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Remembering Tommy Ramone

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

"The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists," wrote the band's something-like-a-manager Tome Erdelyi in a press biography sent out from his company Loudmouth Productions in 1975. "The Ramones are a little of each. Their sound is not unlike a fast drill on a rear molar." Erdelyi was born in Budapest as Erdélyi Tamás in 1949 (he adjusted that year to 1952 for most… more »


Dan Wilson on Writing Hits for Adele, Taylor Swift and Birdy

By Sam Adams, Contributor

Semisonic may have been consigned to the ranks of one-hit wonders, but these days, singer Dan Wilson has hits to spare. As the band wound down in 2003 after the million-selling success of 1998's single "Closing Time," Wilson was starting up a new career as a co-songwriter for hire, working with Rachel Yamagata, Mike Doughty, Jason Mraz and more. He ended up in the studio with the Dixie Chicks, co-writing nearly half the songs on… more »


Remembering the Legacy of Gerry Goffin

By Wayne Robins, Contributor

There may be no better farewell for lyricist Gerry Goffin, who died Thursday at age 75, then this appreciation offered in an interview last year by Frankie Valli, back in the spotlight with Jersey Boys. Valli was in a Manhattan diner talking with me about the enduring appeal of songs from the early 1960s. Songs that were released on 45 rpm records, purchased by teenagers (most of them girls), expected to be forgotten the moment they… more »

New + Noteworthy

Label Spotlight: KSCOPE

eMusic Reviews View All

Antony and the Johnsons, Turning

2014 | Label: Secretly Canadian / SC Distribution

In 2006, Antony and the Johnsons were arguably at the peak of their powers, and certainly at the peak of their commercial impact. They were riding high on their breakthrough (and only Gold-certified) album, 2005′s I Am a Bird Now, which won the Mercury Prize — with a little controversy, as they were based in New York rather than the U.K.

That record instantly vaulted them into the canons of indie- and art-music fans alike by blending chamber opera and cabaret around Antony’s charismatic persona. That focal… more »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Rhythm

2014 | Label: The Leaf Label / state51

After meeting at the Gothenburg’s Academy of Music and Drama, Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin began making music that flouted the conventions of formal musical training. On 2007′s Heartcore, the duo’s first release as Wildbirds & Peacedrums, they pounded away on hand drums and plucked zithers to create vigorous, undisciplined sounds. At base, they’re still the same band they were then — their music consists almost entirely of Werliin’s brisk drumming and Wallentin’s muscular vocals, her tics and ululations providing the thrust of spontaneity that’s earned… more »

Grouper, Ruins

2014 | Label: kranky / The Orchard

On a succession of variously veiled and murky albums since 2005, Grouper, aka the Oregon-based artist Liz Harris, has made mystery one of her main instruments. Often her favored sound is intensely earthy and ethereal, layered and faded and delivered with a bit of aural messiness. For Ruins, which was apparently inspired by contemplative walks during a residency at a small Portual arts center, she pared down recording on a 4-track with just an upright piano and a microphone to capture the enchanting plainness of her homespun voice.… more »