• Artist Spotlight

    An Interview with a True Rock n’ Roll Believer, Tommie Vaughn

    Tommie Vaughn’s books came to my attention thanks to a press release from Fly PR. I am an avid reader and especially during COVID-19, I’ve been using them as a nightly escape. As musician (front woman of Wall of Tom) and author, Tommie Vaughn said, “I think now, more than ever- with the loss of our concerts and live music scene, the books are indeed, the perfect way to bring back the music and stage shows, safely!” The author of the Frankie Spencer trilogy certainly lives the rock n’ roll dream and was kind enough to answer questions about her life as a musician and about the rock n’ roll…

  • Album Reviews,  Band Information

    Brittany Howard. Thunderbitch.

    by Theresa Kulbaga Brittany Howard may be my very favorite contemporary woman in rock. I’m a long-time fan of the badass band Alabama Shakes, having written about them before for this magazine. And when I learned that Brittany Howard was embarking on a solo project, I was sold on the idea well before the album was done. Released in June 2019, Jaime is an album that showcases Howard’s powerful songwriting. The first track, “History Repeats,” has been nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. Maybe it’ll win. (In 2016, Alabama Shakes earned four Grammy nominations for their album Sound and Color and won three…

  • Artist Spotlight

    A Q&A with Black Flag’s Former Bassist, Kira Roessler

    Black Flag is notorious for their hardcore aggression and masculinity. Yet, at one point in time, they had a female bassist, Kira Roessler. Kira, who still lives in California is now in the film business. She took the time to chat with me and answer questions about her music career and what she’s up to now.  Izzi Krombholz: What kind of bands were you into growing up? Kira Roessler: Growing up in my household my dad was a classical only guy. We had a piano and I wanted to take piano lessons. So starting at 6 and my brother was 9, he and I took piano lessons. I fell behind…

  • Artist Spotlight

    A Cemetery Tour with Goth Royalty; An Interview with Patricia Morrison and David Vanian

    I’ve chatted with the lovely and haunting Patricia Morrison via the interweb for a few years now for interviews and such. When my family planned a spring trip to London I thought, this could finally be the time I get to meet her in person! Patricia, being the gracious person she is, offered to set us up with a tour of Highgate Cemetery so I could see more of London while there. That’s truly just how cool she is.  I had been out in the Cotswolds with my family and friends for the weekend and was taking the train back to London when I got a message from Patricia telling…

  • Song of the Moment

    Song of the Moment: “Meticulous Bird” by Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

    A Man Alive is over three years old now, but I keep returning to it because, first of all, Thao Ngyuen bought me a drink at the Taft Theatre back in 2014, so she is obviously the best, but more importantly, the songs on this record continue to reveal new, sparkly little gems with every listen. “Meticulous Bird” begins with a funky danceable beat and Ngyuen’s clever rhymes, and could totally be a pop song, except that it soon veers into the kind of complexity that in less-skilled hands would render it dissonant. In Nguyen’s hands, however, we get a song that is pop and jazz, hip-hop and electronica at…

  • Artist Spotlight

    Keeping Carter Family Music Alive, An Interview with Carlene Carter

    The Carter Family name is one well known and well respected in the music world. Carlene, daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, was kind enough to chat with me about growing up in the Carter family music world and how it shaped her as a musician.  When you’re growing up, what your parents do for a living shapes you. For Carlene, music was constantly a part of her life. Carlene says, “It was fun, it was different from my friends, it was a way of life. It wasn’t until I started school that I realized not everyone’s parents did that. Grandma (Maybelle), Mom, Helen and Anita would rehearse…

  • A Little Slice of History,  Band Information

    Lopin’ Along Thru the Cosmos with Forgotten Folk Genius Judee Sill

    By Theresa Kulbaga She was a 1970s folk-pop artist with long hair draped over her sweater. She had a one-of-a-kind voice, tinged with a charming, breathy lilt and a preference for underused vocables. She made poetry out of lyrics and guitar and piano. She liked the word “grim.” She is a favorite of Carrie Brownstein and many others—in fact, she had a major influence on the mainstream songwriting of the 1970s and beyond. Her first name begins with a swooping J. No, I’m not thinking of Joni Mitchell. Instead, I’m describing forgotten folk genius Judee Sill. Sill had glasses and a sharp, intelligent face. She was classically trained, a great…

  • Artist Spotlight

    An Interview with Riot Grrrl Artist, Jolie Ruin

    By Bela Madrid Bela Madrid: How were you first drawn to the punk scene? Jolie Ruin: I grew up in the 80s, there was a lot of punk bands that I was exposed to on MTV back then. I liked all kinds of music and I wasn’t really drawn to punk until I was probably about 12 years old. My older brother used to skateboard with cool punk boys that listened to the Misfits, Black Flag, the Descendents and he used to make mix tapes for me. So that’s pretty much how I got into punk rock! B: What ultimately drew you to riot grrrl? JR: The message– It empowered…

  • Song of the Moment

    Song of the Moment: “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus

    Lucy Dacus writes the kind of songs that I immerse myself into slowly, one note at a time, or measure by measure, word by word. It’s easy to miss her complexity at first, wowed as you are by her voice and storytelling. “Night Shift” is a slow-building breakup anthem that ends in a furious crescendo. At the beginning of the song, Dacus’s voice is soft and sweet and vulnerable. You want to hug her. By the end, she is pure anger and anguish (while also looking to an as-yet-unrealized future), and you kind of want to back away but not really, because you’re staring. You’ve got a 9 to 5,…

  • Artist Spotlight

    The Bluesey Jubilance of Maya Banatwala and Heavy Hinges

    On New Years’ Eve–with the most glacial January in recent memory just around the corner–I was warmed all the way through at the Northside Tavern by Maya Banatwala, her bluesey singing voice and stunning stage presence, and the sheer rockin’ talent of her band, Heavy Hinges. Maya fronts the blues- and gospel-inspired rock band on vocals and ukulele; the other band members include Dylan Speeg on guitar and vocals, Andrew Laudeman on bass guitar, Kirk Hunter on lead guitar, and Brian Williamson on drums and percussion. I caught up with them all two weeks later, on the coldest and darkest day of the winter. Theresa: is it too cold for…