Because Songs Matter

Posts by contributor

DAVID RAWLINGS MACHINE: A FRIEND OF A FRIEND

DAVID RAWLINGS MACHINE: A FRIEND OF A FRIEND

The title of David Rawlings’ debut “solo” album, A Friend of a Friend, may be the most appropriate album title since Raw Power. A perennial sideman, Rawlings has most notably backed Gillian Welch though, if you’ve ever seen the two perform, you’re aware of just how colossal a misnomer it is to describe Rawlings’ role […]

NEW NINEBULLETS FEATURE: TWO SENTENCE REVIEWS

NEW NINEBULLETS FEATURE: TWO SENTENCE REVIEWS

I listen to a lot of music. A lot of music. I can’t speak for AIV or Romeosidvicious, but the list of records I’d like to review for Ninebullets is about three miles long, and that’s before I’ve sorted through anything that’s been submitted for review (AIV handles the bulk of that, so his workload […]

BRMC: LIVE

BRMC: LIVE

In a perfect journalistic world, every review is either an unabashed rave about a life-defining record or a scathing pan, solidifying [insert band/album] as [insert hyperbolic insult]. That’s how we want it – that’s how I want it, anyway – black and white. Challenge me, that’s fine, that’s encouraged, but make it either good or […]

MATTHEW RYAN: DEAR LOVER

MATTHEW RYAN: DEAR LOVER

Matthew Ryan’s twelfth album, Dear Lover, is part prayer, part confession; a whispered recitation of the things that often go unsaid between people. This may sound dour, but Ryan has always been adept at infusing his hymns with more than enough hope to lift them above any sorrow and melancholy that may be contained therein. […]

HAVE YOU SEEN DIGNITY: AN INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW RYAN

HAVE YOU SEEN DIGNITY: AN INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW RYAN

If you could put a voice to that feeling that overcomes you as the night stumbles to a close and the barlights dim ever so slightly, that last little loving nudge towards the door before the slam back on, each blazing bulb a 120 watt punch in the nose, that voice would be Matthew Ryan’s. […]

CRIMINOLOGY IN THE AGE OF NON-DAIRY CREAMER: THE TOM RUSSELL INTERVIEW

CRIMINOLOGY IN THE AGE OF NON-DAIRY CREAMER: THE TOM RUSSELL INTERVIEW

Tom Russell’s new album, Blood and Candle Smoke (September 15, Shout! Factory) further solidified Russell’s reputation as one of the most gifted and poetic songwriters working in music today. As Russell weaves and wanders his way through a dusty sonic landscape created by a cast of musicians including Winston Watson, Barry Walsh and members of […]

ON TOM WAITS AND THE LIVE RECORD

ON TOM WAITS AND THE LIVE RECORD

Sometime around midnight last night (I’m on German time for the moment so it was 3:00 Pacific and 6:00 Eastern for those keeping track), I was putting the finishing touches on a night-long Looney Toons marathon when I noticed an email in my inbox from a friend, the subject line reading only “New Waits.” The […]

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: THE LOW ANTHEM

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: THE LOW ANTHEM

Remember when bands made records? Not ten-song collections of iTunes downloads, but complete, thematic bodies of work meant to be analyzed and appreciated as such? It is worth noting that, while the “single” as a concept has been around since long before Steve Jobs revolutionized portable and digital music, many of the most enduring songs […]

TOM RUSSELL – BLOOD AND CANDLE SMOKE

TOM RUSSELL – BLOOD AND CANDLE SMOKE

Until further notice, this is the best record of the year. Period. Tom Russell’s work has been interpreted by Johnny Cash, Dave Alvin, Jerry Jeff Walker and many others, but Russell has, inexplicably, flown under the mainstream radar for the duration of his career. The fact is, Russell is one of an elite group of […]

PETE YORN and SCARLETT JOHANSSON – BREAK UP

PETE YORN and SCARLETT JOHANSSON – BREAK UP

Damnit. I’ll say that again, for dramatic effect. Damnit. I want to get this out of the way, so you can skip the rest of this post or read intently, accordingly: I like this record. So there’s that. Pete Yorn has always been, for better or worse, about three steps behind Ryan Adams on the […]