In 1980s Romania, Carmen Bugan’s father wrote anti-Communist propaganda, an illegal act that led to the family having to flee the country in 1989. But of course, as a kid, Bugan had no idea what was going on. It wasn’t until she started searching for answers as an adult that she learned of her father’s secret. This is the retelling of her discovery. Bugan uses short, concise sentences that pack in all the emotional details of her unusual ... Read More
Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), ... Read More
News junkies and fans of Hanna Rosin will surely remember “The End of Men,” her 2010 Atlantic article about female success and how it relates to the simultaneous plummeting of male accomplishment. Her engrossing new book retains that provocative title and expounds on the facts she uncovered in her first go-round. Rosin focuses mostly on the shifting of familial responsibilities and career achievements between men and women by examining statistics and ... Read More
 Known for its robotic vocals (courtesy of a vocoder), Black Moth Super Rainbow has always been difficult to understand, both literally and figuratively—see also the masks the band members wear onstage and their aversion to press. For their fifth album, though, they’ve learned to use their words, discussing the many facets of love on tracks like “Hairspray Heart” and “Like a Sundae.” Kickstarter donations from fans funded ... Read More
While everyone in NYC was attending various CMJ shows and events last week, I was fortunate enough to be visiting Paris. Which was amazing beyond words. The city, the food, the wine, and the people: all c'est magnifique! But no cool rock shows, mes amis. One of the things that saved my evenings from CSI and Bewitched reruns dubbed in French was stand-up comic Margaret Cho, who was performing in town as part of her current tour, MOTHER.  In a little club ... Read More