I have no idea when I first heard a Tom Petty song. As far as I know, “Free Fallin’” and “Runnin Down a Dream” have been a part of my cultural lexicon since I first heard a radio. They’re omnipresent, the kind of pop songs played by radio sweethearts and bar bands everywhere. The radio loves them. Your local cover band loves them. Your mom (probably) loves them; mine does! That’s because Tom Petty, the singer and the songwriter, knew how to write for America. He knew how to make a song just vague enough for any American listener, with … Read More
Lately I haven’t been reviewing that much music, and this lends each review a strange sense of weight. If I’m only going to review one album a month then there must be a reason why I choose THE ONE over the thousand other albums coming out every Tuesday and Friday. So why the hell do I keep reviewing metal albums? I don’t even like metal. I am a metal outsider. I am not a viking warrior or a slab of granite. I am wood or a soap bubble or something. I am just the shyest li’l sprig. And here I … Read More
I’ve heard a thousand records like Prisoner. They were the kind of albums I’d play on drives with friends, the kinds of records with just enough of a hometown bend and just enough of road-worn lyricism to sound endlessly familiar. They’re probably albums you’ve heard before, too. Think Tom Petty, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp and, yes, Bryan Adams. Acoustic guitars and harmonicas, country rock licks and big choruses, heart-on-sleeve clichés, houses, highways, girls, etc. I can’t deny how comfortable Prisoner is to me, actually. The sound Ryan Adams channels feels like the natural heir to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, … Read More
Music is fun! This is what I’ve told myself these past few years at Hearing Double, in between bouts of prolific writing and the dry spells of Springsteen and Kanye, and this is what ultimately brought me back to the Hearing Double fold after another school induced drought. That, and the prospect of sharing my amateur musical opinions with a handful of complete strangers. Speaking of which… List season has basically passed, but I have a couple albums and songs I’d like to share with the hope that someone out there can find something they might have overlooked, or maybe … Read More
HONORABLE MENTIONS A noisy, bustling mess of guitars meant to be heard loud. Anyone else remember Maggot Brain? Awkward teenage guitar rock, how I missed you. *heavy breathing* No, Patrick, the dishwasher is not an instrument either. 11. Sheer Mag – Sheer Mag III Am I talking through nostalgia with this pick? Probably! You see, there’s this messy bar rock tone I grew up on, with smutty guitars and romantic clichés, that I love. You might recognize it when you hear “The Boys Are Back in Town” for the umpteenth time. You might recognize it from those years of Guitar … Read More
The internet has made the act of finding music a lot easier, but it is more of a repository than it is a guide or an informant. Unless you’re willing to put in the hours, it is very easy to bypass oodles of very helpful data without even knowing it exists. You can flit through youtube videos of ethiopian pop music for hours, but you’re not going to get the vital context that goes with it unless you pursue that information yourself. It is terrifyingly easy to treat the internet as a limitlessly vast, incredibly shallow pond I mention this … Read More
American Band is out now, courtesy of ATO Records.
Preoccupations is out now, courtesy of Jagjaguwar.
God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson is out now courtesy of Alligator Records.