Author: Nick Murray

  • Sounds of Spring: This Season’s Must-See Concerts

    Critic’s Pick: Mr. Melody Since any Tom Zé fan will already know to catch this precious BAM show (June 3, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org), anyone who hasn’t yet joined us had best stream the Brazil Classics 4 comp David Byrne got behind in 1990. A shop owner’s son born before […]

  • Country’s Defiant Star Eric Church Walks on the Rock Side of the Tracks

    Country star Eric Church, the genre’s most defiant rockist, calls to mind one of Groucho Marx’s best lines: Gentlemen, he may talk like a rebel, and brand himself to look like a rebel, and his rebellious tendencies may be lauded by the music press, but don’t let that fool you — he really is a […]

  • Kenny Chesney and Kacey Musgraves Are Country Music’s Subversives

    If you want to understand Kenny Chesney’s popularity — the ten straight No. 1 albums, the football-stadium tours, the dedication he inspires in his fans and the antipathy he provokes in just about everyone else — cue up Cosmic Hallelujah, his new LP, and listen to the way he sings “I’m home for the summer” […]

  • Bruce Springsteen Gives His Life Story the Boss Treatment

    The first 37 pages of Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s enthusiastic, sprawling autobiography, amble through a typical life in suburban New Jersey, with the organizational help of chapters aptly titled “The Irish,” “The Italians,” and “The Church.” Then, what he calls the Big Bang: Elvis Presley performs on The Ed Sullivan Show, and young Bruce, watching […]

  • Oakland Calling: Fantastic Negrito Shares His Hometown’s Struggle With the World

    For Xavier Dphrepaulezz, the most crucial music venue in America is not a rock club in Brooklyn or a disco in L.A. but a small cubicle in the corner of NPR’s office in Washington, D.C. It was from there, last spring, that the 49-year-old father from Oakland, California, began his second act. He’d bested almost […]

  • ‘Dancing. Is. Important’: Netflix’s EDM Movie ‘XOXO’ Is a Transcendent Goof

    Where were you when you learned that you’d be making your DJ debut at the biggest rave of the year? And that said rave was only eight hours away? Ethan, the sheepish main character of Netflix’s straight-to-streaming EDM movie XOXO, gets the news in his kitchen, where his mom is cooking breakfast for his baby sibling. “Why are […]

  • Better Half: Nandi Rose Plunkett’s Shifting Compositions

    By December, the temperature in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has usually dropped below freezing, and Williams College undergrads have left for warmer climes. But in December of 2014, Nandi Rose Plunkett, the main force behind the Brooklyn trio Half Waif, brought producer Zubin Hensler in the other direction; the two visited her childhood home to sample sounds […]

  • Kyle Craft: Modern Glam-Rock From the Bayou

    Kyle Craft has the kind of backstory musicians usually need to invent. He still doesn’t seem very impressed by it. “Oh, I had a bunch of snakes,” the singer says matter-of-factly over the phone, recalling teenage summers spent catching reptiles off the banks of the Mississippi River. “I had a couple of alligators at one […]

  • Ten Inches of Niche: A Sub-Subculture of Music Nerds Gets Together

    This past Sunday evening, the front room of HiFi Bar on Avenue A was a typical East Village scene. The flat-screen TV showed the final round of the PGA Championship, and young guys from the neighborhood, drying out from the day’s downpour, caught up over drinks. But in the back: a time warp. While Duke […]

  • Diane Coffee Filters R&B Through Bowie

    New York can be a tough town for a drummer, especially one who can’t afford a studio. California native Shaun Fleming, a touring member of Foxygen who releases retro-pop solo as Diane Coffee, learned as much when he began recording demos in the living room of his tiny Nolita apartment. Afraid of noise complaints — […]

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