Music Journalism A-Z – Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Paul Williams is the Father of Rock Criticism. He created the first magazine of pop music criticism and rock culture, Crawdaddy!, when he was a seventeen year-old college student. I loved reading that magazine growing up.

Mostly self-penned in the beginning, and then a vehicle for such incandescent writers as Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer, and Jon LandauCrawdaddy!chronicled rock’s growing self-awareness and communicative power, helping to coalesce a nascent progressive underground which would irrevocably change the music, and provide a template for any aspiring writer. I should know. Finding issue #7 at a “head shop” on St. Mark’s Place in the winter of 1966 was a life-changing experience, showing me a new way to understand the music I loved, and how I might repay the favor through my own words.

— Lenny Kaye

In 1995, Paul Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident, leading to early onset of dementia, and a steady decline to the point where he now requires full-time care.

The burden on his immediate family has been immense.

You can find out more about how Paul is doing by reading his wife Cindy Lee’s blog, Beloved Stranger, about her life with a brain injured spouse.

Then, if you can, please visit the donation page they have set up, and contribute.

The Oxford American, Southern Music Issue 2012, Louisiana

I happened upon the Southern music 2012 issue of Oxford American at Barnes & Noble yesterday. I first blogged about their annual Southern music issue last year which covered Mississippi. The Winter 2012 issue is dedicated to the music and culture of the sovereign state of Louisiana.

I have visited New Orléans, Louisiana on multiple occasions in the past 30+ years. I love the rich heritage of jazz found there. My favorite time in New Orléans was in the early 80’s. I spent an evening spellbound sitting at the foot of jazz in the heart of the French Quarter at Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street.

File:PreservationHall 2008.jpg

I sat on a dusty old sofa cushion witnessing the Kid Thomas Band perform traditional jazz dance band music for a diverse international audience. The people around me were from Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA. They were very friendly musicians who went about their craft with precision and grace. I purchased the “Kid” Thomas Valentine LP after the show to evidence my appreciation for their performance.

I am eager to delve deeper into this quality music magazine which is certain to increase my ever-increasing knowledge about Louisiana’s role in American roots music.

Gary Clark Cover Story – Paste Magazine M Player Edition

 Find out more about Gary Clark Jr. who is getting a lot of deserved focus. I like this novel approach to the Webzine, multimedia content that Paste M Player has designed and delivered.

Click here to see it (you have to set up an account first which can start as free for 7 days). I chose the Facebook  Connect option (OpenID…).

Please note this is not a Responsive Design Web app. It is not usable today on the iPhone device. Perhaps in the future.

Use your favorite Web browser for now (mine is Google Chrome right now…)

Uncut Magazine – World Exclusive Neil Young The 2012 Interview

The music magazine that continues to impress me the most with their compelling, well articulated music articles is Uncut Magazine from the UK. Last month they featured an exclusive with Patti Smith that I enjoyed tremendously.

Uncut - July 2012

The present stateside magazine is the Take 183/August 2012 issue. The cover features the prolific Neil Young who at 67 years of age is rocking like a hurricane these days. Uncut features a 15 page article/interview that is aptly billed as a world exclusive.

Uncut - August 2012

The magazine also features informative articles that you can really sink your teeth into about the MC5, The Dirty Projectors and Peter Tosh.

Keep it going Uncut Magazine!

Uncut Magazine – R.E.M. The Ultimate Music Guide

I am continually impressed by the journalistic excellence Uncut Magazine evidences issue after issue. I believe it’s time to subscribe to this authoritative publishing source.  The Uncut team conveys a focused collective energy for the mutual benefit of the reader and the artists.

Uncut Magazine has done a stellar job with their most recent compendium, The Ultimate Music Guide, R.E.M., a well researched and coordinated 148 page collectors’ special issue. The chronological discography presents a fresh look at every R.E.M. album. I now have the right companion guide to cross-reference as I Spotify R.E.M.’s catlalogue over the next few days.

