Three Times Bad

Three Times Bad Presents the Dirty String Summit

Three Times Bad, an Oakland-based alt-roots sextet, aims to channel the powerful energy of dirty stringbands like Uncle Dave Macon, Blue Ridge Highballers, and Mississippi Sheiks who plucked, picked, popped, sawed, and thrummed acoustic geetars, banjos, mandos, and fiddles with an abandon that was not for the faint-hearted. Theirs was a music for boot stompers, […]

photograph of mzcamilamontoya by Carson Culpepper

Enchanted Musics

One fall night in the 1980s I went to the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson opera Einstein on the Beach. After taking a seat in the balcony a part of me began fighting Michel Riseman’s relentless ostinatos. Over and over and over they went while I contorted at the shoulders and hips. Scolding myself, “Calm down, this […]

Timber at Brownies, NYC 1995

Timber Live At Brownies, NYC, June 1, 1995

Here’s a gem that just resurfaced, a video of the complete performance by Timber live at Brownies, NYC, June 1, 1995. 0:00 Let It Down 5:10 Jam/Belay That 10:47 Anti-Mother-In-Law Car 13:35 Robins Make Eggs Blue 17:10 Bats 20:40 Newly 23:20 Puddle 25:53 Acid Test 29:15 Sugary Peppery 31:30 Bad Education 35:20 Life After Timber […]

Best of 2015 – Sensitive Skin More Better Favorites

This was so much fun last year, I thought we’d do it again. (Two of my favorite books of the year were ones I picked up from last year’s list: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, recommended by Deborah Pintonelli, and The Wind-Up Bird, by Haruki Murakmi, as recommended by Ron Kolm. Thanks!) So […]


Drone Loops and the Signature of Bliss

Studio musician and arranger Robert C. Hardin on his search for the condition of euphoria in music: “It means suspensions and passing tones that linger like a last look at a secret crush from childhood. It means tracks that sparkle, drone and thunder all at the same time.”

Kim Gordon

Nostalgia and Heartbreak in Kim Gordon’s ‘Girl In A Band’ ­ – A Review

I began and finished Kim’s memoir in the NYC subway, catching glimpses of her life and self­reflection between hectic transfers, rushing to make my next engagement. I missed a couple of stops, too focused to be bothered. G​irl In A Band​was engrossing. A photo in the book of Kim riding the subway some decades ago turned reading into an experience.


Double – Jim Bove and Matt Renzi

What happens when two friends, Jim Bove and Matt Renzi, who have played together for years walk into the studio with no charts, no plans, no ideas? When “Just GO” is the inspiration? Drummer Jim Bove and sax/oboe player Matt Renzi did exactly that and this new release from Sensitive Skin Music – Double – […]

Sun Ra – Live at SummerStage, Central Park, 1986

SummerStage was established by the Central Park Conservancy to bring a diverse selection of music to the park in a series of free performances during the summer months. The first concert was held at the Naumberg Bandshell in 1986 and featured the Sun Ra Arkestra. In 1986, our gang didn’t venture uptown much—anything north of […]


New Monsters: First Appearance

Harvey Pekar died just before we went into the studio to record these pieces. Harvey and I had recently collaborated on an opera, “Leave Me Alone!” He wouldn’t make anything up, so my idea of a story of a fictional Cleveland musician had to be about me instead. Unfortunately, there’s not much to my story. […]