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Aretha Franklin at the Kennedy Center

Three days before Aretha Franklin died, I got a call from an editor at the New York Times, asking if I could put together an oral history of the Queen of Soul’s amazing 2015 performance of “Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center (honoring Carole King). The catch was that since she didn’t have very long […]

posted 10 September 2018 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

Neil Tennant Q&A

In early March, I wrote an article for The New York Times about the American debut of The Most Incredible Thing, a ballet based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, with choreography by Javier de Frutos and a score by the Pet Shop Boys. It was a pleasure to report for many reasons–not least getting […]

posted 27 April 2018 in Articles. no comments yet

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Ballet

Hello! In case you missed them, I wanted to call your attention to two pieces I wrote for The New York Times in recent months. The first one was on the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” I spoke with an extraordinarily cool range of people for the article: […]

posted 4 April 2018 in Outside. no comments yet

99 Luftballoons

Have you been wondering what Nena, the German singer best known in the States for her 1984 single “99 Luftballoons,” has been up to for the past three decades? Then you’re in luck, because I wrote an article for the New York Times about her. Be warned: the history of the song becoming an American […]

posted 12 October 2016 in Articles. 1 comment

The Rocking Dead

I wrote an article for the New York Times about Jeff Jampol, who manages musicians including Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Rick James–as I put it, “the performers that the music business calls legacy acts and that the general public refers to as dead people.” If you’re interested in that niche of the show-business ecosystem, […]

posted 24 June 2016 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

We’re Putting It on Wax

Because I had never recapped a TV show before, I tried it for The New York Times with the first season of Vinyl, HBO’s lavish reconstruction of the early-1970s music business. The series had a promising but flawed beginning (with a two-hour pilot directed by Martin Scorsese), then it gradually got worse, then it perked […]

posted 9 May 2016 in Outside. no comments yet

Woo-Hoo

If you are a fan of Blur–is it okay to start digging them now if you never connected with them in the past quarter-century? Sure, why not?–you might want to check out my recent article about the band in the pages of The New York Times. It ran on the front page of the Weekend […]

posted 3 November 2015 in Outside. no comments yet

Los Bros Duplass

Quick byline alert: I had a short article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, a profile of the clever and congenial Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, the filmmaking brothers responsible for Cyrus; Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and The Do-Deca-Pentathlon. An amusing side note that didn’t fit into the piece came when I spoke with […]

posted 21 May 2012 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet