Recordings

Arcade Fire’s ‘The Suburbs’ : The Great American Novel

by Seth Rogovoy For those who think the rock concept album is a thing of the past, for those who fear that in the age of the single download, the big statement is no longer the province of pop, take heart. With The Suburbs, a glorious song cycle that is novelistic in scope, the contemporary…

Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy

by Seth Rogovoy For the vast majority of listeners, Warren Zevon will be forever known for his freak hit, “Werewolves of London.” While in some ways the song is quintessential Zevon — a multilayered number that functions on a literal level as a comic-horror story and on another level as a social critique (the “werewolves”…

Steve Reich: Beauty in Repetition

by Seth Rogovoy From children’s songs like “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” to blues like “Freight Train Blues” to the Clash’s “Train in Vain,” the relentless, repetitive rhythms of the railroad have inspired countless songs that recapitulate those rhythms musically while making overt reference to them textually. But perhaps no music has ever made…

The Other Basement Tapes: The Rolling Stones’s Exile on Main Street

by Seth Rogovoy Since its release thirty-eight years ago, the Rolling Stones’s double album, Exile on Main Street, has widely been regarded as the British rock ’n’ roll band’s greatest achievement and one of the greatest — if not the greatest — rock albums of all time. Rolling Stone magazine recently called it “certainly rock…