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Band on the Run, an early favorite stripped to its rough essence
In pulling this together, I realized I'd never even picked up the CD for Band on the Run. I was rocking that yardsale LP this entire time. February

Ty Segall’s Three Bells puts freedom ahead of genres and styles
I have a difficult time describing anything Ty Segall does, because it all feels like it's going over my head. And this is another incredible effort. February

The journey’s in the detours and the details with The Smile’s Wall of Eyes
The second album from The Smile is at once relaxed and urgent, resulting in just a delightful dost of twisted reality, and the perfect introduction to this still-new year of 2024. February

Dave Grohl: Drummer, guitarist, storyteller, survivor
I am still floored that someone like Dave Grohl exists. And it's a good thing he does. January

The effortless greatness of the Rolling Stones at the El Mocambo
This might be the greatest Rolling Stones record that has ever been. January


“Now and Then,” and on and on again
By the grace of patience and modern technology, we have one last glimpse of the Beatles. November

Traveling to Minnesota with Pearl Jam and everyone along the way
Another year, another Pearl Jam road trip that meant more than it has any right to mean. September

Springsteen and the E Street Band play for those here and gone at Gillette Stadium
Bruce Springsteen remains a marvel in concert, pulling out another three-hour night in Foxboro. August

Back at the shack with Robbie and the Band
We had a lot of good nights making up extra verses to "The Weight," I can tell you that. August

Completing the experiment: Looking back at Pearl Jam’s massive Mansfield show, 20 years later
Twenty years later, the reverberations from Pearl Jam's four-hour marathon in Mansfield are still felt. July

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss cement their unique musical path at Thompson’s Point
I took my dad to see this show in Portland and it was flat-out incredible. July

Queens of the Stone Age step out of the darkness with In Times New Roman...
Within two minutes, I knew what I'd be listening to for the next five months. June

Council Skies is Noel Gallagher at his retrospective best
Noel Gallagher steps up and delivers a classic in its own time. June

All the lightness and everlasting weight of Alice in Chains, unplugged
I can't believe I'm just now getting to writing about this album, but here we are. March

Marching through time with Led Zeppelin
Listening to nothing but Zeppelin for a few weeks was not a chore. February

David Crosby, you intractable titan
Crosby is gone. But the legend remains, along with the memories from an incredible night of music. January

Hitting a new peak with the Allman Brothers Band on Hittin’ the Note
That final Allman Brothers Band record gets better and better every year. January

R.E.M.'s ceaseless support, remixed
R.E.M. always seems to surface at the right time. January


Reentering My Morning Jacket’s orbit in Boston
I hadn't seen My Morning Jacket in 16 years, which is just a stupid amount of time. September

Crossing borders and making connections with Pearl Jam in Québec
I highly recommend getting in a car for almost seven hours and driving into Québec to see Pearl Jam, if you get the chance. September

Sonic Youth moves from noise to atmospheric jams and back on In/Out/In
It's been too long without new music from Sonic Youth. And even if everything here is more than a decade old, it's still a thrilling listen. August

Roger Waters’ apocalyptic prophecies are drilled with precision in Boston
Roger Waters has something to say, and he's not subtle about how he says it. And we're all the better for it.July

At Fenway Park, Paul McCartney proves he remains without peer
Not to be dramatic about it, but over two nights in Boston, McCartney was an inspirational force of nature. June

Collapsing, rebuilding and reigniting with Pearl Jam in Arizona
In which I return to Arizona under special circumstances, only part of which was Pearl Jam related. May

Neil and the Horse swing in and out of time on Barn
I have relatively reserved expectations for each new Neil album, but this one took me by surprise. Very cool stuff. February

The Stones’ Love You Live is a ramshackle time capsule of a wild band
There are technically "better" Rolling Stones live albums, but hell if I don't listen to this one more than most. January

The lingering road to King Curtis and “Soul Serenade”
It only took about 20 years, but I finally got a copy of Live at Fillmore West. It was worth the wait. January


Dinosaur Jr. and the great indoors
My first club show in at least two years was a killer. November

All the phases, stages and winding roads to Let It Be
I've been waiting a long time for a Let It Be box set. October

Fifty years later, new sounds collide with classic vibes on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass
The new remix of All Things Must Pass is interesting, but the original remains the original. September

Charlie Watts played with the band
Who else could have held the Rolling Stones together? August

The fervent, furious sounds of Bloomfield and Butterfield
The Butterfield Blues Band's East-West still sounds amazing coming off a turntable on a late night. May

Shake Your Money Maker will always tell the story of a band
Despite efforst to recast the Black Crowes for future nostalgia tours, they were never a two-man show. March

Lockdown becomes a boon on McCartney III
I would have enjoyed using my coronavirus-fueled downtime as well as Paul McCartney had. January

Tiny Music and Stone Temple Pilots’ long-overdue reconsideration
I gave STP a raw deal for far too long. January


Salvation, bootlegs and mid-morning revelations
A quick breakdown of a mind-blowing musical moment in my car. December

Navigating those solitary moments with Bob Dylan's solitary triumph
I'm starting to feel like I should just start a series based on whatever I'm listening to after hours. December

Late nights on Abbey Road
Just another rumination on the Beatles and spending some quality time with them after dark. October

An overdue dream come true: Tom Petty's complete vision of Wildflowers arrives
To say I've been waiting years for this is an understatement. October

The Flaming Lips tackle ghosts on American Head
It's been a while since I've been all-in on a new Flaming Lips record. But here we are. September

The Kinks' Kronikles stands as their greatest collection
My mix-tape abilities are no match for a classic. September

Walking, waiting and hoping for the rest of Tom Petty's Wildflowers
Needless to say, I am very interested in hearing more from the greatest album I've ever heard. August

