Sound

The first time I saw The Fall live was also the last. I was under tremendous pressure, both at work and at home. The band was late. The club was hot. I tried to distract myself by drinking, but that only made matters worse. I wanted to leave, but knew I couldn’t drive home. It was my birthday. I was depressed. Conditions were perfect. (More…)

When I walked into the Giant Sand show on Boxing Day, midway into the band’s first number, I was taken aback. Howe Gelb, the group’s sole permanent member, is a man of many moods, with performances that vary accordingly. But this time he seemed more interested in playing guitar than in playing himself. The music was still languid, but ferociously so. (More…)

Few dub imprints make an aesthetic difference like ZamZam. Reconstituting the reggae-derived idiom in its own image, Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog spoke to the Portland label about keeping the genre alive and on schedule. (More…)

Year end lists aren’t what they used to be. Once a staple of newspaper writing, particularly alternative weeklies in the US, they’ve since faded in importance. Not only because the publications they once featured in have largely disappeared. More importantly, because popular culture no longer holds the same importance it had for young people until the War on Terror. (More…)

One of the most important and prolific electronic music producers working today, AGF (Antye Greie) spoke to Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog about her extensive work in sound, language and social activism. (More…)

The crowd at Club Congress is sparse. A few true believers and some people who are only here because they happened to be here already. My friend and I don’t fall into either category. I told him we had to see this show because it’s important, because I respect tradition, because it’s Dead Moon. They’re setting up right in front of us, out on the floor. (More…)

An Israeli gig poster may have changed my life. Back in 1992, backpacking round Israel as a student, I kept seeing posters advertising a gig by Benediction, the British death metal band. And every time I saw one I wondered ‘A metal scene? Here?’ (More…)

It began as Colin Kaepernick’s protest against violent policing of African Americans, but now the protests have evolved. Taking a knee during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is another version of protests against Confederate statues. This speaks to how we regard US history and its legacy of racism. The issue now is more than police violence: it concerns history. (More…)

Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Souciant about the end of a well-intentioned but otherwise disastrous experiment carried out by the Wu-Tang Clan. At that time, the world renowned rap group was poised to buck virtually every commercial trend in the history of the music industry by releasing just one copy of its top-secret double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. (More…)

The left-wing podcast Chapo Trap’s House’s ascendance in the online media sphere is built on vulgarity. At first, this is just an observation and not a value judgment, and in some ways this brash attitude among its hosts – Will Menaker, Matthew Christman, Felix Biederman, Virgil Texas and Amber Frost – has proven to bring left ideas out of the cold halls of academia and into a “real world” that could do without political correctness. They’ve taken on the term, “the dirtbag left.” (More…)

As we move further away from the 1960s, the idea that music has a role to play in radical politics becomes increasingly irrelevant. Long gone are the days when people believed that rock music, or hip-hop, had any effect on the powers that be. (More…)

Amongst all the frenzied accounting over whom to blame/credit for Donald Trump’s victory, one group has escaped notice – the metalheads. Indeed, there is no evidence that metalheads voted for (or against) Trump (if they voted at all) in greater numbers than anyone else. (More…)