The Oxford American – Thirteenth Annual Music Issue

I made a great musical find last night browsing at my local Barnes & Noble book store. I saw out of the corner of my eye a copy of Oxford American magazine sitting by its lonesome. It was calling me to pick it up. I noticed that my favorite music journalist, Peter Guralnick had contributed an article, “Sam Phillips‘s Greatest Discovery” to the publication. It’s a story about Howlin Wolf and its reallllllly good!

I have developed a discerning taste for music journalism over the decades. The Oxford American, thirteenth annual Southern music issue surpasses my expectations with its content. It is a treasure chest of well articulated and researched music literature. The publication adds tremendous depth to the importance of our rich American heritage, the music of the South.

One of my major bucket list items is to take an extended vacation on the Southern blues trail(s). The Oxford American is the magazine I will be taking with us on that journey.

So forgive me as I rub my hands with glee here this morning. I have this great magazine to hunker down with and learn from this weekend.

Life is sweet 😉

Women of the Blues, Part I, Daily Post 2011 #18

Wintery days, snowed and iced bound indoors creates cabin fever. What better way to handle cabin fever than listening and studying the blues, while doing my graduate school homework 😉

The Nov/Dec issue of Blues Revue, The Worlds Blues Magazine is a fantastic issue featuring a cover story entitled, “Powerful Women Play the Blues”. If you are looking to discover invigorating musicians carrying the blues tradition forward you want to get this magazine to read about what these women are accomplishing.

If you scratch my rock and roll heart you will find at its core the blues. The discoveries I have made through the blues have been some of the most enriching experiences of my life. It’s important to fortify and deepen one’s trusted experiences by gaining a better appreciation for women in the blues.

1. Joanne Shaw Taylor

Joanne Shaw Taylor produces that gutsy sounding blues you’ve come to respect from respected blues artists. Her raspy vocals match her tough guitar playing. I didn’t find her blues style immediate, but as I listened  further to Diamonds in the Dirt, a natural intensity took hold. It was like lighting a candle that burns bright with an ever-increasing flickering flame.

I especially love this quote about Joanne Shaw Taylor :), “Last year I heard something I thought I would never hear … a British white girl playing blues guitar so deep and passionately it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!” — Dave Stewart, Eurythmics


2. Debbie Davies

People have been singing the praises of Debbie Davies to me for years. I finally got around to reading more about Debbie Davies today. The more I read told me that I too am a fellow beatnik.  I took the time today to listen to Debbie Davies’s latest recording, Holding Court. I love the tone of her blues guitar, she has the chops of Albert Collins, who she played with from 1988-1991 and so much more. I hear some of Michael Bloomfield in her style. Her command of the guitar is blues power pure as she plays with an effortless sincerity that will captivate your soul.

3. Eden Brent

I stumbled upon Eden Brent recently when I was looking at a list of blues artists playing on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. One of my fantasies is to take that cruise with Rosemary from some port of call in the future 😉

I then noticed that Eden Brent’s recording Ain’t Got No Troubles as  #4 in Amazon’s Top 10 Best Blues Albums of 2010.  (As is Joanne Shaw Taylor’s Diamond in the Dirt recording at #10). This intrigued me further. Next thing I know I am buying the latest Blues Revue on the newstand and there is a feature article on Eden Brent. Well I go with synchronicity when it strikes like that.

I really like Eden Brent’s recording. The Mississippi area of the US has always been a fertile source of blues music to draw upon. Eden Brent encompasses the boogie woogie piano playing and adds her velvety smooth vocals to that mix. Her interpretations are resonant as they collect your warm smile.

4. Cyndi Lauper

I just adore Cyndi Lauper.  Her voice is emotionally poignant. I respect how Cyndi Lauper takes risks on creative levels through constant experimentation with her music. Memphis Blues establishes a defining chapter in the evolution of Cyndi’s ever-changing songbook.

We saw Cyndi Lauper open for Cher in 2003 at Mohegan Sun. She knocked us out with her magnetic aura, which was both intimate and charming in its appeal.