And while I’m thinking of it, my appearance in an Abu Dhabi newspaper

No, really. It was an article on the Grammys. Had almost forgotten I did this — thanks, Stephen Dalton! (Friendly dude.)

The bit I’m in:

During its first 40 years, the Academy failed to acknowledge milestone recordings by Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and other legends. Instead, they favoured light entertainers and family-friendly crooners, many now long forgotten. The fabled Motown label won just one Grammy during its entire 1960s heyday. Major musical movements such as hip-hop and grunge took years to register on the NARAS radar.

“It’s no surprise that there’s a certain tendency towards middle-of-the-road consensus,” says Ned Raggett, an LA-based music critic, author and blogger. “A lot of it boils down to the age of the voters combined with a desire to seem somehow reasonably of its time but unable to fully come to grips with it. Ultimately I think it’s a human tendency to stick with the tried and true, and I certainly can’t rule myself out from that.”

My latest OC Weekly article on Robedoor

Great band, Robedoor. Looking forward to the show next week; in the meantime, here’s my article on them. A selection:

When it comes to performance, some acts carry on as if the audience isn’t there—consider Miles Davis and his notorious instances of facing away from the crowds who flocked to his shows—or disappear fully into their staging. LA experimentalists Robedoor went a step further. Two years ago at the Bottling Smoke festival, they played in the middle of a club floor inside what appeared to be a tent.

“We were always hugely bored by watching dudes twiddle knobs in front of big speakers,” says guitarist/vocalist Britt Brown. “So early on, we decided we might as well amplify the ‘non-spectacle’ aspect of drone music into total visual murk and mystery. For the first two to three years, we nearly always performed in our Stonehenge amplifier arrangement with a dark tarp draped over it all. We liked the energy it gave to the proceedings inside, even more ritualistic and cult-y and cut off from the world—and the fact that spectators were spared having to stare at two dudes crouched on the ground touching FX pedals and volume knobs.”