Van Morrison’s Fifty-Year-Old War on the Music Business

It takes a special kind of hate to write 31 songs for the sole purpose of torching your record label. Van Morrison has always hated the record industry. His catalogue, from a long and storied career – which has included stints with Polydor, Virgin, Blue Note, EMI, RCA, Caroline, Parrot, and long runs with Warner Brothers and Mercury – is sprinkled with songs complaining about the

Read more

Kanye West, Donald Trump and the power of Dragon Blood

Kanye West performing in Portland, December 19, 2005 (Phil Romans/Wikipedia) By now everyone has seen Kanye’s twitter hurricane that he unleashed over the last 48 hours, and none of it should be surprising. Kanye likes to own twitter for a day or two every couple of years, and knows exactly how to do so. The fact that he is simpatico with Trump is old hat. What’s more

Read more

The Rules of Rock: 10 Essential Traits of a True Rock & Roller

Mick Rock knew a little something about real rock and rollers, like these three he shot at the Cafe Royale in London 1973. So you wanna be a rock and roll star? Well, honestly, that’s a bit out of your control. A tremendous amount of luck and timing play into “stardom” of any kind, so there’s not a whole lot you can do about actually becoming

Read more

The Lilacs Help Lead an International Pop Overthrow in Chicago

The Lilacs play International Pop Overthrow festival at the Heartland Cafe in Chicago. April 21, 2018 (Photo by Kevin Sanders) The International Pop Overthrow festival landed in Chicago this past weekend as David Bash — the Bill Graham of powerpop — brought a few dozen bands together for four-chord harmony-laden guitar pop. The festival is in its 18th year and has conquered over a dozen cities

Read more