One year later, another night with the Rolling Stones
With no concerts to speak of, it seems like a decent time to revisit the ones I missed. July

Murder, mystery and melancholy weave together on Bob Dylan's brilliant Rough and Rowdy Ways
Of course the most striking piece of music made during this period would be one steeped in hundred-year-old sounds and with no specific reference to today. June

Pearl Jam offers up surprising twists and turns on Gigaton
With seven years passing since their last album, I was not expecting quite so much weirdness on this one. Not unwelcome, though. March

Locked in with Day For Night and the Tragically Hip
Moving basically every aspect of daily life — work, rest, entertainment, etc. — to within the confines of home is a little weird. March

Night 43: A scorching introduction to Pearl Jam’s bootlegs
The fandom was already intense, but buying this two-CD set at Circuit City in 2001 basically ruined me. I'm not complaining. January

Led Zeppelin's cottage revival and the birth of III
Since I've started the year listening to nothing but Zeppelin, I decided to look back at an especially important record. January


10 for the 10s: Telling the story of the past decade in 10 albums each
I was very happy to team up with Static and Feedback OG Matt Berry on these album lists for the 2010s. December

Phish shares jokes, jams and overall weirdness with Providence
I feel like I'll always be late to the party with Phish, but that doesn't mean it's not still a party. December

Capturing the Rolling Stones in a moment of revolution, via Live'r Than You'll Ever Be
There are few periods in music as fascinating to me as the Stones' era from 1968 to about 1973. This bootleg is a solid example of what they could do in that time. October

Wilco arrives at a new, familiar destination on Ode to Joy
There's something deeply satisfying about where Wilco is these days. October

Ginger Baker, a life unmatched
I don't know if Baker was a good man, but he made an impact. October

Mudhoney keeps fighting creeps everywhere, one show at a time
As long as this band is touring, I'll keep showing up because they're apparently incapable of mailing in a performance. October

Winding through the astral plane with the Velvet Underground
A history of Boston and Van Morrison led to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, of course. July

Gov't Mule plies their trade with brilliance in Boston
They had no way of knowing it, but their show fell perfectly in the middle of a stressful week. June

This is the place: Delving into Radiohead's hacked minidiscs
More than 16 hours of demos and outtakes from the OK Computer era arrived, and there is a lot to comb through as a result. June

Mark Lanegan works within the moment at the Sinclair
This had to have been the first time I saw anything approaching a heckler at one of Lanegan's shows. He wasn't having it, and good for him. May

The blinding, belated brilliance of Bob Dylan's Street-Legal
Listening to the Band led to Bob, which led to me listening to Street-Legal for the first time in years. And I loved it. February

Bob Dylan, the Band and capturing the flood in 1974
Dylan and the Band recorded Planet Waves in '73, then set out on a tour that resulted in the wild Before the Flood. February

Weird, real, emotional: traveling the years with Stephen Malkmus and Pig Lib
It's hard to explain why I've been listening to this album so consistently since 2003, but I tried anyway. January

Led Zeppelin's first contact, 50 years later
I have to thank a friend for texting me on the morning of Jan. 12, reminding me that Zeppelin's first album came out 50 years ago that day. January

R.E.M., rediscovery and collapsing into 2019
My first bit of intense listening for the year wound up dedicated to R.E.M. and Collapse Into Now, their final album circa 2011. January


Looking back through Jimi Hendrix's trains
If Jimi Hendrix didn't love playing "Hear My Train A Comin'," he had a funny way of showing. I got to show that I loved it by making an accompanying graphic, too. December

Climbing hills and breaking down walls with the Magpie Salute in Paris
It was certainly a nice little bonus to get to see these guys at Élysée Montmartre on my first visit to France. November

Balance, "Beware of Darkness" and George Harrison
When things are weird, some songs seem to make everything make slightly more sense. George Harrison has a few of those. November

Another ride through Neil Young's "Music Arcade"
Broken Arrow is one of those forever under-appreciated records, and "Music Arcade" is just one of the gems to find in there. October

An American Treasure highlights the pure power of Tom Petty's music
This is so much more impactful than four discs of whatever Petty's greatest hits would've been. September

Stripped down, the Magpie Salute carries on in New England
I will never have enough good things to say about the things Rich Robinson, John Hogg and Marc Ford are doing together. September

Nothing's not my fault: Pearl Jam returns to Fenway Park
There were a lot of cool moments to be found while the band wound down their 2018 tour. September

Pearl Jam teams with Seattle to bring its music home
I made the trip to see Pearl Jam in their home town and it was worth everything. August

Twisted words and singalongs: Capping four nights and 25 years with Radiohead in New York
It was little more than eight hours in a train, round trip, but Radiohead made it worth it. July

Chris Cornell as a Sunday morning accompaniment
It's been hard to listen to his music in the past year. But it's still there, and it still has work to do. February

Robert Plant’s fire carries on in Boston
Robert Plant might be the most interesting musician of any who came from the world of a giant, mega-selling rock band. February


Gord Downie spins his swan song, Introduce Yerself, into a series of love letters
Downie didn't let his diagnosis or his inevitable fate from stopping him from delivering a wallop of a final album. November

The minimal backing and misheard confessions of Radiohead’s ‘Present Tense’
Even when I don't totally understand Radiohead, I'm blown away by their work. November

Remembering Tom Petty, a virtual friend
I've leaned so hard on Tom through the years. It's hard to know what to do now. October

The Faces were flying immediately on First Step
Their first record might not be as good as where they'd go. But it's still so damn good on its own. August

The Magpie Salute bring their high-flying revival to New England
Over two shows in the greater Boston area, the Magpie Salute solidified that they are an intense and powerful band. August

After 40 years, no excuses and no shortcuts for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Coming to you shortly after the second night at TD Garden with what might go down as the greatest band America has produced. July

