Posted inMusic

Urge Overkill

A number of things conspire to make Urge Overkill’s new album Exit the Dragon the perverse, irritating, compelling, and scabrous mess that it is. One is the decline of National Kato, one of the band’s two key songwriting forces. Where his decrepit but oddly irresistible ideas of rock songcraft ignited tracks like “Sister Havana” and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shane McGowan & the Popes

“I ruined my life with drinking, bad wives, taking pills and cursing / Rock and roll you crucified me, left me all alone / I never should have turned my back on the old folks back home.” Those lines, howled with sarcastic, fuck-all glee by Shane MacGowan, are the spiritual center of his first solo […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Billy Bragg

The division between Billy Bragg’s by turns giddy and serious song crafting and his more unsophisticated desire to preach politics has been de facto resolved by his absence from the pop scene for nearly four years. His partisans (I’m one) recall that Bragg was a jut-jawed folk punker who, stolidly hitting the stage with an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Terence Trent D’Arby

Terence Trent D’Arby: pop-soul messiah or hemi-demi-semi genius? It’s a complex issue: D’Arby is full of shit a lot of the time, from his chest-beating pronouncements about his incipient superstardom round the time of his debut Introducing the Hard Line to the song on his second album that warned a gay friend not to make […]