Single Notes

Sarah Brightman

Of music’s ever-splintering genres, classical crossover might have the largest ratio of albums sold (lots) to words written (few). The genre’s subject to a thousand preconceptions, some inaccurate and some accurate but only just. One of its founding albums, however, soprano Sarah Brightman’s album Fly, is quite different from the anodyne template most people ascribe its genre; it’s part U2, part Enigma, part electronic, sung in about three voices and only briefly classical. It also explains most of her future work and how the genre sounds today.

Honky-Tonk Tourist

In this amusing and bittersweet tale of musical obsession, Dan Epstein looks back on the ever-evolving role that country music has played in his life since he first discovered it as a child via Buck Owens and Hee Haw. The story culminates with a pilgrimage to see Owens himself at his Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, a trip that goes horribly awry and forces the writer to confront some harsh truths about his notions of “authenticity,” and his relationship with country music in general.


New from Single Notes...

Stopgap compilations of scattered singles and demos rarely give us any real insight into a band's deepest concerns. But Incesticide is no typical compilation album, just as Nirvana was no typical band. In his essay, Seth Colter Walls looks at the way Kurt Cobain used Incesticide to artfully re-assemble and re-contextualize his own history during a critical juncture in Nirvana’s pop ascendancy, creating a patchwork quilt of song-styles and influences that continues to tell us much about Cobain and his band that their big albums can't.
Tracy Landecker
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An insightful look at legendary 1960s girl group, the Shangri-las: four young street-smart girls from Queens, New York who, along with their producer Shadow Morton, invented the bad-ass but vulnerable
David Nichols
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Todd Rundgren is a musical enigma — seemingly even to himself.
Frank Meyer
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When the Wall of Sound Met the New York Underground: The Ramones, Phil Spector and End of the Century” explores the collaboration album between two rock legends.
Kurt B. Reighley
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Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, the 1981 debut album by British duo Soft Cell. A ten-track carnival of sleaze and squalor… and a pop phenomenon.
Ben Edmonds
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This piece started as liner notes for a reissue of Kill City, the Iggy Pop & James Williamson album of 1975 demo sessions financed and overseen by former Creem magazine editor Ben Edmonds.
Davin Seay
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The Dark Prince of Funk, Rick James scored some of the genre’s most iconic hits, from “Give It To Me Baby,” to “Ghetto Life” to “Super Freak,” and became a legend in the process.
Gene Sculatti
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Dark Stars & Anti-Matter: 40 Years of Loving, Leaving and Making Up with the Music of the Grateful Dead is a memoir about growing up, music-obsessed, in the Bay Area in the Sixties, about growing olde
Michaelangelo Matos
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Chic's "Good Times" summed up disco's decadent allure right at the moment the style's cultural backlash began in full.
Lyndsey Parker
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If you ever paused your VCR so you could kiss John Taylor's freeze-framed face...if you ever named your Cabbage Patch Doll after Nick Rhodes...if you ever pored over Simon Le Bon's "Union Of The Snake
Christopher R. Weingarten
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Every Day I Take A Wee is an uncomfortably personal memoir of shame, obsession and neuroses, told through growing up in shadows of the brattiest, snottiest, jerkiest, booger-wipingest record that ever
Binky Philips
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My Life In The Ghost of Planets: The Story of a CBGB Almost-Was By Binky Philips