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Robin Wheeler

Middle ground doesn't exist when it comes to Bob Dylan shows. The response is either, "I can't believe I walked six blocks in the rain for this," or "I have printed set lists from every show he's played in the past five years! Do you want to see them?" I overheard both of those snippets within seconds of standing among the rain-besotted crowd in the Peabody's lobby.

The Flatlanders story reads like a Hollywood script - high school friends Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock formed a band in 1972 in Lubbock, Texas. They record an album, broke up before it was released, made their own successes in the music world, only to reunite 30 years later, lauded as innovators.

In June Amanda Palmer raised over a million bucks via Kickstarter from fans wanting to help make her new album possible. Four months later, when she invited professional musicians to play in her shows without pay, she kicked off the Great Kickstarter Backlash of '12.

Sunday, 04 November 2012 16:46

Waco Brothers and Paul Burch 11/4/12

Streaming Audio

And so it goes in American music: It takes a Brit to remind us how great American-made genres can be.

October 27 and 28, 2012 on the eve of Superstorm Sandy and in the shadow of the construction at Ground Zero in Manhattan, Joe Pug took the stage at Pace University to thank the man who created his job -- Woody Guthrie.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 17:15

The Whigs 10/31/12

Streaming Audio

The Whigs have married indie-pop witticisms and bare-bones three-piece rock 'n' roll blowouts for over a decade. The Athens, Ga. trio has seen its share of opening slots, always filled with explosive energy that's a headliner's dream.

On Tuesday night the Whigs' frontman Parker Gispert came out kicking before a sparse but engaged audience at the Firebird. Literally kicking.

It was nothing but good news for the Corin Tucker Band, playing for a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Firebird. Opening song "No Bad News Tonight" from the new album "Kill My Blues" set the tone for a night of gimmick-free rock 'n' roll fused with tight pop-punk and straight-up guitar rock.

Coming off the release of "New Multitudes," their Woody Guthrie tribute album with Jay Farrar and Yim Yames, Will Johnson and Anders Parker had played casual but tight sets in living rooms and alternative spaces without P.A. systems for seventeen straight nights before Saturday's performance to a small but dedicated audience at Off Broadway.

Will Johnson's never been stingy with his art. From his work with Centro-matic, South San Gabriel and Monsters of Folk, to producing and playing on albums by other artists, to painting portraits of baseball players, "prolific" barely describes the Missouri-born artist.

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