Articles tagged “obituary”

Dan Sartain: A Friendship in 12 Pieces of Music

Dan Sartain

I met Dan Sartain at the merch table after his November 8, 2004 show at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, Michigan. I bought two copies of Sartain Family Legacy 1981-1998 and we made small talk. He complimented me on the suit I was wearing (I’d come straight from my grandpa’s funeral) and me saying I […]

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10 Essential Moments from the Life of Eddie Van Halen

eddie van halen

Stop the presses. Yes, the global news cycle is a whirlwind right now (or a dumpster fire, depending on how you view it). However, everything else pales in comparison to the passing of one rock’s greatest guitarists. Eddie Van Halen died today. News of his death was announced by his son, Wolfgang, through Twitter on […]

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5 Times We Were Wowed By Justin Townes Earle

justin townes earle

Some famous musicians’ children limp through public life both defined and limited by their last name. Not Justin Townes Earle. Get a load of all six-foot-six of him, bowtied and looming over the mic on The Late Show With David Letterman, vowing to die a watery death in the song “Harlem River Blues.” “I’ve been […]

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10 Songs by Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green You Need to Hear

peter green

When Fleetwood Mac proclaimed in 1977 that they’d “never break the chain,” one of their links was stranded in the past: Peter Green. His absence still haunts the band. “I’d always get people in the hotel room on tour and say, ‘Now I want you to hear Peter Green,’” their drummer Mick Fleetwood said in […]

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Remembering Little Richard

Little Richard was a cornerstone of rock and roll. He represented everything the music was about when it was first unleashed upon an unsuspecting public in the straightjacketed 1950s — rebellion, flamboyance, release, abandon. He was a dangerous man, an African American in makeup and sequins who was beloved and idolized by white and black […]

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Remembering Tony Allen: 10 Drum Performances You Need To Hear

Don’t think of Afrobeat as music in a vacuum, the product of one far-flung culture, a vague synonym with “world music.” Take it from Tony Allen, who helped define the style with his electrifying drumming. “Afrobeat has many different grooves. Afrobeat is not actually one particular beat,” he explained to The Quietus in 2012. “I […]

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Remembering John Prine: Eight Covers Of “Angel from Montgomery” You Need To Hear

John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” may be a country-folk standard today, but back in 1969, it started as just another “song about old people.” After the songwriter — then a mailman in Maywood, Illinois — wrote the spellbinding “Hello in There” about the loneliness of senior citizens, his songwriter friend Ed Holstein asked to collaborate […]

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Remembering Hal Willner: Six Of His Quintessentially Strange Tribute Albums To Hear

Hal Willner’s tribute albums were like an antimatter We Are the World. No matter how dissimilar his collaborators (Bono, John Zorn, Chuck D) or how eccentric a subject he was commemorating (Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Kurt Weill), he was able to take seemingly random points on our shared cultural map and constellate them at will. […]

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Remembering Bill Withers: Eight Wildly Different Covers You Need To Hear

Bill Withers left behind a handful of mellow-soul hits — “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” — that fit any mood like a turtleneck and wore into the creases of oldies radio stations. Yet who knew they’d be so versatile as to be coverable by (respectively) a heavy metal band, a Christian rap […]

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Remembering Ellis Marsalis: 7 Essential Records By The New Orleans Jazz Patriarch

Despite Ellis Marsalis, Jr. being the paterfamilias of jazz’s most elite dynasty, he never ruled his house with an iron fist. “My father never put pressure on me,” Wynton Marsalis, one of four jazz-practitioning sons along with Branford, told The New York Times Magazine in 2004. “The house could fall down and everyone would be […]

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