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Music Notes

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On September 24, 2016
Here’s an interview with Laura Ballance, Superchunk bassist and CEO of Merge Records. Question for you. Is Merge the greatest label in rock history? I have to say that it is. In my view, it’s up with the greatest labels of all time like Atlantic and Motown. They’ve never put out a lot of albums […]

Music Notes

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On September 3, 2016

Time for one of my occasional catch-all music posts. Pitchfork released a list of the Top 200 Songs of the 70s. To say the least, this represents a hipster’s modern taste without a real represen

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Irving Fields, RIP

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On August 23, 2016
The wonderful Irving Fields has died at the age of 101. Fields was a brilliant piano player and probably the last living man on the Catskill circuit of the postwar years who in the 1950s combined Jewish music traditions with Latin rhythms. His most famous album is 1959’s Bagels and Bongos, the height of this […]

Music Notes

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On July 16, 2016

Time for another Saturday evening music conversation. A few notes: Rob Wasserman has died. Best known for his work with Bob Weir, Wasserman was a truly great bassist. Pop Matters is ranking the top 10

Music Notes

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On June 25, 2016

I’ve been so busy that I haven’t done one of these in several weeks. I don’t even really have any good stories to link to, but I have slowly listened to a new or long-forgotten album

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Ralph Stanley, RIP

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On June 24, 2016
The great Ralph Stanley died last night at the age of 89. Stanley was the last major living figure of the early bluegrass era. He began recording with his brother Carter in 1947. They never had major financial success–really only Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs did. They were a great band, pretty squarely within […]

Dave Swarbrick, RIP

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On June 3, 2016

The great British folk-rock violinist has died. Like Guy Clark, Dave Swarbrick did not exactly lead a life that one would call healthy. He was actually reported dead in the 90s, but was only in the ho

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Guy Clark, RIP

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On May 17, 2016
The great Guy Clark has died. One of the finest country-folk singers ever and a foundational figure in the alt-country genre, Clark had been sick for some time. He was not only good friends with Townes Van Zandt, but his partner in crazy living, as you can read about in this great late-life profile. Clark […]

Music Notes

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On May 14, 2016

Algiers A very busy week so I didn’t read a lot of good music pieces. However, last Friday, I saw Waxahatchee at the Columbus Theater in Providence. It was just Katie Crutchfield and the bass pl

Music Notes

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On May 7, 2016

Haven’t done one of these in a few weeks. Here’s some interesting articles, album reviews, and tidbits. Country music humor is almost universally terrible as comedy, from “Uncle Josh

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