After spending their lives making extreme music under oppressive circumstances, a handful of Cuban bands–with the help of a writer and filmmaker–finally got a chance to play in the U.S. The hardest part: deciding if they could ever go home again.
Wrong Way on a One-Way Track: The Oral History of Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train”
The breakneck success and harrowing crash of a song that saved lives, destroyed rhythm sections and brought some grungy Minneapolis punks to the White House Lawn.
Let It Bleed: The Oral History of PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid Of Me’
The unblinking story of how inter-band tension spawned a rubbed raw masterpiece and influenced Nirvana.
Down By Law: The Year Downloading Took A Dive
How streaming services are beginning to win the battle for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of music fans.
The Numero Group has become the world’s greatest reissue label by tirelessly chasing dead-ends, following every detour and ringing doorbells at their own risk. David Peisner trails the label’s founders through Louisiana as they sniff mold, rifle through trash, and maybe expose a few lost geniuses.
Tour Bus Confidential: Behind Music’s Bumpy Road Show
Once invited to the party, today’s long-haul bus drivers are taken for granted and under threat of extinction as the music industry continues to slash costs. David Peisner meets the veteran wheel-men (and one woman!) who drove Mariah, Creed, Wu-Tang Clan, Poison, ‘N Sync and everyone else to your town.
As the world gets smaller and more connected every day, Cuba remains isolated and repressed, mired in poverty and outdated technology. It’s no wonder that the country is responsible for some of the angriest, most extreme metal on Earth.
Spin, May/June 2012 [PDF]
Extreme Heavy Metal in Cuba
In March, I went to Cuba to write a story for SPIN about the metal scene there. The story is out in the May/June issue, which is available in most places already, though not in Cuba, or on SPIN’s website (yet). PRI’s “The World” was kind enough to talk to me about the story during pledge week, when most public radio listeners are frantically searching the dial for something else to listen to that won’t make them feel guilty. Also, enjoy the photo and see if you can possibly guess which one of those frightening-looking men is me.
Review: Mark Lanegan Band – Blue Funeral
The Great Big No
If any trend marked 2011, it was a sense that in every aspect of culture–from the economy to the pop charts–this was the year of the Great Big No.