Turn My Swag On

Got a heavy and quite lovely 14″ x 14″ x 3 1/2″ hinged wooden box in the mail from Warners Nashville today with a big “AM” woodcut on the front and vinyl and (sleeveless) CD versions of Ashley Monroe’s *Like A Rose* (my #2 album of the year) bubble-wrapped inside plus a very soft and… Continue reading Turn My Swag On

Country reviews, 2006-’11

Gary Allan, Set You Free Gary Allan has long been one of country’s most velvet-voiced beautiful losers. But on Set Me Free he lets the crazy out, howling psychobilly graveyard threats in “Bones,” interrupting a recovery meeting church organ to blame mental ghosts in “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” vegetating in his hotel room while college… Continue reading Country reviews, 2006-’11

Kid Rock review, 2012

I’ve written about him as much as any musical performer out there starting in the late ’90s, including an extremely long Village Voice piece on Eminem and him that was re-printed in my third book. I was even asked to write his authorized biography (can’t say that about any other artist) when I was a… Continue reading Kid Rock review, 2012

The Shrine review, 2014

First off, this new-school “skate-rock” thing: I realize young people with way better senses of balance than me have enjoyed half-piping on skateboards or rollerskates or whatever small-wheeled contraptions to certain loud’n’fast combos approximately forever, but since when did it become its own genre? Pretty good one, too, as far as I can tell, though… Continue reading The Shrine review, 2014

Metal reviews, 2013

Acolyte, Alta So here are some black-metal rookies from Manchester, England who actually manage some space, melody and roll, thanks mainly to a one-named guitarist named Chris whose relatively clean and exploratory tone splits the difference between loud shoegaze and blues-proggy classic rock. Also, singer JT isn’t super oppressive, and is occasionally almost comprehensible: “fear… Continue reading Metal reviews, 2013

Metal reviews, 2012

These yearly metal review posts are works in progress; as I stumble across more, within files inside files deep in the bowels of a thumb drive from a dead laptop, I’ll add them. Abrahma, Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives It’s rare to encounter stoner-rockers as progged-out as these Parisians – Their album keeps… Continue reading Metal reviews, 2012

Nashville Scene Country Critics Poll Ballots, 2003 – 2020

Decided to put these all in one place — One-stop shopping, doncha know. Not sure when the poll started or when I was first invited to vote, but my 2003 ballot is the earliest I’ve been able to find so far. Can’t say I still entirely agree with all of these, especially the further back… Continue reading Nashville Scene Country Critics Poll Ballots, 2003 – 2020