• Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Jan. 26

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – Jan. 26

    Clockwise from top left: Brynn Elliott, CHAI, Cassandra Jenkins, Roisin O, Adult Mom and Deb Never. Every week, there’s a plethora of new music at our fingertips. Artists on platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp are plentiful, and the radio offers a steady deluge of new singles, but who…
  • Interview: Baby Queen knocking on the palace gate after breakthrough year

    Interview: Baby Queen knocking on the palace gate after breakthrough year

    Baby Queen, courtesy. It’s an overnight success story—during a pandemic, no less—that’s two years in the making. South-Africa-born, London-based pop singer-songwriter Baby Queen didn’t sign her first record deal until last April. The Zoom signing was quickly followed by numerous witty singles and an EP that made 23-year-old…
  • Insert Foot: Rx side effects, Bernie Sanders, songs about pickup trucks

    Insert Foot: Rx side effects, Bernie Sanders, songs about pickup trucks

    INSERT FOOT and Bernie Sanders vs. Jon Bon Jovi and pickup trucks. January and February aren’t usually the best months for the entertainment industry. Even when we’re not dodging explosive murder germs. Spring will be here before we know it. Let’s try to keep things … nice, until…
  • REVIEW: Fantastic Negrito gets back in the groove at Fairfield livestream

    REVIEW: Fantastic Negrito gets back in the groove at Fairfield livestream

    Fantastic Negrito performs during a livestream concert at the Downtown Theatre in Fairfield, California, on Jan. 23, 2021. Photos courtesy: Nathan McKinley. Fantastic Negrito is a lot of things: Musician, self-described recovering narcissist, two-time Grammy winner who’s likely to make it three in March. But more than all…
  • REWIND: Relive President Biden's inauguration by listening to its music

    REWIND: Relive President Biden’s inauguration by listening to its music

    In this screengrab, Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals performs during the Virtual Parade Across America, following the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, on Jan. 20, 2021. Courtesy: Biden Inaugural Committee. Is it just me or are you in a better mood this weekend? It’s pretty amazing how…
  • Jason Hill on producing and recording with Sylvain Sylvain and New York Dolls

    Jason Hill on producing and recording with Sylvain Sylvain and New York Dolls

    Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls (right) with Jason Hill. Courtesy: Hill. Editor’s note: Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, a founding member of seminal punk band New York Dolls, died Jan. 13 after a battle with cancer. Born in Egypt, the 69-year-old co-started the hugely influential group in 1971.…
  • INTERVIEW: Saxophonist Jake Clemons balancing solo career with E Street Band legacy

    INTERVIEW: Saxophonist Jake Clemons balancing solo career with E Street Band legacy

    Jake Clemons, courtesy. Jake Clemons loves to connect with people. A couple of years ago, he did a national tour of … living rooms, performing intimate shows in fans’ homes for as few as a couple dozen at a time. This, after replacing his legendary late uncle, Clarence…
  • REVIEW: Morgan Wallen gets 'Dangerous' at the Ryman in Nashville

    REVIEW: Morgan Wallen gets ‘Dangerous’ at the Ryman in Nashville

    Morgan Wallen performs during a livestream at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2021. Courtesy: John Shearer/Getty Images for Ryman Auditorium. Country star Morgan Wallen‘s performance at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tuesday evening wasn’t simply another livestream. The concert was attended by several hundred cheering fans—fan club…
  • Q&A: Einar Selvik of Wardruna bridging old Norse myths to today's audiences

    Q&A: Einar Selvik of Wardruna bridging old Norse myths to today’s audiences

    Wardruna (Einar Selvik center), Courtesy: Kim Ohrling. Einar Selvik was once known as “kvitravn,” which translates from old Norse to “the white raven.” That was back in his days as a drummer in the Norwegian black metal scene. Since the early 2000s, Selvik transitioned from black metal to…
  • PROFESSOR MUSIC: This column is going into the mystic

    PROFESSOR MUSIC: This column is going into the mystic

    Van Morrison performs in 2018; courtesy. I’ve invented a moment in musical history that I like to envision over and over again: It’s New York, late summer, 1969 in the penthouse of A & R Recording studios. Producer Lewis Merenstein is at the board with a couple of…
  • Everyone involved in the assault on the Capitol and sedition must face charges

    Everyone involved in the assault on the Capitol and sedition must face charges

    “Trump Inciter in Chief 2021: What the hell do you have to lose?” Illustration courtesy of Chuck Todd; www.chucktodd.net. As you’re all probably aware, on Wednesday a large group of pro-fascist insurgents breached, occupied and ransacked the United States Capitol while both the House and Senate were in…
  • INTERVIEW: Elohim finds solid ground amid pandemic chaos

    INTERVIEW: Elohim finds solid ground amid pandemic chaos

    Elohim, courtesy: Chase O’Black. Elohim presumed she had averted a personal tragedy on March 3. A couple of weeks into a headlining tour, she and her band were hours from loading in their gear at Basement East in Nashville when the entire concert hall was destroyed by a…
RIFF's 2020 in Review... in review!