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Music Feature
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010
Joan Baez has been one of the leading protest singers of the past 50 years and an outspoken activist on behalf of enough causes to fill a notebook, but one thing she had always declined to do is endorse a candidate for political office on any level—until 2008, that is, when she broke with tradition to throw her support behind presidential candidate Barack Obama. “It’s just that this was a statesman and a highly intelligent human being,” Baez says, explaining...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010
Slash’s band Velvet Revolver may still be looking for the right singer, but the guitarist didn’t have the same problem while recording his self-titled solo album. He found 13 of them. He recruited a baker’s dozen vocalists, each of whom took on lead vocals for one song on his new album, save for Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, who sang two. Despite the many vocalists and...
Music Feature
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
In preparing its comeback album, Something for Everybody, Devo took the unusual step of inviting fans to pick the 12 songs from a pool of 16 that would make the album. “We did it on purpose as an experiment,” Gerald Casale explains in a recent phone interview. “It’s something we had never done. We were always hermetically sealed, like little aliens...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010
While recording her latest album, Give Up the Ghost, Brandi Carlile continually found new ways to tap the emotions that inspired her songs when she wrote them months earlier. “I would do things like wake myself up at like 6 o’clock in the morning when I was all tired and hadn’t had my coffee and I’m all bummed out and grumpy, and sing a song like ‘I Will,’ because I wanted it to sound crackly, pained and tired...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009
To say the least, The Black Crowes didn’t play it safe when recording the group’s new two-CD set, Before the Frost… / Until the Freeze... The band skipped the expected trip to a conventional recording studio. The common practice of recording vocals separately and overdubbing instrumental parts went out the window as well. Instead, the band recorded the new music at the Woodstock, N.Y., barn owned by Levon Helm...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009
Matisyahu immediately established himself as a singular musician with his 2004 album, Shake Off the Dust…Arise. To this day, there still aren’t many Brooklyn Hasidic Jews who fuse reggae and hip-hop. But in some respects, it’s only with his newest CD, Light, that Matisyahu has become his own man on an artistic level, making a CD that he says comes closer to fully reflecting the sound and range of music he wants to create...
Music Feature
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009
When people ask Jason Isbell why he left the Drive-By Truckers after the band's 2006 CD, Decoration Day, to a point he feels he doesn't have to even say a word. The music tells the story for him. "I think the music they've made and the music I've made since then makes it fairly obvious the directions we were going in," the guitarist/singer...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
When the Drive-By Truckers returned to touring last year, singer/guitarist Patterson Hood was eager to get back on the road. Just 18 months earlier, though, the feeling within the band from Athens, Ga., couldn't have been more different. "We were burned out and we were tired and we were kind of angry and frustrated," Hood says. "We had built this machine and all of a sudden we realized the machine was driving us. We weren't driving the machine anymore. And we started...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008
Rise Against is used to being misunderstood. To begin with, the group is widely tagged as a political band, a label that bassist Joe Principe says is too limited for the lyrics that singer/guitarist Tim McIlrath writes. "I kind of like to say it's more like we're socially aware," Principe says. "Tim, the way he writes is very broad. He has political songs, because he writes all of the lyrics, and then he also has social songs and even songs about his personal relationships. That's why I don't think we like to be pigeonholed as a political band." Some even consider Rise Against a leftist or radical...