No chance of escape: 20 years of wrestling with OK Computer
The release of the anniversary OKNOTOK has just reinforced what a blinding wonder the original album was, and remains. July

Gregg Allman and the soul of the Allman Brothers Band
Voices like Gregg are as rare as can be, and they can turn a group of accomplished musicians into generational voices. May

Remembering Chris Cornell, forever
Can't believe he's gone. May

'Nothing As It Seems' and the story of Pearl Jam
On the brink of their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, don't forget the songs that aren't always on the radio. April

The Stones let it loose in swirling repetition
There are so many colors and shapes to Exile on Main St., and "Let it Loose" is responsible for some of the boldest ones there. Or something. Look, it's just awesome. January

'One Night' and the casual command of Elvis
Defining Elvis Presley's greatness is tricky and ultimately pointless, but it's fun pointing out how he could be absolutely devastating when he wanted. January

Bad luck, blue eyes and goodbye to another year
Nothing like going on a long walk with an old friend. January


Darker and lighter: Music reflections of 2016
After taking a year off, the roundup of my favorite albums and whatever else comes back, in a slightly altered form. December

There are no obvious answers, and the song remains the same
Realities of living in America became clear again, so I spent the immediate aftermath listening to Led Zeppelin. November

25 years later, Temple of the Dog looks back on tragedy and triumph
Alternate takes, demos and videos paint a fuller picture of the making of this album, and serves as a reminder of Andy Wood, which was always the intention. October

Bruce Springsteen's journey, through four hours and one song
It's probably impossible to write about a 33-song set in any coherent way, so I picked out one that seemed to sum up the entire evening. September

Community and the unexpected, framed through Pearl Jam's Wrigley Field
The band is always great, but even they stepped it up in their return trip to the Chicago Cubs home. August

Rich Robinson explores the space of his new songs in Boston
Every time I see this guy, he's a more comfortable and impressive solo artist, to the point that I'm actually starting to think of him this way and not just the guy in a band. August

Pearl Jam steps up in their first trip to Fenway
I've been waiting a long time to see this band play that park and it went above and beyond. Of course it did. August

Robert Pollard takes Boston on a 50-song tour of Guided By Voices
Pollard was not screwing around, and he had the new version of his band firing away at the Paradise. July

Mark Lanegan quietly commands the crowd in Allston
Lanegan's voice is one of the greatest examples that straight musical power is the greatest form of showmanship. June

Black Pistol Fire turns the Sinclair into a sweaty blues mecca
The two guys that make up this ridiculous loud band certainly know how to whip an audience into a frenzy. June

Pearl Jam sprints through a marathon at Madison Square Garden
This was my 20th time seeing them and I couldn't believe how high-energy and up-tempo every single thing was. They were burning. May

Mac Sabbath brings their demented metal vision to Cambridge
The only thing that kept me from laughing the entire time I watched Mac Sabbath was the fact that I was blown away by how great they sound. March

You and I offers another glimpse into Jeff Buckley's brilliance
As far as our obviously blinding talents go, we have so little of Buckley on disc that every entry feels like a monument. You and I is a hauntingly beautiful listen. March

The never-ending grind of life, as illustrated by The Who By Numbers
A recent show by The Who show prompted a Who binge that went well past a week, and that resulted in this look at one of my favorite albums of theirs. March

The Who step up in Boston on pure determination
I don't know if I'll ever get to see the Who again, but if that was the last one, they made it count. March

Luther Dickinson turns the Brighton Music Hall into home
Running through the songs in the book he compiled in Mississippi, Dickinson made sure everyone had a good time in Boston. March

David Bowie's sound and vision
There just isn't and likey won't ever be anyone with David Bowie's sense of adventure. January


Chris Cornell shows all the roads traveled in Boston
Tracing through his entire career, Cornell put on a show to remember in the Shubert Theatre. October

Ride reintroduces their massive sound to Boston
Starting off with the hurricane that is "Leave Them All Behind" was a good indication that Ride was not messing around. October

Keith Richards is loose and in the groove on Crosseyed Heart
There are records that are worth listening to just to hear people play. Crosseyed Heart is one of those, but there's more to it than just listening to Keef jam. September

Breaking through the surface of Astral Weeks
Enough time has passed from first hearing this record that I had to spend a lot of time getting to the bottom of it. I came back wiht some weird memories. September

Chris Cornell stretched into the unknown on Euphoria Mourning
Stepping out without Soundgarden for the first time, Cornell went for the slow burn on his debut solo album. August

Rich Robinson delivers a stripped-down set in the Rockport harbor
With just his voice and a guitar, Robinson revamped his solo setlist and put a new spin on some special covers. August

Neil Young sings for the Stringman, and everyone
One of my favorite aspects of Young's writing is when he can befriend and sympathize with the strange bedfellows of the world. July

Neil Young pours everything into the message in Mansfield
Backed by Promise of the Real, Young tore into Monsanto and through more than two hours of music at Great Woods. July

The Heartbreakers' first record finds Tom Petty on a mission
Before he became an unquesitoned force in American rock and roll, Tom Petty was burning to lead his Heartbreakers to the promised land. July

Mudhoney continues to defy physics in Allston
There is nothing quite like watching Mudhoney step on a small stage and tear the roof off the place, and it's always amazing that this still happens. July

Spoon gets down to business at the House of Blues
Brit Daniel is one of the most no-nonsense frontmen I've ever had the pleasure of watching. He doesn't mess around and there's no one quite like him. June

The Rolling Stones are at their peak on the remastered 'Sticky Fingers'
Reissues like the deluxe Sticky Fingers are perfect when they top out the original sound and load it with even more nuggets that highlight its brilliance. This is one of the best, for sure. June

Appreciating the mystery in Gram Parsons' 'She'
I'm not sure what it is that Parsons did to make his music so haunting and endlessly fascinating, but it's worth every listen to try and figure it out. April

