after 20 years of maximum rock n’ roll.

LOUIS PRIMA PLAYED IT PRETTY FOR THE PEOPLE

This was one of those stories you just lose yourself in. To this day, I still haven’t found a truly comprehensive biography of Louis Prima. One of my finest moments in this story was tracking down a 75-year-old Sam Butera, Prima’s premium sax man, to an apartment in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he regaled me with stories from the golden age of Vegas shows for hours.

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