Latest Articles


Steve Martin to give Portland the Bird

Things that are important to understand going into Steve Martin's bluegrass performance, backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, at Merrill Auditorium: 1) The music is dead serious. 2) So is the comedy.
Steep and deep
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 13, 2011

The Big Hurt: Shill crazy

You know, I might stop following real music journalism altogether. Press releases are so much better. Just when I start thinking it’s a slow week in silly pop news, I check the PR wire — a/k/a the bottom of the barrel — and dig up two of the greatest ite
The week in corporate sponsorships
By DAVID THORPE  |  May 21, 2010

Study shows country music is still just awful

You know what I haven't done in a while, for plenty of very good reasons? Listened to the whole cotton-pickin' Billboard Hot Country chart! Yee-haw!
Who charted?
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 10, 2009

Please release me

If you were looking for important, well-reported, or even marginally interesting music news, you probably wouldn’t be reading my column.
The Big Hurt: The week in awful press releases
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 24, 2008

Dan Wilson

It’s as if he were trying to impress mom while keeping the kids at bay.
Free Life | American/Sony
By KEN MICALLEF  |  November 19, 2007

Meanest of times

The field looks as if it’s been hit by a terrible disaster.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  November 07, 2007


Chairmen of the boards

Not unlike Swedish, Tagalog, and Esperanto, music is a language, with its own conjugations and (lewdly) dangling participles.
Our critics pick the 14 producers with the fattest, meanest beats
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  October 18, 2007

“Savannah” would be better

Why does the six-minute-plus final track, “Go On,” full of nothing but guitar, vocals, and a little harmonica, seem like our first introduction to the real Joe Farren?
Joe Farren would just get in trouble in Atlanta
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 29, 2007

Monkey business

Florida lawyer/video game scapegoater Jack Thompson has it all wrong.
Champ versus chump in The King of Kong
By BRETT MICHEL  |  August 22, 2007

At home with home

Women may dominate the pop charts from time to time, but in the annals of acknowledged rock/pop greatness, they are few in number.
Sara Cox arrives at domesticity with Crowded Is the New Lonely
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 30, 2007

Straight talk

You can call Patty Griffin a singer-songwriter if you must, but don’t expect her to tell you exactly what that means.
Patty Griffin modestly hits a new peak
By TAMARA WIEDER  |  April 17, 2007

Slide into extinction

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing the designation of a new endangered species.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  March 28, 2007

Mary Chapin Carpenter

She’s still seeking a truce between the inner and outer forces that pull and tug.
The Calling | Zoë/Rounder
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  March 06, 2007

Shut Up and Sing

“Who are the Dixie Chicks, anyway? They should shut the fuck up.” Watch the trailer for Shut Up & Sing  (QuickTime)
Proves freedom of speech is alive
By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 15, 2006

Pedro, Borat, and a castrato

As usual, dedicated film critics were too occupied seeing four or five movies a day to note the swarm of A-list celebrities at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival.
The 31st Toronto International Film Festival
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 20, 2006

On the racks: August 29, 2006

. . . plus Method Man, Motorhead, and Pete Yorn
Tego Calderon, Bob Dylan, Ray LaMontagne . . .
By MATT ASHARE  |  August 30, 2006


Gritty in Pink

Why does she inspire in me the occasional death wish? Slideshow: Pink at Avalon
Pink at Avalon, July 18, 2006
By IAN SANDS  |  July 20, 2006

Rebel Belles

No other performer has been as vilified as the Dixie Chicks were for speaking out — and they wouldn’t have been if they hadn’t made their name in the conservative space of mainstream country music.
The Dixie Chicks hold their ground and then some
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 06, 2006

Going on sale: June 2, 2006

String Cheese Incident, Dixie Chicks, Daniel Powter, the Pretenders, and a Mariah Carey/Sean Paul double-dip
Breaking news from the concert-ticket trade
By WILL SPITZ  |  May 31, 2006

On the Racks: May 23, 2006

Plus new releases by Osaka Popstar, PJ Harvey, and the American Idol kids.
Def Leppard, Dixie Chicks, Damone
By MATT ASHARE  |  May 23, 2006

Toby Keith

Let’s click off the arguments against country superstar Toby Keith.
White Trash With Money | Show Dog Nashville
By WERNER TRIESCHMAN  |  May 08, 2006

Bands country list photo 2/24

Ridin’ roundup

When I’m looking for a true story, with a toe-tapping score, a plot, characters, conflict, and — sometimes — resolution, all set to music, I’m looking for one thing: country.
The search for a country music scene
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 24, 2006

Digging deeper

Last year should have been a very good one for Yellowcard — five guys in their mid 20s who had seen their under-the-radar, Los Angeles–based indie pop-punk band evolve into a multi-platinum major-label behemoth in less than two years.
Yellowcard’s Lights and Sounds profits from pain
By MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG  |  January 27, 2006