My writing has appeared in the Village Voice, the Boston Herald, Jazz Improv, Your Flesh Quarterly, Chronogram, Roll, the best-selling book Doo Wop by Cousin Brucie, and on such websites as All, All About, and NeWorld

Bad Brains: Re-Ignition

August 2010 / Chronogram, November 2006

One early evening in the fall of 1981, I put on the leather jacket I had worked all summer bagging groceries to buy, met up with the two other punks in my suburban New Jersey high school, and got on a bus headed into New York City. I was excited and nervous. It was my [...]

Eric Mingus: Mingus Dynasty

August 2010 / Village Voice, December 2007

Maybe you were there, inside the yawning cavern of the Muddy Cup coffeehouse upstate in Kingston on that hot August night. If so, you remember what you saw, what you heard, what you felt. From the stage near the front door, the emcee introduces the headliner. And somewhere deep in the back of the room, [...]

Jeffrey Lee Pierce: Six String Sermon

July 2010 / LP liner notes

Despite the undeniable influence the music of Jeffrey Lee Pierce has had on my own, to be honest when I first heard the Gun Club I wouldn’t have predicted this to be the case. People who know about my band, the Chrome Cranks, know that the group was formed in Ohio, but actually until I [...]

Steve Reich: Phase Me, ‘Bro

July 2010 / Chronogram

Called “the minimalist shot heard ’round the world,” Steve Reich’s 1971 masterpiece Drumming is, like several of the revered composer’s works, pretty much exactly what its title promises. The four-part piece, which Reich will perform on July 31 at Maverick Hall with percussion groups NEXUS and So Percussion, utilizes eight small tuned bongo drums, three [...]

Natalie Merchant: The Waking Dream

July 2010 / Chronogram

Jamestown, New York, situated along the southern edge of Chautauqua Lake in the southwestern corner of the state, was once called the furniture capital of the world, thanks to its being a leading producer of mattresses and wooden furnishings. Today the city of 32,000 is, arguably, better known as the birthplace of two of America’s [...]

The Fugs: Final Frenzy

July 2010 / Roll magazine

“It’s interesting that we came in during a time of war, with Vietnam, and now we’re going out during a time of war, with Iraq and Afghanistan,” says Ed Sanders when asked about the Fugs’ 45-year career.
Yes, it’s true: After nearly five decades of protest, poetry, and provocation, it seems that rock’s original underground band [...]

Joe Magnarelli: Persistance

July 2010 / CD liner notes

There are several indispensable qualities an artist must have if he or she is to survive as a jazz musician. Tone. Technique. Ears. Resourcefulness. Adaptability. Good communication skills. Patience. Confidence. Individuality. Taste. Drive. Soul. But perhaps the most important quality a great jazz musician—or any great artist, really—must have is persistence. Lots of it. Because [...]

Basketful of Noise: The Bunnybrains

July 2010 / Chronogram

John Doe Records and Books, in the 300-block of Warren Street in Hudson, is pretty hard to miss. A former service station, its parking lot is now an obstacle course of rust-covered file cabinets and paint-peeling bookcases, tables, chests of drawers, and other antique furniture for sale. Inside the 1950s brick building’s front room are [...]

Jeff Beck: Maximum Pickup

June 2010 /

The electric guitar would’ve been a much tamer instrument had Jeff Beck never taken it up. Although his maverick attitude toward the music industry and emphasis on non-vocal material have kept him from crossing over into the pop realm, the UK-born player redefined rock guitar in the mid-1960s and in the 1970s helped create jazz-rock [...]