Rick Moody


Swinging Modern Sounds #75: The Petra Haden Story


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

Heroes of Toolik color pc George Kopp feature

Swinging Modern Sounds #74: A Social Practice


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

INGLEWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) Prince Live In LA    
Michael Ochs Archives Stringer

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


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

by Constance Mensh

Swinging Modern Sounds #72: Urban Pastoral


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

Hecker feature

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


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

Dabbers feature

Swinging Modern Sounds #70: Alien Now!


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

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Swinging Modern Sounds #69: Meaning Yes


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

Scott Tuma feature

Swinging Modern Sounds #68: A Way of Life


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


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


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

Jesse Malin, San Francisco, March 2013

Swinging Modern Sounds #65: Tragedy Plus Time


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

Urinals feature

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


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

Christmas in the Heart

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


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


Swinging Modern Sounds #62: Stillness as Metaphor


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


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


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


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


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


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

Ricky Moody by_Thatcher_Keats

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


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