Author Archives: Blake Madden

From The Vaults: Miles Davis – Live-Evil

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. “QUEEN ELIZABETH: Shall I be tempted of the devil thus? KING RICHARD III: Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.” – William Shakespeare, Richard III For Miles Davis, tension was the release. By 1970, the famously caustic Davis had grown tired of even saying […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, Guest Posts, July 2013 | Comments closed

Your (Long, Arduous, Doubt-Inducing, Bipolar) Surefire Path to Success

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle The modern musician cares about time, probably because we’re so often reminded, in ways both funny and sad, of how little we actually have. Musicians who feel the pressure of time look outside themselves for shortcuts to success. […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, June 2013, Most Popular, Music: Making it, Listening to it., Rants and Raves | Comments closed

Tales of the Tape: Cassette Culture in the Digital Age

"Restraint" from Seattle band Orca Team, on Cassingle and Loving It

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. In his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, psychologist Barry Schwartz slaps us with a provocative theory: The modern consumer’s unlimited freedom of choice is actually a burden that leads to anxiety and unhappiness. Schwartz isn’t culling ideas from Orwell’s 1984, but from […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, Industry Trends, May 2013, Most Popular, New Releases, Rants and Raves | Comments closed

Producer Profile: John McEntire

McEntire, the musician

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. When we spoke, I kept hoping Chicago producer and musician John McEntire would regale me with tales of studio magic, or at least studio mischief. Did he ever mic drums from the top of a stairwell to try and get the booming sounds of his childhood […]

Posted in All Stories, April 2013, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, Most Popular, Producer Profiles | Comments closed

Björn This Way – What Makes Sweden So Good at Making Pop Music?

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden Having lived in South Africa for a couple of years as a teenager, my memory of mid-90s culture can diverge wildly from that of my friends. Thanks to a steady diet of the European versions of VH1 and MTV, I’m clueless in conversations regarding American one-hit […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, March 2013, Most Popular, Music: Making it, Listening to it. | Comments closed

From The Vaults: The Monochrome Set Strange Boutique

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. If you manage to sustain a working band for any period of time, you’ll sometimes meet people who claim you are obviously influenced by an artist or band that you’ve never heard of. Occasionally, something strange and wondrous will come out of these exchanges: In researching […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, February 2013, From The Vaults, Guest Posts | Comments closed

Stations of the Crossover Artist

The highs and lows of artists who refuse to stay their lanes This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. In the liner notes to one of Miles Davis’ explosive 70s acid-funk albums, a friend of the trumpeter recalls a furious debate with a coked-out, reclusive Miles over what day of the week it […]

Posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, January 2013 | Comments closed

PIPELINE: Surf Music’s Rocky Rise, Untimely Death, and Unlikely Return

Dick Dale and his Del-Tones: Surfer's Choice

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. “Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split […]

Posted in December 2012, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, Guest Posts | Comments closed

From the Vaults: Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. Last year, Capitol Records released Beach Boys: The Smile Sessions, an album that was once urban legend. This year, the documentary Searching For Sugar Man reintroduced the world to Rodriguez, the 1960s psych-folk superstar that never was. It’s true: people love second chances, especially when they […]

Posted in Featured Stories, From The Vaults, November 2012 | Comments closed

An Appreciation: Grizzly Bear’s Shields

More than once in my life, I have been called a “hater”. That is only half-fair. It’s true that once I find out which direction the bandwagon is headed, I run the other way, but I prefer the term contrarian. “Hater,” to me, implies an impulse toward negativity with no end goal. I am less […]

Posted in Featured Stories, Guest Posts, New Releases, October 2012 | Comments closed
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