The Beatles in Hamburg: An Interview with Ian Inglis

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The most successful and influential pop group of all time, the Beatles landed in America in February 1964. By the time the Sixties came to an end, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had taken the world by storm, not only becoming icons of popular culture, but also collectively creating an unprecedented legacy of hit singles and best-selling albums. It’s particularly telling that when Rolling Stone recently chose the top 500 albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was perched at the top, with Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album following close behind in the top ten.

Human Beings on Paper: Ab-Soul and Kendrick Lamar

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Soul: Just the mayhem. You know what I’m saying, the extra, extra pills. Things like that. People are easily influenced. I tell ‘em the blunt truth, then I’m just blurtin’ some shit out. Cause real is relative. Anyone who really knows knows that. Just speak to them. It’s just about making those connections.

Soul: People wanna learn man, everybody wanna learn. And you can do it in a way that can still be put it in a playlist for the homies. Nothing weird. No disrespect to Immortal Technique, just using him because you said it. But his stuff, it’s fucking brilliant. I can’t wait to meet him. He not trying to compromise, that’s really him. He probably don’t listen to this shit, because he probably feels this is like brainwash shit—because it probably really is, to the weak minded. But I’m just trying’ to be a chameleon, know what I mean? Trying to get this shit on across the board. Harmonize humanity, harmonize humanity.

Ready to Give an Answer: An interview with Pat Boone

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Born in 1934 and raised in Nashville, Tenn., Pat Boone was an unlikely candidate to be one of rock and roll’s first stars. A Bible-toting Christian since his early teens, Boone was the epitome of a clean-cut kid. He served as student body president his last year of high school and by the time he recorded “Ain’t That a Shame” in 1955, he had become a husband and father. His cover of Fats Domino was the first of a string of hits (eventually 38 in the Top 40) whose sheer commercial success was rivaled only by another Southern boy, Elvis Presley. Needless to say, the two performers had different images. While Elvis was perceived as only a prurient interest, Boone, affable and easy-going in style and song, had a safe, vanilla air that appealed to many parents.

A Tiny Pebble Hitting a Huge Pond – An Interview with Bruce Fein

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It’s very difficult to have a bad conversation with Bruce Fein. In his answers to my questions about deeply troubling current events, the constitutional lawyer showed why his expertise has been sought by everyone from the government of South Africa to Salon.com to Ronald Reagan. Fortunately for me, he’s good friends with our editor-in-chief, John Whitehead, who hosted him when Fein came into town from D.C. for a speaking engagement. The sun beat in through the blinds as the longtime allies chatted across a paper-cluttered desk.

The Biters are The Best Rock Band in America

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The Biters are a four-piece band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. They unabashedly play a trashed-out, almost anachronistic combination of power-pop and punk rock, weaving together wonderfully incessant melodies with fuzzy twin guitars. I’ve been seeing their singer, Tuk, play shows since I was an embarrassing 15 year old kid, and he was the guitarist in a once up-and-coming band known as the Heart Attacks. And now, after driving through hours …continue…

Interview: The Sound and the Movie – Faulkner and Hollywood

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In 1931, William Faulkner found himself face to face with actress Tallulah Bankhead at a New York party. “Why don’t you write me a picture?” she demanded of the Southern writer. Celebrated by the New York literary intelligentsia (for The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and Sanctuary) but not by the public, Faulkner was intrigued by the concept of a surefire paying gig. After his agent secured him a contract, on …continue…

Interview: Pete Seeger – When Will They Ever Learn?

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“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”—Pete Seeger Before the Byrds or Joan Baez  or Peter, Paul and Mary, there was Pete Seeger. With his five-string banjo in hand, Seeger helped to lay the foundation for American protest music, singing out about the plight of everyday working folks and urging listeners to political and social activism. Born in New York City on …continue…

A Fragrant Interview with Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder

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When I called Anand Wilder, the lead guitarist and designated press mouthpiece for Yeasayer, he didn’t pick up, Three times. On the fourth try, he picked up after a couple of rings and quickly apologized, explaining that he was walking around Lower Manhattan and that his phone was about to die. He seemed like a nice guy, and  he “avoiding getting on a subway” for the sake of the interview. …continue…

Interview: Kristina Marie Darling Shares her Thoughts On Poetry, Surrealism and Film

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Few poets venture as beautifully in the stillness of nocturnal spaces as Kristina Marie Darling. Darling’s first full-length book Night Songs, put out by Gold Wake Press, entrances the reader with scene after scene of crumbling architecture, lonely musicians, and half-finished films. Dreamscapes cycle through Night Songs so naturally that, by the time Darling has begun erasing her own poems, the reader has given him or herself over to the …continue…

Abstraction and Pop Music: An Interview with Tanlines

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm sat relaxed in leather couch in the back of DC9 as they waited for showtime to roll around after their soundcheck. Both members of Tanlines wore jeans with a denim shirts and denim jackets, which they quickly pointed out and mocked themselves for. I had forgotten my notebook of questions in my rush to get through DC traffic and parking in time, and thusly the …continue…