Tank and the Bangas Are Right Band, Right Time

Tank and the Bangas have become one of the best stories in New Orleans music. Their growth as artists and performers has been steady, and success hasn’t come at the cost of their nerve. Instead of remaking “Walmart” again and again or—worse—simplifying their songs to make them more conventional, they’ve asked more of their audiences instead of less.

NPR's List of Greatest Albums by Women Provokes Conversation

[Updated] A good list starts conversations, which is why they’re a staple of sports talk radio. Where does Quarterback X rank on the list of all-time greats? Who’s the closer you want on the mound in game seven of a World Series game when you’ve got a one-run lead? Questions like that can fill phone lines for hours. By that standard, NPR’s “The Greatest 150 Albums by Women” is already a success.

The Best on Bowie

[Updated] When I suggested yesterday that many critics and journalists felt David Bowie’s death too strongly to jump in with their strongest stuff right away, it looks like there was something to that. Later Monday and on Tuesday, stronger pieces started to show up, and speaking personally, my own game got a little better.

Instant Culture's Going to Get You

Since Foo Fighters' appearance at Voodoo, I've been riding Dave Grohl and Sonic Highways pretty regularly here (and here) and on Facebook--probably creating the impression that I'm more hostile to him than I actually am. He's too amiable for me to genuinely dislke, and there are people making lousier, more cynical music in the world.

Brass Bed Go Behind the Desk

Last summer, I talked to Brass Bed's Jonny Campos about the addition-by-subtraction process that led to its then-new album, The Secret Will Keep You.

 "We played the songs over and over. We played the songs at half-speed to make sure nothing was stepping on each others' toes. We pored over lyrics. We pored over backing vocals. We pored over every detail so that when we got to the studio, we could execute." 

Pages