The moon, the stars the unreasonable cold and 'Let It Be'
I have a very specific idea of how spring is supposed to feel, and 20 degree nights covered in snow is not part of it. March

North Mississippi Allstars put a new spin on the ghosts of the blues
On their 2013 album World Boogie Is Coming, the Dickinson brothers went back to their roots to create a modern day, underground blues masterpiece. March

A special Grateful Dead show was first captured on 'Rockin' the Rhein'
It doesn't necessarily have the signature moment of other Dead live albums, but this 1972 show is just a winner from top to bottom. February

Sleater-Kinney returns with a fury on 'No Cities to Love'
They'd been disbanded for nine years but it sounds like a blink of an eye on their first album after reuniting. January

Elvis Presley was reborn on 'From Elvis in Memphis'
After the high of the '68 Comeback Special, Elvis ran back into the studio and recorded more than 30 songs that were his most vital in a decade. January

The Black Crowes' complex recipe for surviving the cold
When the temperature drops well below freezing, it's a good bet that I'll wind up listening to the Black Crowes for hours on end. January


A million miles into Rory Gallagher's blues
I'd stopped and started a number of pieces on Rory Gallagher for about six months before I finally landed on this one. December

Saying goodbye to the Allman Brothers Band
The Allmans played their last show together in October, sparking plenty of listens to all their classic Duane-era material. November

Pearl Jam drives small town Moline to madness with 'No Code'
Playing their first-ever show in the Quad Cities, Pearl Jam pulled out all the stops, playing No Code in its entirety and breaking out several more requests and rarities. October

The Faces finally got their due on 'Five Guys Walk Into a Bar'
This 2004 box set chronicled the weird history of the Faces and put their entire story into better context. It's probably the most enjoyable box set I've ever heard. October

Robert Plant continues his ceaseless search for the sound on 'Lullaby'
The lastest chapter from Robert Plant shows the singer going deeper into his roots of blues and English folk while continuing to push things forward. And no one is making music like this. September

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers embrace a fighting spirit at Fenway
Petty seemed recharged and the Heartbreakers were ready for whatever the night threw at them. They embraced new songs, mixed up the setlist and made it a great night. September

Ty Segall's 'Manipulator' is a roaring, massive masterpiece
Manipulator is all over the map, running from punk to psychedelia to glam and back. It's exhausting, in the best way. August

A lesson in punk, optimism and history with the Minutemen
Of all the great, diverse bands to come out of the 1980s punk scene, none were as open and interesting as the Minutemen. They took the elitism out of hardcore. July

Revelation and rediscovery with Phish after a decade away
I can't say that Phish has occupied much of my listening since 2004, but deciding on a whim to see them in Mansfield brought a lot of good memories back. July

Slipping back into George Harrison's material world
I finally, on a whim, watched Martin Scorsese's documentary on Harrison's life, and just through the first half, I felt the same bolt that always seems to come from his music. June

Tom Petty, repressed memories and occasionally cow turds
Taking a spin through Petty's The Live Anthology brought back memories of Bonnaroo, humidity, fighting, feces and ultimately, the calm that the Heartbreakers restored. June

Restless Souls: How Pearl Jam fought back and saved themselves with Vitalogy
A longform e-reader that looks into the making of Pearl Jam's third album and all the ridiculous hurdles that the band had to clear circa 1994. June

Running full circle with Pete Townshend's 'Drowned'
I have a long history of turning to an acoustic version of the Who's "Drowned" whenever I don't quite know what to do next. It's usually a good decision. May

Neil Young etches old favorites into wax for 'A Letter Home'
Using Jack White's carnival record booth, Young laid down some covers for an album that feels warm and older than the songs themselves. April

Searching for answers, 20 years after Kurt Cobain
This one was fueled by an anniversary and the memory of a less-than-motivating guidance councilor. April

Turning discomfort into art, via 'Blonde on Blonde'
Listening to Bob Dylan through headphones on an airplane led to a minor revelation on what he's accomplished by bucking expectations. April

Joe Cocker and friends provide a rainy day soundtrack
I found a copy of With a Little Help From My Friends and I was initially blown away by how many great people played on it. Actually putting the record on the turntable took that to another level. March

Keith Richards reveled in the comfort of old songs on 'Stone Alone'
On this bootleg recorded (mostly) in two parts, Keith Richards sat alone at the piano and played some of his favorite songs. Some to pass the time, some to put away in case the worst happened. March

Band of Horses continue their acoustic experiments in Somerville
In a homey-vibe on stage, Band of Horses relaxed, re-worked their catalog and delivered a memorable set. February

Chasing the Sun: How Oasis crossed oceans with 'Definitely Maybe'
In another long-form essay, I dig into Oasis' debut record and go through why it was so important, song for song. And I throw some personal stuff in there, too, of course. February

Mark Lanegan's haunting solo career receives a fitting retrospective
Flying under the radar as he always does, the triple-LP Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011 works as the definitive statement on Lanegan's music. So far, anyway. January

Lee Ranaldo's guitars speak for themselves in Allston
Lee Ranaldo and the Dust were playing their first headlining show in Boston and the results were pretty impressive. January

Llewyn Davis and the gravity of folk
The Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis perfectly captured a moment in time in the New York City folk scene, and brought back a lot of person memories of discovering the music. January

Stephen Malkmus keeps it weird on 'Wig Out at Jagbags'
The first few times through a new Jicks album, it's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes the music so cool and exciting. That thing is Malkmus himself keeping it interesting. January


Queens of the Stone Age burn through Boston's Agganis Arena
Seeing Josh Homme front this band right now must be equivalent to what it must have been like to see Robert Plant in front of Led Zeppelin in 1977. They're at the peak of their powers as a live band. December

