Thursday, May 16, 2024

Patti Smith, alter girl

On my walls and shelves at home, I have a plank of wood from the house in Marlin where Blind Willie Johnson lived in the 1920s, the sole of a big shoe I found on Washington Phillips’ property in Simsboro, a frayed foot of red carpet from the Harris Chapel in Trinity, where the Soul […]

Material Issue 1991

Though power pop (a.k.a. “the skinny-tie era”) was the rage in New York and Los Angeles for only a brief time at the start of the ’80s, that style of melodic rock has survived in the Midwest for two decades thanks to practitioners such as Cheap Trick, the Raspberries, Shoes and the Romantics. The band […]

Pixies 1991

Looking for a place to stay, near some friendly star; he found this mote, and now we wonder where we are.” The Pixies, “Motorway to Roswell” HOUSTON In Texas, they have a saying: Never eat at a place called Mom’s, never play cards with a man named Doc and never patronize any business named after […]

An Oasis from rock n’ rote

Dallas Morning News Feb. 1995 The best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world right now is coming to Dallas on Saturday night, and it’s not Nine Inch Nails. Sure, it’ll be a beautiful thing when Trent Reznor and company inspire their huge, ecstatic, black-attired crowd to sing along and slam together to alienation anthems. […]

Hank Williams’ Final Heartbreak

New Year’s Eve is the big musical party night of the year, with merriment in the mist as tipsy toasters dance the year away in glittery abandon. It’s ironic, then, that the major music event to occur in the hours connecting two years is significant mainly for the songs it prevented. In the quiet back […]

1995: The Year of Dave Grohl and Jay Farrar

It comes in cycles, this “year-in-music” stuff, and 1995 had the misfortune of following one of the most dramatic years in a long time, when such rock monoliths as Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones broke box-office records, while a disillusioned youth market shouted out, “Who killed Kurt Cobain?” when, after all, it […]

The Royal Rule: Listen or Leave

The party was far from over in a room across the courtyard of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in March 2011, but the namesake of this Darrell K Royal Songwriters Homecoming sat in an otherwise empty amphitheater with his wife, Edith. Everyone at the party wanted to say hi to the iconic Texas […]