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Author Archives: Dennis Pernu

Penelope Spheeris

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization Collection

Was the Germs’ incoherent Darby Crash, writhing on stage while fans write on his forehead with indelible marker, really so different from W.A.S.P.’s incoherent Chris Holmes, floating in his pool and chugging three bottles of Smirnoff as his Mom looked on? Tough to say, (more…)

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Jonny Wickersham

Social D Guitarist Does ’70s Cali Rock
Jonny Wickersham

Best known as the Les Paul Junior-slinging guitarist stage left of Mike Ness in Social Distortion, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham speaks with a laid-back SoCal drawl and peppers his conversation with modest asides. The uninitiated would never suspect he has just dropped his first solo record, (more…)

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The Minus 5

Dungeon Golds

Former R.E.M. fifth man Scott McCaughey is more significantly the longtime leader of Pacific Northwest rock legends Young Fresh Fellows, the brilliant Baseball Project, and the Minus 5. Considering the latter collective’s revolving cast, it’s remarkable that McCaughey has flown under the radar to the (more…)

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The Jayhawks

Live At The Belly Up

Recorded in January 2015, this digital-only live show captures the legendary Minneapolis alt-country outfit’s 1997 lineup running through chestnuts from throughout their catalog, including some of their more decidedly un-Americana tracks. Lead guitarist and vocalist Gary Louris sounds more effortless than ever, channeling Crazy Horse ferocity, (more…)

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Worland Prairie

Built For Speed

Worland Prairie Price: $1,950 Info: It’s been well-documented how car-crazy vets and teens in postwar America reimagined the American automobile. Some shaved, sprayed, and slammed contemporary two-door sedans, creating the custom car. Others invented the hot rod when they stripped prewar coupes and roadsters (more…)

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Pops Staples

Don't Lose This

Roebuck “Pops” Staples learned his chops at the elbows of Son House and Robert Johnson. When he passed away in 2000, American culture lost perhaps the last direct link to rock and roll’s prehistory. These 10 remarkable and previously unfinished songs that Pops recorded with daughters Mavis, (more…)

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George Clinton

Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You?: A Memoir

Let’s get it out of the way. That title… one of the best in recent memory. Then again, what else should we expect from the man who arrived in the Mothership to bestow on the world funk albums with titles like Gloryhallastoopid (Or Pin The Tale (more…)

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Father John Misty

I Love You, Honeybear
Upping The Ante

In 2012, Josh Tillman, former drummer of the much-lauded Fleet Foxes, released his first album as Father John Misty. Presenting tales of Laurel Canyon excess, narcissism, and self-loathing, Fear Fun was itself a highly pleasing indulgence, in part because it was often difficult to discern (more…)

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Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014
Roger That

Tough to believe it’s been two decades since Jeff Tweedy reluctantly took the remains of the critically adored but ultimately doomed alt-country standard-bearers Uncle Tupelo and laid down roots for a Chicago-based band he would dub Wilco. Tough to believe, that is, until one takes in the (more…)

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Bruce Pavitt

Sub Pop USA: The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980-1988

Before Sub Pop the label there was Sub Pop the music ’zine and later the column in Seattle weekly The Rocket. This expansive anthology compiled by Sub Pop founder Pavitt is a fantastic and fascinating time capsule of the highly influential pre-internet organs that gave voice (more…)

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