Author: Alex Frank

  • Talking to Danny Fields About the Ramones’ Gabba Gabba Heyday

    Danny Fields is a punk legend’s punk legend. He’s not the most famous person to emerge from the creative petri dish of 1960s, ’70s, ’80s New York, nor the richest. He hasn’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, unlike many of the musicians he has worked with, including the Ramones, Iggy […]

  • Scotland’s Young Fathers Come Out Fighting

    It’s hours before another sold-out show on their European tour and the guys in the Scottish indie-rap trio Young Fathers are calling on a shitty Skype connection from Paris. The lighting at the venue, the Badaboum, is musty, and the group seems tired (and not particularly excited to be talking to a journalist) after a month […]

  • Band of Outsiders

    Superorganism

    Orono Noguchi, chief songwriter and vocalist of the pop group Superorganism, thinks she’s an asshole. “I’m such an asshole,” she says. Noguchi is calling from the bed of a Chicago hotel room — the umpteenth hotel she’s been living out of since beginning the band’s first major tour this year — and we’re discussing what’s […]

  • As Soccer Mommy, Sophie Allison Sings Herself Clean

    Gray and ceaseless rain has made it a terrible time to be in midtown Manhattan during a Thursday rush hour, but a perfect day to be with Sophie Allison, known as Soccer Mommy, who makes melancholy music that sounds just right in bummer weather like this. “I call my songs ‘emopop bangers,’ ” she says […]

  • Why the Revolutionary Score for “Phantom Thread” Should Win the Oscar — And Change How We Think of Music in Movies

    I have seen Phantom Thread twice, and neither time felt much like going to the movies. I saw it once on a freezing evening at Alamo Drafthouse (in 70mm, as director Paul Thomas Anderson intended it to be seen), a theater in Brooklyn that has taken the trend line toward mixing food, alcohol, and cinema […]

  • Ty Segall Is Here to Fight for the Right to Rock ’n’ Roll

    Ty Segall’s music is loud and blistering rock ’n’ roll — raucous and big enough to fill stadium-sized speakers, with a spiritual connection to giants like Led Zeppelin and the Who. But, underneath all that pomp, the thirty-year-old is a doll: The first song on his new album, Freedom’s Goblin, is called “Fanny Dog,” and […]

  • SZA, Lorde, and the Pazz & Jop Rise of Songs of the Self

    In some ways, Katy Perry, ever a woman of the zeitgeist, understood perfectly how the cards were shuffled in 2017. After years of making ooey-gooey songs that kept step with whatever trends were then dominating radio, she took a turn to something more political, more strident, on her latest album, Witness. Trump’s victory was, Perry […]

  • Timothée Chalamet’s New York State of Mind

    Interviewing Timothée Chalamet—the breakout star of this year’s awards season for his roles in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird—is both a marathon and sprint. A marathon because I first tried to speak with him back in August when I saw an early preview of Call Me by Your […]

  • Angel Olsen Isn’t Trying to Make You Cry. Really.

    By all means, go see one of Angel Olsen’s three big shows in New York City next week, but be warned that not everything is always as it seems: The thirty-year-old singer-songwriter is known for her boozy, tearstained country–folk rock songs and plainspoken lyrics, but, at least onstage, some of that whiskey weariness may come […]

  • “Protest Songs Spell Out Problems. Activist Songs Spell Out Solutions.”

    Buffy Sainte-Marie’s voice is a sweet one. “Talk to me!” she says with a chipper burst after a brief hello. The 76-year-old singer-songwriter and activist is calling from her hotel room in Nova Scotia, where she is performing as part of a tour for her new album, Medicine Songs, her 16th LP since starting her career […]