Category Archives: Published Elsewhere

New Article: The Rebirth of Country

published at AND magazine

“Q: “So what kind of music do you listen to?”

A: “Oh, I’m not picky, anything really. Except for country!”

It’s a pretty standard question, and today’s standard response.

Country music has had a long and colorful history in the psyche of the American public. Starting off in the early part of the 20th century as “hillbilly music” – a term that was later abandoned as “denigrating” – country music has developed into a form that boasts the two highest-grossing solo artists ever – Elvis Presley, who took the world by storm and emerged as number one, and Garth Brooks, the heartthrob crooner who is currently the second highest-selling solo artist in the United States.

In its various avatars – country boogie, honky tonk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and country rock – country music has garnered a group of loyal fans, many of them country-lovers for generations. However, country music has long been considered a pariah in the musical genre fraternity. Maybe it’s the association with the Deep South and pickup trucks, or perhaps it’s the rustic, lonesome sound reminiscent of expansive prairies, far from any hint of civilization. Barring those few die-hard fans, country has never really gotten a strong foothold in music fandom. Burdened with a reputation as a musical form which true music aficionados shun, country music has struggled long and hard for a chance to be part of the nationwide – and even international – mainstream music scene. Success has been elusive.

So what’s it going to take for country music to speak to today’s music-loving youth?”

Read more here.


New Article – Our President the Dreamer – Clemency for Immigrants: Politics or Compassion?

from AND magazine

Today’s announcement that the deportation of young illegal immigrants would cease and that they would be allowed to apply for work permits has taken the political world by storm. Citing “lack of intent”, a memorandum was issued this morning stating that children who were brought here by illegal immigrant parents know only the United States as home and should not be deported.

As one may well expect, this announcement has produced reactions that span the spectrum, ranging from exhilaration and ecstasy on the part of those it protects to fury and indignation from those who adamantly support a stringent border control. Critics of the President’s move call it a political ploy, stating that such an extreme move a mere five months before the election can be nothing but a scheme to overwhelmingly claim the Latino vote.

Read the rest here.

Tori Amos’ New Album: Night of Hunters

published at eburban

Tori Amos, with a fabulously extensive history of making music that pushes the envelope, has managed to produce her most cohesive, compelling album in recent times, Night of Hunters.

Although Amos has been known on past records to allow classical themes and patterns to surface through otherwise playful arrangements, this particular project is unique. She has taken inspiration from well-known classical pieces, both contemporary and historical, and has taken them in a new direction, intensely and effectively telling the story of a woman on a journey of self-discovery.

Read more here.

Terrorism’s New Name – AND Magazine Cover Story!

published at AND magazine

It has almost become a requirement that we as Americans – nay, as global citizens – call terrorists cowards. It is as if a much greater insult is laid upon those who perpetrate horrific, catastrophic atrocities on their fellow beings when they are called monstrous sissies than if they are merely called monsters. A publicly castrated terrorist is somehow being stripped of his seeming success, and in that we find the tiniest of victories.

Read more here.

New Album Review: How to Dress Well – Just Once EP

published at

Just Once is an EP recently released by How to Dress Well, the stage name of Brooklyn R&B/lo-fi artist Tom Krell. His sophomore effort, Just Once leaves much to be desired with respect to musical capability. Krell’s initial work, prior to his debut album Love Remains, was lo-fi, reminiscent of 80′s and 90′s R&B. In his latest release, Krell brings the R&B sound to a new realm, combining ethereal ambient orchestral arrangements with his usual style. The resulting soundscapes are stunning and creative – until the vocals are added in.

Read more here!


New Music Review! Lisa Jaeggi – Epic Epic

published at

“Epic Epic, Lisa Jaeggi’s sophomore effort, is indeed epic. The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, describes her style as “skateboard acoustic soul”, which is probably the most accurate description. Her style has also been described as anti-folk, although her incredible story-telling abilities display how well she has captured the essence of folk – observing and responding to her environment, commenting on life as she sees it.”

Read more here!

Music Review: Philip Gibbs – The Petroleum Age

published at

The Petroleum Age
is a pleasantly simple, down to earth album, great for background summer evening listening. A past-meets-future venture blending sounds of Americana with rockabilly, Philip Gibbs’ fourth studio release will reach particularly close to the hearts of Texan listeners. Gibbs fondly recounts the stories of the fights put up by Sam Houston (“Sam Houston’s Blues”) and Stephen F. Austin (“Stephen F. Austin’s Blues”) against General Santa Anna in Texas’s fight for freedom….Although the first few tracks remain enticing and impactful, towards the middle of the album the quality begins to decline. “To Block You From My Eyes” is painful to listen to and Gibbs would do well not to model any further tracks on this one. Although the guitar work is pleasant and enjoyable, blunt and heavy vocals detract too much from it to allow for success. Around the sixth track, “In the Middle of the Evening”, the balance between a “down-home” natural style and an under produced lack of musicianship is lost, making the remainder of the album a chore to get through.

Music Review! : Brown Recluse – Evening Tapestry

published at

Sunshiny and warm at first listen, Brown Recluse (named after a poisonous spider for some unfathomable reason) is good at what it does – faithfully reproducing the sounds of indie pop giants like Belle and Sebastian and Of Montreal, even Neutral Milk Hotel at several turns. Well-harmonized, upbeat and catchy, Evening Tapestry succeeds at being a fun background album – a good choice for driving or an afternoon workout. What it does not even begin to do is anything new.

Read more here!


Egg Substitutes!

Here’s an article I wrote for on substituting eggs in different recipes! Enjoy!

Cooking without eggs is daunting. Some people are allergic, others have weird quirks, and some just don’t eat eggs, really. Whatever the motivation may be, the number of people looking for ways to cook and bake without eggs is getting higher by the day. The limitations of vegan recipes ranges from dry, crumbly cakes to timid fritters that can’t hold their own against a pot of hot oil. Although there are numerous variations and substitutions that can be made, unless if they’re precisely tailored to the recipe, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.


So how do you know whether or not the recipe will work, you ask? Well, here are some excellent tips on replacing eggs or working around them in recipes ranging from sweets like cookies and breads to savories like fritters and breaded items!

Here’s more!

New Music Review! MonkeyJunk – To Behold

published at

Upon being asked about his passion for his music, delta blues legend Son House said “I’m talkin’ ‘bout the blues, I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout monkey junk”. And thus was born the quirky name of the equally quirky contemporary blues band MonkeyJunk. Blending delta blues, soul boogie, and country with modern presentation, MonkeyJunk boasts an innovative and creative approach to the blues on To Behold. Steve Marriner, Tony D, and Matt Sobb, play well off of each other, seamlessly creating an upbeat, catchy sound that has really started to be noticed on the blues scene in Europe and the States.

Read more here.