Remembering Prince


One sweaty August night in 1997, Prince was strutting across the stage of the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, segueing from “Purple Rain” into “Little Red Corvette,” and I felt like I was finally done with him…

Read the rest of my piece on Prince at Live for Live Music.


The Long Tail

fare thee well
Longevity is not exactly a feature of the Internet, so it’s especially nice when long-ago work suddenly resurfaces in unexpected places. This week brought not just one but two references to pieces I wrote decades ago — quite literally:

  1. At SmashCut, Nathan Smith watched Star Wars Wars: All Six Films At Once and quoted from my 2005 review of Revenge of the Sith.
  2. Jordan Hoffmann managed to sneak a reference to my 1995 (!) essay “The Fractals of Familiarity and Innovation: Robert Hunter and the Grateful Dead concert experience” into a Playboy article on the Fare Thee Well concerts. That’s right, a paper I wrote in grad school made it into Playboy. The wonders never cease.

Atlanta Slave Appreciation

Atlanta 99

This post has nothing to do with Gone With the Wind or the South’s shameful history of chattel slavery. Instead, it’s your chance to sink your ears into “one of the most sublime transitions Phish has ever pulled off,” the set-opening Story of the Ghost > Slave to the Traffic Light from Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheater, July 4, 1999. Go on, click it. You won’t regret it. Trust me. I was there.

Ghost > Slave

Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro just released this soundboard recording during his latest “From the Archives” broadcast, which I highly recommend downloading in its entirety — every track is a gem. It also made me dig through my own archives for some of the earliest digital photos in my collection. One point three megapixels!

Atlanta 99

More Music

The Week in Music

Dylan in Prospect Park, Wilco at McCarren Pool, Trey Anastasio‘s triumphant return to full-on electric shredding with Classic TAB at All Points West and the Music Hall of Williamsburg — and that’s just the stuff I missed.

The shows I managed to catch weren’t too shabby either: Animal Collective driving a sun-blitzed afternoon crowd wild, Kings of Leon, a heavy Roots throwdown with Immigrant Song tease just across from Ellis Island, Radiohead’s stunning second night at APW, Bob Weir‘s Masters of War, a blissful seaside evening with the Allman Brothers, and perhaps best of all, the U.S. premiere of Manuel Göttsching‘s seminal electronic piece E2-E4, accompanied by the mesmerizing Joshua Light Show at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Wordless Music event. Rhys Chatham‘s A Crimson Grail — a piece for 200 electric guitars — had to be canceled due to the rain, but Beata Viscera‘s performance of the music of Pérotin was gorgeous.

A few clips of varying quality:

Animal Collective: Fireworks

The Roots: Next Movement

Trey Anastasio Band: Gotta Jibboo (part II)

Ratdog: Masters of War

Radiohead: 15 Step

Radiohead: Ideoteque

Radiohead: Reckoner

E2-E4 with the Joshua Lights

My Morning Jacket @ Radio City Music Hall

Poster by Guy Burwell

A much delayed post about this highly enjoyable show. Apparently, tickets sold out in 22 minutes, but I was lucky enough to score an extra the week of, having only just caught on to MMJ’s live prowess after their much-praised Bonnaroo set and via the Okonokos live album and DVD.

The songwriting is first rate, and once the band settled into the vaunted venue, they won me over by hitting some spectacularly grand rock’n roll moments. The crowd went wild for Jim James’s balcony-climbing stunts, and I’m sure their first Madison Square Garden show is going to be the place to be this New Year’s Eve — unless the brahphecy is fulfilled in time (but more about that later.)

Photo by <a href=

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Setlist: My Morning Jacket, 6/20/08
Evil Urges, Off The Record, Gideon, I’m Amazed, Highly Suspicious, What a Wonderful Man, Touch Me Part 1, Sec Walkin, Golden, Thank You Too, The Way That He Sings, Two Halves, Phone Went West, Aluminum Park, Steam Engine -> Smokin From Shootin -> Touch Me Part 2 Encore: Bermuda Highway@, Librarian, Wordless Chorus, It Beats 4 U, Dondante, The Bear, Lay Low, Run Thru, Anytime, One Big Holiday

My Morning Jacket: Okonokos. Sam Erickson and Wyatt Smith, 2006. ****