Posts by: Rick Moody

Swinging Modern Sounds #82: Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark: A Symposium

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...yet she did what she did, and in the process made the most successful album of her career. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #81: On Cultural Preservation

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The Lost Boys had their moment in the media, but these people, these survivors, not boys at all and not lost now either, are still here, living lives, growing and changing and thinking and reflecting. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #80: I Just Don’t Want to Wait Around Anymore

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Mulcahy’s Possum is, like the animal titularly referred to, a sly and imaginative affair... ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #79: The Rhythm Section Speaks

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Maybe there is something important about rock and roll now, rock and roll the neglected past tense of a musical form, and that is that it is the music of adults. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #78: Conceived as a Playlist

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Shadowbahn [...] is among the most unusual, and most extreme, in a literary career that has often been marked by its unpredictability. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #77: People Give Me Things, Part One

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[T]he thing about receiving music from other people is this: there is always some grace associated with the transaction. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Abraham Burickson

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Rick Moody talks with Abraham Burickson, Artistic Director of Odyssey Works, a San Francisco-based theater company whose works are designed for an audience of one. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #76: American Songbag

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In the broadest sense, I think of this work as being about the stuff of life: excitement, love, disappointment, pride, nature, cities, war, loneliness, work, class distinction, communication. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #75: The Petra Haden Story

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At every turn, Haden’s decisions, while labor-intensive and rigorous, feel fresh, passionate, funny, and new. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #74: A Social Practice

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Everywhere there is sterling musicianship, of the original, unexpected sort. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #73: Prince Rogers Nelson, Guitar Player: A Symposium

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I started thinking about additional, more slantwise ways we might talk about his legacy. What if I organized a bunch of guitar players? ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #72: Urban Pastoral

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It’s like a landscape that you can’t know until you’ve seen it through four seasons, until you’ve seen it on days gray and bright. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #71: A Michael Bay Film Eating Itself

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“Love,” then is not to be taken lightly here. It is being engaged at full force, megaphonically. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #70: Alien Now!

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Maybe, in terms of idiom, The Dabbers are like a thrash rock and roll version of the Cocteau Twins, or what the This Mortal Coil would sound like if the Dead Boys tried to cover one of their albums. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #69: Meaning Yes

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When in need of comfort, it’s always worth trying close reading. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #68: A Way of Life

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The thing about Scott Tuma is: the immense pathos of the recordings... Almost no one, frankly, is allowed to sound this sad and continue to have a musical career. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #67: The Franchise Restaurants of Song

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Musician Owen Ashworth on his new album, Nephew in the Wild, literary influences, self-expression in songwriting, and how becoming a father has changed his work. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #66: The Library of Babel

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I want to propose a fine recent example of the gesamtkuntsler, the total artist, in Paul de Jong, the cellist, composer, collagist, archivist, and former member of the band The Books. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #65: Tragedy Plus Time

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Jesse Malin is a lifer in a business that rarely features lifers anymore. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #64: Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!

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Many of you will not want to believe that “Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!” by the Californian punk band the Urinals, is the greatest song ever written, but that is simply because there is some kind of vise or blood-occluding mechanism attached to the thinking and feeling part of your limbic region. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #63: It’s Supposed to Be Bad

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Rick Moody emails with Scott Timberg, author of the new book Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class, about Bob Dylan's new Sinatra covers album, the need for cultural gatekeepers, and the "slippery sub genre" of bad-on-purpose art. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #62: Stillness as Metaphor

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I am after a music that renders life as it is, and which invites in the intermittent pulsations of life. ...more

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Swinging Modern Sounds #61: Songs for the Alliterative at Heart

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Michael Hearst has come a long way from the guy who played plastic wind instruments on Seventh Avenue, to an admirably creative and original adulthood. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #60: On Mentorship

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In an empirically-preoccupied world, mentorship appears to be unscientific, impossible to quantify, and perhaps even sentimental. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #59: Not a Folk Singer

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There is a lot to learn from Vashti Bunyan, therefore, about how to live a self-designed life, and how to be unapologetic and decisive about the habit of songwriting. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #58: Crowdsourcing

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Music-obsessive activity, in general, appears to be about music. You could, on the surface, mistake it for being about music. But in fact what it is about is memory and love. ...more

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Rick Moody on Depression

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I have read, frequently, in the past couple of days, that it would be good if depression were less stigmatized, and it would be good if people who suffered with it were open about their suffering, so that we might all understand better.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #50: The Big 5-0!

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While it’s possible to find a lot to worry about in the world of contemporary music, there’s always something new to listen to as well, post-historical, outlying, pre- or anti- or minimally digital music. And so maybe there will be five more years of Swinging Modern Sounds. ...more

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