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Michael Fremer  |  Nov 30, 2009  |  0 comments
Back in 1980 or so, in Los Angeles, I had a disastrous try-out to be one of the original MTV VJs. I had no idea what the content was going to be, but having been on the radio and having done stand-up, I figured why not try out? By the time I wrote the article below, which appeared in Los Angeles music magazine "Music Connection" the week of April 12th-25th 1984 (25 years ago!), MTV had gone from pretty bad to much worse. So I wrote this arbor of sour grapes that I thought you might find amusing now that MTV is no longer about music.-Ed.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 30, 2009  |  1 comments

By Armegeddon (however the Evangelical wet-dream is spelled) this article will be TOTALLY updated!

157 In-Print LPs You Should Own! Soon to be Updated.....Yea, sure. That's what you've been saying for more than a year....(sorry but soon, really!)

Okay, that's a ridiculous headline. It's the kind of cynical ploy you see on magazine covers to attract attention. These are really 157 LPs I do own, some of which you probably will enjoy and should own, and some of which you will probably hate. No doubt you already own some.

Roger Hahn  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  0 comments
On Saturday morning, April 26, 2008 an overcast and moderately humid day in New Orleans, a small group of neighborhood kids organized an impromptu 'jazz funeral' to commemorate the recent death of a loved and respected local track coach.
Roger Hahn  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  0 comments

New Orleans' second-line parade culture and Mardi Gras Indian culture share a number of attributes.

Both emerged as casually formalized neighborhood practices in the post-Reconstruction decades of the late 19th-century, with Indian imagery likely influenced around that time by the popularity in the U.S. of traveling 'Wild West' shows.

Roger Hahn  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  0 comments
While the corruption-and-reform message that would dominate post-Katrina rebuilding was being crafted in the arena of national politics—delivered through the combined strategies of federal inaction and rabid crime enforcement—the tourism industry in New Orleans emerged as the second gatekeeper of post-Katrina message delivery, energized by a void of local political leadership.
Roger Hahn  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  0 comments
This is part 4 of Roger Hahn's epic musical and cultural look at New Orleans, post Hurricane Katrina. Parts 1 through 3 have been on musicangle's home page since this past summer. The final and fifth part of the piece can also be found on the current home page. Parts 1-3 are available by searching the musicangle site—ed.
Roger Hahn  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  1 comments

This is the 5th and final part of Roger Hahn's "New Orleans Culture at a Tipping Point." Part 4 is on the home page. You can find Parts 1-3 elsewhere here by searching the site—ed.

Roger Hahn  |  Jul 31, 2008  |  0 comments

The Motorcycle Crash.

The famous motorcycle accident in 1966 that disabled a rising music star—then mired in a now long-forgotten controversy of folk-versus-pop—setting the stage for an extended period of seclusion and retreat. It’s an episode that continues to intrigue tellers of the star’s story (a recent article in American Heritage magazine, for example, can’t help introducing it as “The Bob Dylan Motorcycle-Crash Mystery”).

And for many chroniclers, it remains the central event in the Legend of Bob Dylan, the before-and-after moment, the durable frame for the-young-and-the-old, the-rise-and-the-fall, the Icarus-inflected storyline of the-burning-meteor-and-the-fallen-angel cautionary tale.

Roger Hahn  |  Jul 31, 2008  |  0 comments
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 31, 2008  |  0 comments

Legendary photographer Jim Marshall recently said that of all the magazine spreads that have used his images over the years, the one appearing in The Tracking Angle issue 13 was one of a “handful” of the finest ever.

Roger Hahn  |  Jul 31, 2008  |  0 comments

What’s not to love about Goin’ Home, the all-star tribute to New Orleans’ own Antoine “Fats” Domino, sweet-voiced and rhythmically inspired proponent of the Crescent City’s great R&B tradition?

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 01, 2007  |  0 comments

Eager anticipation turned into bitter disappointment early as Steely Dan played its final Beacon Theater (NY) concert last night (June 13th 2007). Opening tunes can’t be counted upon for greatness, as the band warms up and the mixer dials in the sound, but unfortunately, last night’s thin, sizzly, musically disjointed opener set the stage for an evening of thudding, overblown drumming, and an excruciatingly thin, sizzly, sibilant vocal mix on Donald Fagen’s clearly fatigued voice.

Obviously, drummer Keith Carlock is a talented and energetic drummer, but his playing last night had very little to do with Steely Dan’s slinky, insinuating sound, and much more to do with a Heavy Metal concert.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 30, 2007  |  0 comments

The shadow story of the tragic life of the sad-eyed, impossibly pretty Gram Parsons is fairly well known, at least among fans of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Parsons’ ill-fated solo career.

Parsons (original name: Ingram Cecil Connor III) was an enigma: a Southern born trust fund baby, Harvard drop-out and emotionally troubled musician who, though plagued by alcohol and drug abuse, (or perhaps in part because of it), produced some of the most haunting and enduring music of his era, while forging a new musical paradigm combining folk, country, rock, soul and “glam.” Though he influenced generations of musicians who followed, he never sold that many records.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2007  |  0 comments
The last complete set of The Tracking Angle (15 issues) sold this week to a buyer in New Zealand. With three issues now officially out of print, there will be no more complete sets available.
Michael Fremer  |  Dec 31, 2006  |  0 comments

(This piece, originally written in 1988, runs with a few updates)

Maddy Matlock and the Paducah Patrol, Warren Barker, The Vestry Choir, Raoul Meynard and Orchestra, Clint Walker and the Sunflower Serenaders, Gus Farney at the Giant Wurlitzer- these are just a few of the exciting musical acts that helped Warner Brothers Records lose a whopping $3 million a year between 1958 and 1962- its first four years in existence.

Not a great start. In fact the parent company, Warner Brothers films almost shut the doors, but didn’t, according to Fredrick Dannen in his excellent and often hilarious book “Hit Men,” out of fear that it wouldn’t collect money owed by slow paying independent record distributors.