Looking Elsewhere: Mad Max, Slow West, Lawsuit Antics, Sam Phillips, Favorite 2015 Songs, Tara Owens, Sara Zarr, and Lauren Winner

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Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here. And it's time to catch you up on Overstreet's recommended links for this week.(If you're following Jeffrey on Facebook or Twitter, you may have already seen some of these.) … [Read more...]

A Conversation with Sam Phillips: Revisiting The Image 20th Anniversary Interview

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This weekend, Sam Phillips joined Joe Henry onstage for what was reportedly a knockout, 2 1/2-hour concert. Oh, if only I could have teleported down to L.A. to at the Coronet. I've been in a bit of a funk, knowing that I was missing one of my dream concerts.To cheer myself up, I'm revisiting one of the highlights of my life as a journalist and as a faithful, attentive Sam Phillips listener.The following interview was published in Image Issue #60, the 20th anniversary issue, in early 2 … [Read more...]

What Do Rhiannon Giddens, Sam Phillips, and the Movie “Amélie” Have in Common?

Rhiannon Giddens

When a music critic declares an album “perfect,” it tends to say more about that listener’s enthusiasm—and, perhaps, hubris—than it does about the record. So I’m holding myself back from that kind of overreach here.Suffice it to say that I’d have a hard time imagining a stronger “debut” record for Rhiannon Giddens than Tomorrow Is My Turn, an album that seems to immediately negate its own title by declaring “Today! Today belongs to Giddens.” … [Read more...]

What Breakup Record Cuts Your Heart Open? Readers Respond!

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Last week, I invited you to listen closer to Björk’s song “Stonemilker” — the first song on Vulnicura, the Icelandic artist’s brave and beautiful musical chronicle of struggles with (and, ultimately, severance from) a great love.As I marinated in that music, I began thinking about how commonly I hear songs about heartbreak, but how rarely they have that raw, serrated quality of actual human experience.And then I posted a question on Facebook and elsewhere: What breakup songs or breakup re … [Read more...]

Hi 5: Creativity in the Dark; Sam Phillips; Todd Fadel; Mike D’Angelo; Matt Zoller Seitz; John Sayles; and More.

Hi 5's Cravis Frankly gets his best ideas when he works in the dark.

What is Hi 5 to the Face? Find out here.This week, Hi 5s go out to...Fast Company's Eric Jaffe: For this fantastic article on "Why Creativity Thrives in the Dark."I've known instinctively since childhood that I'm more creative in a dimly lit, or dark, room. And since high school I've felt frustrated in rooms brightly lit with fluorescent panels, sensing my best creativity and capacity for learning is going to waste beneath them. Under fluorescent arrays, I feel like a bug on a bug … [Read more...]

I Love Luci

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I've been basking in the summery glow of new music from Sam Phillips and reminiscing about what happened two years ago.In 2011, Sam Phillips visited Seattle, and was honored with the eighth annual Denise Levertov Award.She performed a few songs, paused for an onstage interview by yours truly, and then performed again. It was a thrill to share the stage with a singer and songwriter who has inspired me, album after album, song after song, since I was 16 years old.But I would have been … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Favorite Albums of 2001 (10 years later)

Listening to music is, for me, a treasure hunt. The whole journey is worthwhile, with highs and lows, unforgettable discoveries and a whole lot of unremarkable scenery.What I love most is an album that just keeps opening up, like a house full of secret doors, so that ten years later I'm still enjoying it like it's brand new.Here, for example, are ten albums from 2001 that I'm still playing frequently and finding new reasons to appreciate... … [Read more...]

2012 Will Bring a Pretty Time Bomb

A nostalgic sort of dream of being a pop star in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. It’s a sweet kind of album and I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know what compelled me to make it. It’s probably a bad idea, but everytime I listen to what I’ve done, it makes me really happy. So I figure, that must mean something and I should go ahead and put it out there. That's Sam Phillips... … [Read more...]

A Good Week for Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips' Long Play experiment was one of the most rewarding experiences of 2010 for me.Phillips provided so much creative, inspiring music that I hardly had time to learn the lyrics of one album before another one arrived.The music she recorded in 2010 is still surprising and charming listeners, and this week made that clear... … [Read more...]

My Conversation with Sam Phillips: An IMAGE Interview

For a limited time, my interview with Sam Phillips from IMAGE's 20th Anniversary Issue is available online. … [Read more...]


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