Elcodrive celebrates the long way home at the Narrows
At their record-release party at the Narrows Center for the Arts, Elcodrive played a two-hour set that helped remind me and my friends why we liked them so much 10 years ago. December

R.E.M. bent the laws or rock radio with 'E-Bow the Letter'
At a time when I was still learning about music and just beginning to devour it, a single from R.E.M.'s new album was kind of a stunner. November

Remembering Lou Reed
Written in a flash after hearing he'd died in New York City at 71. Lou and the Velvet Underground were so important. October

Mark Lanegan's deafening roar takes center stage in Boston
With just a guitarist in tow, Mark Lanegan's voice was more than enough to fill the Royale club in Boston in a chilling, thrilling set. October

Nirvana's stark brilliance is laid bare on 'In Utero' anniversary edition
Twenty years after Nirvana's controversial third album was released, the surviving band members pulled together the ultimate document of an album that's only now beginning to be fully understood. September

Pearl Jam redefines the faithful at Wrigley Field
A personal account of Pearl Jam's thunderstruck show at the Cubs' home that carried a lot of weight and turned into one of their more memorable shows ever. July

Bruce Springsteen's night in Cleveland cemented his live legend
In another edition of "bootlegging,' I took a look at a legendary three-hour show by Springsteen and the E Street Band in Cleveland that has been happily taking up space on my iPod. July

Ten years of Pearl Jam concerts, documented and charted
A decade after seeing Pearl Jam for the first time, I whipped up a chart that took forever to make but, in the process of it, summed up this whole fanaticism quite accurately in its own way. July

The world of Queens of the Stone Age is still strange on 'Like Clockwork'
The sleazy, slinky mastery of Joshua Homme was in full force on ...Like Clockwork, and served as a reminder that there's nothing like a new Queens of the Stone Age record. June

Mudhoney's pure punk rage on display in Boston
Mudhoney is a force of nature, a band that never really changed or really grew up, but they might've gotten better as their 25 years went on. And they're a hurricane live. May

Clapton and Allman collided on the masterpiece 'Layla'
Pinpointing Duane Allman's finest moment is tough, considering how much music he made and how quickly he made it. But Eric Clapton's best is easier to pinpoint, and it came with Allman on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. May

Duane Allman's career was lovingly chronicled on 'An Anthology'
Beyond the Allman Brothers Band, guitarist Duane was an incredible sideman and had some solo sessions and early recordings that deserved to be heard. An Anthology did an excellent job of painting the entire picture. May

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club push forward in Boston
Armed with a new record and a never-ending sense of purpose, B.R.M.C. took the crowd for a ride and brought their music places that, honestly, only they can go. Incredible. May

Accidental soundtracks and the sounds of home
When I hear certain songs from Bruce Springsteen's Live/1975-85, I know right where I am. The same goes for Quadrophenia, Lifes Rich Pageant and any number of albums that associate themselves with a certain time. May

The Flaming Lips mine the depths of humanity on 'The Terror'
The fact that the Flaming Lips made a deep, complex album isn't the surprise. That comes in just how dark and bleak the message is. It's almost as if this is the greatest songwriting exercise ever. It's incredible. April

Big Star's story is beautifully told on 'Nothing Can Hurt Me'
Big Star is one of the greater "what-ifs" in the annals of rock music. But their skill and depth can't be denied, and Nothing Can Hurt Me, the soundtrack to an upcoming documentary, makes for a fantastic portrait. April

The Black Crowes announce their return to the road with a fury
Recharged by a two-year hiatus and new lead guitarist Jackie Greene, the Robinson Brothers are back on tour, and their show on this night in Boston was a barn-burner. April

Mad Season's incredible 'Above' gets the treatment it always deserved
Unfairly relegated to the status of a side project, Mad Season featured some of the best music in the careers of any of their fabled members. This deluxe version of their only album does everything it can to correct that. April

The Strokes continue their mastery of the rock song
When I put in Comedown Machine, I expected it to be good. What I didn't expect was to be bowled over by how far the Strokes have come, and how no one really approaches what they're able to do. March

The next chapter in Bowie's career as challenging as the rest
After a decade away from music, David Bowie returned in glorious form with The Next Day, an original work that is just as vital as any in his career. March

Hendrix diverted to R&B and funk on 'People, Hell and Angels'
On what could be his final posthumous studio album, Jimi Hendrix showed hints of his new direction without his famous Experience. March

Sitting down with the mind behind Mercy Choir
Paul Belbusti and I had a conversation via email about his new record, Waabaayo, and the inner workings of songwriting and recording. February

Pearl Jam left everything on the Dead's stage at Soldier Field
In the first entry of the Bootlegging series, I took a closer look at Pearl Jam's performance at Soldier Field in 1995, one of my favorite less-than-legitimate recordings ever. January

Searching for Richard Manuel
A binge-listening session of The Band that spanned more than a week lead to an amazing revelation — Richard Manuel sang much more than I'd realized. January

'Before the Frost' and the makings of a wintertime album
Certain records lend themselves to chilly nights indoors, with cocoa and blankets and a blizzard whipping around the streets beyond the window. The Black Crowes have definitely made that type of album. January

'Tonight's the Night' and the power of suggestion
The quick, fleeting mention by Neil Young in his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, that Tonight's the Night sounded like "God" when played loud, inspired me to indeed play it loud. January


Sizing up the Rolling Stones' epic 'Singles Collection'
I bought this three-CD set in high school in an attempt to learn more about the band, and it provided as great a history as I could have reasonably hoped. December

Coping with the sensless
Newtown, Conn., and Bruce Springsteen. December

Band of Horses lights up a rainy Sunday night
With Japandroids and Dave Matthews, among others, also in town, Band of Horses made everyone in the the House of Blues happy to have picked their show. December

