Past Stories

SOMETIMES SALVATION

It was easy for an older generation to make fun of the Black Crowes when they first broke back in 1990. Their debut, Shake Your Money Maker, was shameless redunda-rock—equal parts Stones and Faces knock-offs, with some st...


SOJOURNER TRUTHS

Twinkies were a defense for a murder binge The killer had high sugar count but now he’s on the mend He sold his soul to the Hostess, she turned his brain to mush The lawyer said, “Sure he killed ‘em,…


RETURN OF THE GREIVOUS ANGEL

Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons has become the quintessential post-mortem superstar—not all that famous in life, but legendary in death. If you were to scan his resume at the time he died, that list may not seem too imp...



HESSIANS APLENTY!

This Saturday, KROQ will take over the Hyundai Pavilion with yet another installment of their Inland Invasion, which, much like years past, has an uninspiring line-up that mocks those who shell out the gobs of cash required to ...


WELCOME TO THE BUNGLE

Rock & roll stardom can exact a terrible toll. It killed Gene Vincent (and Jim, Jimi, Janis), it turned Elvis Presley into a chemically-fueled doughboy, John Lennon into a heroin-gorging shut-in and Bono into a strutting, s...


BAD REPUTATION

Joan Jett? The ultimate rock & roll badass, she’s an archetypal, almost mythic figure, one assuredly on a cultural and artistic par with her boldest predecessors, and if there were a Mount Rushmore for female American...



BONES

Baton Rouge, Louisiana rhythm insurgents Michael Miller and Scott Campbell’s Bones is one weird-ass band, a twosome that has very little in common with updated hippie rock pretensions of the White Stripes, and one that di...


DESERT BLOOM

Take Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven and a bunch of their friends, plop them down in Pioneertown for a couple of weekend nights, give it a name—like, oh, The Second Annual Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout—and see ...


JAMMIN’ BREAD

   As ska’s third wave became nothing more than a small ripple on the musical surface of the late ‘90s, many bands began to water down their sound by relying on power-pop and punk rock gimmicks to stay afl...



IT’S A DAMNED, DAMNED, DAMNED, DAMNED WORLD

When the Damned hit the Key Club bandstand Sunday, expect a combination of unhinged, explosive punk and high atmospheric drama, an unusually potent amalgam that’s wholly particular to them, and one that’s made them ...


THIS IS NOT A SHOW REVIEW

At 10:30 last Friday night I was at the Vibe, and the place should have been packed—three decent-drawing bands were on tap (Los Creepers, Genghis Con-Job and Viva Hate) but the place was a goddamned ghost town.  That&rsq...


AMERICAN ROOTS PUNK CHAMBER MUSIC

If the late Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) and his rendering of the old-time pop standard “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips” is your reference point for the ukulele, you owe it to yourself to check out the Boulder Acoustic Soc...



DROPPIN’ DAISIES

On June 24, concert producer Pasquale Rotella ordered two helicopters to fly over a crowd of 15,000 people during the Electric Daisy Carnival at San Bernardino’s NOS Events Center. Few folks on his staff at Insomniac Even...


REDNECK JESUS

Sporting long hair, a braided and beaded beard, earrings, 300-plus tattoos and his trademark rebel-flag-emblazoned Flying V guitar, David Allan Coe is the walking definition of infamy. With a résumé including hard...


GIVE THE COWBOYS SOME ACID

What if David Lowery had never left Redlands, never moved up to Santa Cruz, and never founded the greatness that is Camper Van Beethoven? Would he have wound up a steroid-juiced bouncer in some IE titty bar? Running a bait-and-...



KIDS JUST WANNA GET FILTHY!

Mash-ups! Electroclash! Ah, the sonic wonderments of 2004. But if you take a listen to Trevor Yagen, you just might believe him when he tells you these sounds are the soundtrack of today’s burgeoning alternative music nat...


KIDS JUST WANNA GET FILTHY!

Mash-ups! Electroclash! Ah, the sonic wonderments of 2004. But if you take a listen to Trevor Yagen, you just might believe him when he tells you these sounds are the soundtrack of today’s burgeoning alternative music nat...


Memento Mori

It is difficult not to view the blues as an almost entirely historic idiom. Since being largely abandoned by the majority of African-Americans who created it, the blues, as a musical force, is essentially dead and gone. In a w...



RAGGED BUT RIGHT

The blues, like jazz and country music, have become so diluted and misshapen in recent years that all three essentially exist as pitiful ghosts of their formerly commanding selves. With a scarce handful of genuine blues forces ...


The Opportunity to Scream!

From their stereotypical art school beginnings to their fizzle-out end, the Avengers could have possibly been the poster-children for the rock & roll meltdown that was the late ‘70s punk rock explosion. Renowned for t...


The Commuter’s Soundtrack

Black Francis, Bluefinger (Cooking Vinyl) Nobly, Frank Black tried his derndest to put together a Pixies reunion album on the heels of the big 2004 group hug, “but the quick fuck was awkward,” he states, and as of S...



Closet 909s

“You guys have been the greatest crowd on this tour!” “We love you, Pomona. We love coming back here!” “Riverside really is like our second hometown!” How many times have you heard the above...


The Bells Toll on Rock & Roll

Gather round grand-laddies for a yarn o’ the musical kind. The Cauldron’s a-bubblin’ stew, the record player’s a-spinnin’ our hits and the neighborhood ghouls are a-hauntin’ (hope them kiddie...


Liquored up and Lacquered Down

Within the oft shameful recidivism of rock & roll bands who uphold a commitment to “retro”-based music, Dixie-fried goons Southern Culture on the Skids stand gloriously apart. Although resolutely anchored in tra...



The Touch of a World That is Older

  Back in 1982, Wall of Voodoo singer/songwriter Stan Ridgway’s quirky, nasal voice burned its way into the American consciousness through an unlikely outlet—“Mexican Radio.” The catchy but strange ...


The Robopop Kaleidoscope

The terms “musical genre” and “stylistic preference” aren’t entirely applicable to an act like Joshua Tree-based Gram Rabbit. Trying to ascertain their next creative direction is more or less an ex...


The Bells Toll on Rock & Roll

Gather round grand-laddies for a yarn o’ the musical kind. Cauldron’s a-bubblin’ stew, record player’s a-spinnin’ and ghouls are a-hauntin’ (hope them kiddies appreciate swag!), so that rocki...



Goin’ Home: a tribute to Fats Domino, Vanguard

 Goin’ Home: a tribute to Fats Domino, Vanguard Fats Domino may seem almost like a distant, prehistoric myth today, but the natural fact is that the New Orleans piano man was both one of rock & roll’s earli...