JD McPherson learned much of what he needed to know from punk rock. That’s not obvious on his four albums including 2017’s Undivided Heart and Soul, where his debt to Buddy Holly and the pioneers of rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, and R&B are far more evident. But punk rock was his gateway drug when he grew up in rural Oklahoma in the 1980s. It got him started playing in bands, and it introduced him to the artists who influenced the bands he liked.
One thing can be said of President Trump: He can politicize anybody. Tav Falco of Memphis’ Panther Burns has only shown a political consciousness in the broadest terms throughout his musical career. Tav Falco plays d.b.a.
[Updated] “Cooper’s dad introduced him to his first jug band,” says Pete Bernhard of his bandmate Cooper McBean, as if learning about jug bands is a modern American rite of passage like getting your first car or signing up for Tinder.
The Ponderosa Stomp has been the World Series for record geeks since its inception, but this year's event goes farther down that rabbit hole than ever before with few artists who had much more than a cup of coffee in the public eye. Still, the lineup is promsing as our Spotify playlist below shows.
[Updated] A recent issue of The Wire features essays on compilations, some framing the act of compiling, others analyzing memorable compilations. The essays considered the effects of the contexts in which we heard music, but no one wrote about a compilation that was an mind-opener for me, 1981’s Jukebox at Eric’s.