Neil Young stomps out the non-believers with the Horse
It's hard to comprehend how this guy can be this loud, this intense and this relevant as a 66-year-old playing the dirtiest, grungiest music around. But here we are. November

All that is powerful and mysterious returns on 'Celebration Day'
In Dec. 2007, Led Zeppelin did the impossible: they reunited, played an amazing show and didn't cash it in. All a great reminder of what they were and what they could be. November

Townshend brings The Who to life with 'Quadrophenia'
I've always known that Pete Townshend is a furious performer, but to see him so committed and energized in bringing his greatest work to the stage was something else. November

McCartney scored a late-career triumph with 'Chaos and Creation'
Rare are the latter-day albums by acknowledged legends that are both well-reviewed in the moment and still hold up years later, but 2005's Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is remarkable in its strength. November

Neal McCarthy makes the most of any given Monday
I'd written about McCarthy a few years ago at The Standard-Times, but a random trip to see his acoustic trio reminded me of what makes him such a great musician. October

Dinosaur Jr.'s 'I Bet on Sky' adds more artistic relevance to reunion
The reformation of the classic Dinosaur Jr. lineup wasn't necessarily a surprise, given the climate in alternative music, but the fact that they've so steadly pumped out great, new music is. October

Crawling Back to You: A personal and critical breakdown of Tom Petty's masterpiece, "Wildflowers"
After stewing over this project for years, I sat down and wrote a long essay on my favorite album of all time and presented it as an e-zine, for your reading and flipping pleasure. September

Joe Strummer's unwritten future at 60
I looked back at Strummer's life and influence on what would have been his 60th birthday, just a few months shy of the 10th anniversary of his death. There was no one like him. August

Springsteen and the E Street Band put on a clinic at Fenway Park
I got a ticket to this at the last second thanks to a friend, and I was completely enthralled by Bruce Springsteen. It was one of those magical, uplifiting experiences that are too few and live in the soul forever. August

From third voice to first, Ranaldo shines apart from Sonic Youth
Following Sonic Youth's split, Lee Ranaldo released his first proper solo album, Between the Tides and the Times, and damn it if it's not a smash. August

Beachwood Sparks returns with the beautiful 'Tarnished Gold'
After a decade away, the Los Angeles band reformed and recorded an album that lives up to its excellent, though overlooked, back catalogue. August

Wilco makes the most of a summer night in Newport
Kicking off the Newport Folk Festival, Wilco has a blast through a long set at Fort Adams State Park, and a seagull relieved himself on my Sonic Youth t-shirt. July

The Who are touring again, but what does 'The Who' mean?
Inspired by reading more than a few friends dismiss the news of the band's 2012 tour as, "meh, Keith Moon's dead, not interested." Can this band, without Moon and John Entwistle, still be The Who? July

Radiohead: Rock and roll's first concept band?
Through emails with friends, we kind of cooked up the idea that maybe every Radiohead album is meant to fit in with each other. They're probably not, but it was still fun to think about. June

Radiohead proves nothing is impossible on stage
There is no band like Radiohead. Seeing them live is a good reminder of this. May

Mark Lanegan brings his thrilling, terrifying vision to Boston
Lanegan has a command and stage presence the likes of which I've never seen. He's dark, intense and, yes, terrifying. And "Methamphetamine Blues" was sick. May

Adam Yauch led a life well lived
A column written a couple of days after the Beastie Boys' MCA passed away. He always struck me as being a really solid guy, and everything said about him in the wake of his death did nothing to disprove that. May

Jack White blazes his own trail on 'Blunderbuss'
After finally releasing his first solo record, the relief resided in how fearless and creative White can stand on his own, without one of his many bands behind him. May

To Levon Helm, goodbye and thanks
It would be impossible to overstate how much the Band means to me, and how much they changed my outlook when I truly discovered their music in college. Levon Helm was the center of that. April

Wild Flag own the stage, through sore throats and beer bottles
I cannot overstate how incredible this band was in that moment. Someone had chucked a Heineken onto the stage, and it barely registered. They just kept doing their thing. Inspiring. April

Bruce Springsteen channels the 99 percent on 'Wrecking Ball'
I wasn't expecting to like any new Springsteen record that much, but this bucks the trend of his last few E Street Band projects a bit. A pleasant surprise, to be sure. March

The Black Keys grow up without selling out
A column chronicling my own thoughts on seeing this band graduate from clubs to small theaters and, ultimately, arenas. Includes a sidebar on Kings of Leon and how not to make that leap. March

Mark Lanegan recasts soul on 'Blues Funeral'
Lanegan could probaby sing the phone book and I'd enjoy it. As it is, he instead keeps writing interesting, captivating songs and putting his own smokey doom on all of it. February

Thurston Moore works out old ghosts with acoustics and noise
Apart from Sonic Youth, Moore showed that he's an amazing performer in his own right. Not a surprise, but still a thrill to see in person. February

Tracing the path of Neil Young's 'Helpless'
A simple ode to a song that I've strummed on the guitar for years and listened to for longer, and looking a little at where it measures up in Young's career. January


Ticket stub memories: sorted, filed and treasured
I received a ticket stub album for Christmas, and had more than a fair amount of fun tracing my concert-going history through little pieces of paper I've refused to throw away. December

The Black Keys conquer genres, again, on 'El Camino'
Offering their take on a big, uptempo rock album, the Black Keys furthered the notion I have that they are almighty and can do no wrong. December

Noel Gallagher flies high on his own
Oasis had been going through a bit of a rebirth on their last albums, and Noel Gallagher keeps the inspired music rolling on his own. If you're wondering, yes, it's much better than Beady Eye. November

Revisiting the mechanical world of walkmans and cassettes
A broken iPod led me back to my tape player, a bunch of mix tapes, nostalgia and the like. It was a blast, though. November

