I’d been chasing Neko Case for years—literally—in order to interview her for Decibel magazine’s closet metalheads column. Finally, on Freddie Mercury’s birthday, we had a chance to speak. The column itself is not online; you have to get a copy of Issue #136 (February 2016) to read it. But the remnants of our conversation can be found on the blog. Check it out. Horns way the hell up.
The Rezillos’s first album in 37 years, Zero, is one of the greatest punk rock albums of 2015. Punk rock is an attitude, an aesthetic. It’s not something you grow out of, nor is it something only accessible to young people. Punk doesn’t die with age or time. Fay Fife and Eugene Reynolds are proof: Zero is a rollicking good time. Here’s my Rezillos interview for Noisey.
Pretty sure this is what big-shot writers refer to as a career highlight. I had the very enormous honor of interviewing the members of L7—Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Dee Plakas, and Jennifer Finch—about their 1992 album Bricks Are Heavy for Decibel’s Hall of Fame series. L7 is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Bricks Are Heavy is one of my all-time favorite albums. I sort of obsessed over this piece, even though L7 kinda did all the work. You can read my intro here, but to read the interviews—all 5,500 words of them—you need to order a copy of the November issue of Decibel. It’s worth it. I’ve read the piece dozens of times (literally), and I will return to it again and again for sheer inspiration.
business, Decibel, Ester Segarra, Kate Richardson, Katherine Ludwig, Kelli Malella, Kristen Mulderig, Kristin "Gypsy" McElroy, Liz Ciavarella-Brenner, Loana dp Valencia, Maria Ferrero, metal, Monica Seide, Paula Hogan, Shannon Ward, Tracy Vera, Women, women in metal, women in rock, Yvette Uhlmann
This article came out in 2012, and I’m only now getting around to posting it. I’m grateful to a lot of people for helping me write what I consider to be one of the most important and meaningful pieces of my career. Humble thanks to Albert Mudrian, Decibel’s extraordinarily good-looking and patient editor in chief, for the assignment and unending encouragement. And thanks to the following women for taking time from ruling the metal world to be interviewed for this article: Liz Ciavarella-Brenner, Loana dp Valencia, Maria Ferrero, Paula Hogan, Katherine Ludwig, Kelli Malella, Kristin “Gypsy” McElroy, Kristen Mulderig, Kate Richardson, Ester Segarra, Monica Seide, Yvette Uhlmann, Tracy Vera, and Shannon Ward. Your dedication and work ethic are ridiculously inspiring.
Please consider purchasing the entire Women in Metal issue from Decibel’s webstore. It’s one of the greatest issues in the mag’s 10-year history.
This is a picture taken on the NYC subway of a stranger reading my “Closet Metalhead” article about Alekhine’s Gun singer Jessica Pimentel (who also stars as Maria Ruiz on Orange Is the New Black) in Decibel magazine (November 2013, page 14). The photographer is someone I don’t know. He/She uploaded the image to Facebook and tagged Jessica. Jessica then tagged me in a comment. The satisfaction of having published an article is not nearly as satisfying as learning that someone actually read what you published. Throughout my not-exactly-illustrious-yet-still-admirably-prolific career as a music journalist, proof of someone having read anything I’ve written has proven to be elusive—hate mail being an exception. This person doesn’t appear to hate what he’s reading, which, I can guarantee you, has less to do with my writing than with Jessica Pimentel’s existence on this planet. Still and all, a small victory—one I’m celebrating.
THE IRONY OF IT ALL is that MY BYLINE IS MISSING FROM THE ARTICLE.
In the new issue of Billboard magazine (June 8, 2013), I interviewed the very charming and unpredictable David Yow about his solo debut album Tonight You Look Like a Spider on Joyful Noise records, which completely sold out of limited-edition pre-orders. The pull quote includes the phrase “screaming boner,” a first in Billboard history. You should get this issue. UPDATE: Click through for a scan of the article. Continue reading