The comment that a band is "good at what it does" is a polite attempt to acknowledge the talents of a group outside of one's wheelhouse. But the phrase tends to come off as a dismissive, backhanded compliment, the type of statement a person makes to avoid actually forming an opinion. The underlying ... More >>
In this week's print edition, Senior Writer Roy Kasten interviews Jay Farrar, longtime leader of Son Volt and first-time author, about the band's new album Honky Tonk (due out March 5) and his new book Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs (due out March 19). "The impetus to write the book was born out of ... More >>
image viaFran Landesman in 1996.Fran Landesman, a poet and songwriter who, along with her husband Jay and brother-in-law Fred, ran the Crystal Palace nightclub in Gaslight Square in the late 1950s, died last Saturday, July 23, in London. She was 83.
Her website proclaims her "the poet laurea ... More >>
by Bob Weinstein; Wikipedia. Note to self, as a future historical-figure-ghost: If Sarah Palin and Paul Revere are any indication, the best way to trend on Twitter 200 years after your death is to have someone controversial give a particularly strange recounting of your life's work, as inform ... More >>
Photo by Jon ScorfinaThough records are most commonly thought of as a way to listen to music, they were also the first medium to document the majesty and mystery of the spoken human voice. Local poet and former Streetside Records employee Philip Gounis is a lifelong collector of spoken-word r ... More >>
Photo: Jason StoffJay Farrar last night at the Old Rock House. See a full slideshow from last night's Jay Farrar solo gig at the Old Rock House.Clad in a kitschy, long-sleeved black cowboy shirt, Jay Farrar barely flinched from the heat as he plowed through a 100-minute set loaded with Son Vo ... More >>
No matter how many people he knows at a St. Louis Son Volt show, Jay Farrar will always be the guy who played a big part in creating the "alt. country" genre. Twenty years after Uncle Tupelo's heyday, Farrar and the current Son Volt line-up stay true to their roots without being strangled by them, ... More >>
Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard are playing four shows in October, to celebrate the release of their Jack Kerouac-inspired collaboration, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur. The closest tour date is October 26 in Chicago at Lincoln Hall -- and judging by the band backing the pair, a road trip m ... More >>
When I spoke with Jay Farrar a few months ago, he mentioned that the Jack Kerouac-inspired project he recorded with Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard was "in the works, and it could possibly come out in the fall, like around October."
Good estimate: A press release just landed in my inbox stating t ... More >>
Picking the best folk and Americana records of the year isn't nearly as hard as discarding those great records that just didn't feel right stuck in the category.Releases by Calexico and DeVotchKa felt far too worldly to pigeonhole as folk or country, for instance, while Blitzen Trapper's fantastic F ... More >>