Tom Waits is at his morbid, bizarre best on 'Bad as Me'
Waits always surprises me, and his willingness and ability to turn the ugliest sounds into something compelling is definitely admirable. Seriously, this rocks in the weirdest way. October

Wild Flag debuts with greatness
I first heard this record on my iPod, driving home from Boston. I listened to it again after I got home, and again the next morning, and again, and again ... October

Wilco resumes the search for sound on 'The Whole Love'
For a few years, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco seemed content with writing and recording good songs. On The Whole Love, the band returns to using the studio as an experimental instrument. October

Cameron Crowe delivers the ultimate Pearl Jam mixtape
The thrill of listening to Pearl Jam Twenty for the first time will not be forgotten for some time. This collection is amazing, and I tried to do it justice in a 600-word review. And just one week after trashing "Olé," too! September

Radiohead holds another challenging masterpiece in 'The King of Limbs'
As far as I can tell, this is the first time I've managed to write an entire, coherent piece on Radiohead. Write about this band typically gives me fits. This either means I'm getting better, or I've just gotten boring. February

Goodbye to the White Stripes
I think it's pretty clear that the White Stripes are without peer when discussing the great bands of the 2000s. They changed so much. They were the White Stripes. February

Robert Plant hosts a Boston hootenanny
I might never see Led Zeppelin live, but with this show, I have now see all three living members live. Jimmy Page in 2000, John Paul Jones in 2009, and this. January

Springsteen outlines an alternate reality on 'The Promise'
I'm never amazed more than when I study prolific artists. How Bruce Springsteen managed to write this many great songs in this short a window is nothing short of amazing. January


Say goodnight to the bad guys
I caught two of the Black Crowes acoustic/electric shows before they made their hiatus official. Who knows when/if they're play again, but at least I got to say goodbye. October

Neil Young throws out the concepts with 'Le Noise'
It makes me ridicoulously happy that Neil Young just decided to try something new and make an album without some heavy-handed message or theme. September

Dark and rootsy, Lanois helped Dylan shine on 'Time Out of Mind'
Daniel Lanois' latest project is with Neil Young on Le Noise, so naturally, I went back and listed to Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind about a 1,000 times. September

Keith Richards, in a moment of calm
Here, I take a look at one of my favorite photographs, Jim Marshall's shot of Richards recording in 1972, and how it can mean so much to the music and the man. August

Nothing saves the season like 'Waterloo Sunset'
To set the scene, it's a hot night on a weekend. I'm alone. So what do I do? If it's a good night, I'll put on Something Else by the Kinks, and I'll write. August

The Dead Weather arrive in time to save the summer
In the midst of a particularly uneventful and unproductive summer, I finally heard the Dead Weather's Sea of Cowards, and all was made right again. August

Even with a digital cleaning, 'Exile' oozes unchecked genius
The remastered version of the Rolling Stones' masterpiece walked that line between making the most of technology and keeping the original spirit of the record alive. That the Stones did something right, mind you, is huge. May

In the moment, Pearl Jam thrives
It was hard reconciling my dislike of the new record with their ability as a live band. As it turns out, that was silly. They rocked. May

Total immersion: Delving into Jimi Hendrix's home recordings
When a friend sent me the CD Jimi By Himself — The Home Recordings, I was obsessed immediately. It took a few days to articulate my feelings on the subject, but, here they are. January

Petty redefines the Heartbreakers' greatness on 'The Live Anthology'
I've long been a Tom Petty fan, and this four-disc box set blew me away when I got it for Christmas. It has completely changed my (already high) opinion of this band. January


It's not too late: 10 gems you might've missed this decade
Year by year, I round up some overlooked goodies from the musical sphere of the 2000s. And I got to revisit Boomslang, a pivotal album for me in 2003. December

Sonic Youth: Not to be taken for granted
Sonic Youth really is the greatest live band I've ever seen. There are a lot of fantastic bands, and I've seen plenty of amazing shows, but no one else compares. They're just amazing. Damn. November

How I was freed from the shackles of classic rock by 'Gold'
A column trying to explain how this particular album by Ryan Adams shook me so hard that everything I felt about music wound up changing. No, really, it did. November

'Embryonic' isn't just daring and inventive, it's stunning
The Flaming Lips have made a career of left-turns and surprise moves, but their latest album was a shock, even for them. Every time I listen to it, it gets better. Easily the best album of 2009. October

Them Crooked Vultures are more than just hype
Supergroups are typically terrible, or at best, underwhelming. Them Crooked Vultures are definitely the exception, and their show — before they'd even released an album — blew me away. October

The Beatles are finally given the treatment they deserve
My full, comprehensive review of the Beatles remastered albums, via the stereo box set. This tops 2,000 words, and I'm pretty proud of it. It was also a blast to write. October

What would another Beatles album have looked like?
A column where I put together the "next" Beatles album, based on solo recordings from 1969/70. It's a pretty fun game, and it's now a cool little playlist on my iPod. September

'Quadrophenia' lets the tide in
I'm fairly convinced that Quadrophenia is one of the five greatest albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, and everytime I drive out to the beach to write, it's always the first thing on my mind. July

The Black Keys grew up quickly in '08
Attack & Release was my favorite album of 2008, and I also run down the other things that made my year. January


Three albums can cure a bad day's hangover
Column. How three albums — namely, Nebraska, Time out of Mind and Into the Wild — took the sting out of a frustrating day. November

The Who are honored, not finished
A long piece reviewing the taping of the VH-1 Rock Honors: The Who special in Los Angeles, as well as a look at the Who's place in history. Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, the Flaming Lips, Tenacious D and Incubus are also covered here. July

The Black Crowes reclaim their song
A review of the Black Crowes' album Warpaint. March

The argument for the Foo Fighters
A review of the Foo Fighters' concert in Glendale, Ariz. March


