Rant ‘N’ Roll: Jerry Lee Lewis Will Live Forever

In 1953, when Jerry Lee Lewis was barely 18, he had a son with his second wife. He’d stay out all night ravaging pianos in broken-down palaces to hordes of drunks who’d egg him on and slip him little Benzedrine pills so he’d never stop playing. It’d be 4:00 in …

by   |  03/04/2015  |  Comments (7)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Whimsical Frisell, Hendu Can Do & Tedious Brilliance

Guitarists come and guitarists go and a few of them seemingly stick around forever. Bill Frisell, 63, is in this latter category. He’s kissed the sky so many times in his evolving artistry that I thought I had him pegged as this avant-garde fusionist with forays into classical, noise …

by   |  02/25/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Caught Between Heaven And Hell

EASTON, PA—That age-old conundrum of God versus the Devil came up recently when I had to decide whether to go see Marilyn Manson at the Sands in Bethlehem or Sister Act at the State Theatre in Easton. Manson’s satanic aesthetic held sway since one of his recent interviews included enough …

by   |  02/18/2015  |  Comments Off

Celebrating Mardi Gras

For those of us unlucky enough not to make it down to Louisiana for this year’s New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, Philly Gumbo is bringing a taste of the French Quarter to Pennsylvania at The Sellersville Theater located just off Route #309 on Fat Tuesday, February 17, at 8:00. Steeped …

by   |  02/11/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Cuba’s Musical Mystery + Two Cool Gringos

Now that our anything-but-lame duck of a President has finally grown a set of balls in doing everything by himself without the dickhead Republicans, I wanna go to Havana! Oh man, baseball! Music! Beaches! I hear the hotels won’t really be top-notch ready for years but still…

Meanwhile, we have …

by   |  02/11/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Bruce – The First Seven Albums

Listening to Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Volume #1 1973-1984 (Columbia/Legacy) back to back to back to back to back to back to back (easy as they’re all short), one gets the growth, the detours and the effect of stardom on an artist’s music (and don’t let anybody tell you …

by   |  02/04/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Classical Gas & Other Delights

“Like Rain it sounded till it curved/And then I knew ‘twas wind/It walked as wet as any Wave/But swept as dry as sand/When it had pushed itself away/To some remotest Plain…”—Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]

Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu [1930-1996] was musically influenced by French composer Claude Debussy [1862-1918] but his “And …

by   |  01/28/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: The Rubinoos, Frank, Barry & Bowie

Barry Ollman’s What’ll It Be debut (Blue Colorado) is filled with gratitude for life itself as this longtime Denver stalwart almost went down to a heart attack during its recording. These 10 originals are a thing of beauty: pristine, evocative but not cloyingly sentimental. “Imogene’s Lament” is a duet …

by   |  01/21/2015  |  Comments Off

Rant ‘N’ Roll: Goddess In Our Midst

So a scared teenager steps to the mic in a Nashville studio for the first time and the pain exhibited on her 1989 Sunrise major label debut on Epic makes that album one of the best of the year, and one of the best debuts ever. The pain is etched …

by   |  01/14/2015  |  Comments (1)

Rant ‘N’ Roll: From Texas, Georgia & Illinois To France And England – 2014 Best-Of Alternates

As in the act of compiling any Top 10, there’s plenty of stuff you forget, gloss over, didn’t hear in time or otherwise changed your mind about. The following are some examples.

The self-titled debut of Austin’s Tinnarose (Nine Mile Records) is a quirky pop delight. Seth Sherman harnessed his …

by   |  01/07/2015  |  Comments Off


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