Sparks Nevada Now Rides the Comic Racks

“Here’s the problem with writing characters for ten years, as we’ve been doing with The Thrilling Adventure Hour: You fall in love.” Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, the writers and creators of the The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast wrote these words in the liner notes accompanying Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars #0, the digital preview to the comic book adap

Riff Raff, Night Vale, and World Cup Consolation

All the Cat Powers When Alison Fensterstock wrote about Hurray for the Riff Raff’s appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, a commenter at Nola.com wrote, “One of the most overrated groups out there (how many Cat Power-lite singers are too many?), but this is admittedly a nice arrangement.” I’ll take all the Cat Power-lite singers who can write songs as bold as “The Body Electric.” Americana bands rarely suffer from a surplus of nerve, and fewer ask a ce

Riding the Tongue: The Dash Rip Rock Interview

When Dash Rip Rock released Hee Haw Hell in 2007, the band planned to premiere the redneck version of “Dante’s Inferno” at South by Southwest. Bill Davis, the band’s one constant since its beginning in the early 1980s approached me, writer John Swenson, and a handful of other people at The Continental Club a half-hour or so the band’s set to ask us if we’d read some of the text passages between songs.

Alex McMurray Will Never Be Alone ...

Alex McMurray is healthily cautious talking about himself. It's an occupational hazard, but it's one he undertakes with a note of self-deprecation. He's quick to share credit or recognize the accomplishments of others, and when I asked him in his Bywater home about how often he played in a week or month, McMurray pointed to Tin Men bandmate Matt Perrine as the real iron man who plays far more often than he does.

Glen David Andrews Straightens Things Out

Some interviews are easier than others. Glen David Andrews, for instance. Get him started and he'll take it from there. We talked for more than an hour before Christmas outside Cafe Rose Nicaud on Frenchmen Street, and all I needed to do was get out of the way and let him lay out his truth. I asked a few questions including some about the upcoming gig he was doing with Amanda Shaw, but I listened a lot more.

Dave Pirner's Been Delayed

What does a band mean to its members after more than 25 years? After it has taken time off? After it's followed the traditional narrative arc of the band growing from a scruffy regional band to being big enough to play The White House, then returned to a more human scale? VH-1's Behind the Music would usually end those narratives with a hopeful "They're making another run" tag that nobody believes - not back to the band's previous pinnacle of fame, anyway.

Helen Gillet Alone and With People

On her previous album, The Running of the Bells, Helen Gillet performed with collaborators Tim Green and Doug Garrison, both part of New Orleans' undervalued improvised music community along with Gillet, who brings classic training in the cello to the act of making music. Recently, she released her self-titled third album this time, it's a solo album. It's more pop-oriented, which isn't to say it's pop.

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