Wild call a quiet one for Vedder
A review of Eddie Vedder's soundtrack for Into the Wild. September

From the abyss: Rediscovering the mighty Zeppelin
In high school and the beginning of college, Led Zeppelin was my favorite band (other than Pearl Jam), but they took a fast and total fall off the cliff right around my 21st birthday. I got back into them in a huge way right around this time, centered on their live album, How the West was Won. August

All thrills and no frills: Marc Ford tackles his music with no pretense
Interview with guitarist Marc Ford, and a review of his concert in Phoenix. June

Killer Party: The Hold Steady lead a triple threat
The Hold Steady are one of the best live bands around, and they stepped up again on this night, leading a bill with Illinois and Blitzen Trapper. June

Icky Thump: How the White Stripes will one day save the world
As the title might've led you to believe, a very enthusiastic review of the White Stripes' Icky Thump. June

R.E.M. takes their place in the Hall
A column about R.E.M.'s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and how it made me feel as a long-time fan of their music. March


A cassette classic makes a comeback
I've always been a fan of concert bootlegs, and this is a look at one of my early live tapes, a Black Crowes recording from 1995. December

The Who breathes fire on stage in Boston
A review of the Who's concert in Boston. December

Gov't Mule gets down to business in Providence
Gov't Mule, on a weeknight, tearing the roof off the joint in Providence, R.I. Needless to say, this is an enthusiastic review. December

Ain't Talkin': Dylan lets his songs tell the story
Bob Dylan doesn't screw around when he's on stage. Also, the Raconteurs were a great opener. November

Endless Wire a mark of maturity for the Who
At the end of 2006, the Who got together and released their first album in 24 years and their best in 31, Endless Wire. November

Mudhoney crafted a rude debut with 'Superfuzz'
A look back at Mudhoney's classic 1988 debut, Superfuzz Bigmuff plus Early Singles. If at some point you ask me to make a list of my 10 favorite albums, it's very likely that I'll list this one. November

Uncovering the Beatles: A series of demos unlocks 'The White Album'
The Beatles 'Escher Demos' shows a united side of the band, who were otherwise extremely divided during sessions for The White Album. October

Petty paves the way for a late-night treat
A review of Tom Petty's fantastic album, Highway Companion. September

Free your mind with the Flaming Lips
I swear, I've never felt happier in my life than I did when I walked out of the Bank of America Pavillion after watching the Flaming Lips do their thing. Oh man. September

It's official: I finally get Bruce Springsteen
I didn't understand it for years, but when I did, Bruce Springsteen immediately became one of my favorite artists. He still is, too. July

Sonic Youth rips through another chapter
A review of Sonic Youth's latest album, Rather Ripped, coupled with a peek into their set at Bonnaroo that year. July

Sad songs and the fits they cause
I was exploring a feeling here in this column, and the result was one of my favorite pieces of writing to date. June

Return of the madness: A detailed glance at obsession, music and mental health through four Pearl Jam shows in three weeks
A very personal account of following my favorite band on the road, travelling with friends and getting turned on to new music. This one tops 4,000 words, and is one of my favorite pieces of writing. June

Neil fires back against Bush
Neil Young was furious at the Bush Administration in 2006, and he focused all of that anger into Living With War, which was recorded on the fly. April

The quest for the great, lost single
I spent years looking for Pearl Jam's "Off He Goes/Dead Man" single, and that journey came to an end in Berkley, Calif. March

Gilmour hones his craft with 'On an Island'
Former Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour shows how to age gracefully in this review of his album, On an Island. March

Temple of Rock
Of all the venues in which I've had the pleasure of watching rock shows, San Francisco's Fillmore easily tops the list. As far as acoustics, environment and history, nothing tops it. And Black Rebel Motorcycle Club certainly played up to that standard on this night. March

The Black Crowes say goodbye to 2005
A review of two amazing end-of-the-year shows by the Black Crowes in Springfield, Mass., and Providence, R.I., which were immediately followed by the band's gig at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve. January


John Lennon's death, 25 years later
John Lennon was murdered about 18 months before I was born, but he's had a tremendous impact in my life. December

Do the rump! The Black Keys rock Boston
A review of the Black Keys concert at the Avalon in Boston, which was the first, and certainly not the last, time I saw the band.

Tell 'em Jack White sent ya — The White Stripes conquer Boston
This is, still, one of the five best concerts I've ever seen. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. September

Dylan matures and thrills on 'No Direction Home'
A review of No Direction Home, the seventh in Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series. September

BRMC blows away all preconceptions
I don't know what I was expecting the first time I caught Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but I don't think I was expecting to discover one of my favorite bands of all time. September

Supergrass makes a giant leap forward on Road to Rouen
A review of Road to Rouen, which for my money is the best album Supergrass has made so far. August

Wilco spins arena rock on its head
Wilco put on a fantastic show at Agganis Arena in Boston, with My Morning Jacket opening. June

The Who smash on the ultimate rock scrapbook
A review of Jeff Stein's film The Kids Are Alright, a scrapbook and documentary of the original Who lineup. Honestly, is there a better rock movie? Maybe The Last Waltz. June

Queens pummel speakers and turn heads on Lullabies
A review of Lullabies to Paralyze, the then-new album by Queens of the Stone Age. At the time, this was probably the best record revew I'd written. May

Bob Dylan details the road less travelled in Chronicles
A book review of Dylan's Chronicles, Vol. 1, which, if you haven't read it, is superb. I'm still waiting patiently for Vol. 2, though. May

Sonic Youth steps up and shatters eardrums
A review of Sonic Youth's concert in Providence, R.I. April

An excercise in expanding musical horizons
A look back at Loose Fur's debut album, which sparked Jeff Tweedy into experimenting more with his main band, Wilco. This really is a fantastic record. February