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Beale Street, When it was the Center of Black Culture

Rufus Thomas, of the “Funky Chicken,” once said of Memphis’  Beale Street that it was heaven. “I told a white fella,” Thomas  said, “that if you were black for one Saturday night on Beale Street, you would never want to be white anymore.” It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and even

Over the moon about Los Lobos in Seattle

Many of my friends may be seeing some break-out new band in Austin tonight, but whoever they are, they won’t be as good as Los Lobos were last night at the Triple Door in Seattle. I enjoyed talking with the band backstage about their first-ever Seattle show in the eighties — which was a

The “New Jimi Hendrix album” isn’t new, and isn’t much Jimi really

If you’re wondering about the “new” Jimi Hendrix album, well it’s not truly new, and it’s also not truly Jimi Hendrix. Here’s me discussing it on KUOW today. http://kuow.org/…/frontman-jimi-hendrix-came-sideman-jimmy-…

Mardi Gras in a Los Angeles Record Store is a Big Easy

To whomever left this gift of karma on my Los Angeles parking meter, probably knowing that I was rushing to the Ameoba Records mardi gras parade — thank you. The 75 cents was nice, but the note was priceless. The day got even better: We saw a fabulous set by Steve Earle at the

At the Neptune, Lucinda Williams sings of loss and blessings

Lucinda Williams’ show last night at the Neptune was sublime, and much more focused than her Zoo show in the summer: Here’s my review. Even better was talking to her after the show (with country superstar Miranda Lambert also backstage, a big fan herself) about songwriting, being an “outsider” artist, publishing, Seattle music, and

Roll Over Beethoven, Mad Season is Here

1/30/15: The most super thing happening in Seattle music this weekend occurs tonight at the Seattle Symphony with an all-time dream band: Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Matt Cameron, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Walking Papers’ Barrett Martin and Duff McKagan, Kim Virant , Jefferson Angell, plus a bevy of others, including the Symphony, all doing

Patti Smith at the Moore: Ghosts and the Living

1/20/15: Patti Smith was incredible last night at the Moore. If I’ve got as much fire as she has when I’m 68, I’ll have lived a full life. Here’s my take on the show from the Seattle Times. http://blogs.seattletimes.com/…/patti-smith-bares-her-rebe…/

Patti Smith, Fresh From the Vatican, Hits Seattle

1/16/15: My preview of the upcoming Patti Smith concert is in the Seattle Times today. Patti Smith comes to Seattle on Monday night at the Moore. I saw her first Seattle show at the Paramount, and her last local gig at the Neptune in 2013. Over the years two others really stuck out: Her

Huffington Post Tells You Facts You Didn’t Know About Nirvana

1/14/15: The Huffington Post has a piece up today that details things many fans might not know about Nirvana. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/nirvana-behind-scenes_n_6464822.html?1421255168. I do love the horse photo of Kurt and Krist.

Best of 2014: The War On Drugs, Basement Tapes Reissue

Yes, the War on Drugs. It’s that time of year when critics begin to compile their “best of” lists, which are usually equal parts elitism and self indulgence and I’m guilty as charged. Even years before I was a published critic, I was a sucker for year-end lists, probably the result of teen years