• Never Die Young When James Taylor released his 12th album, Never Die Young, in January of 1988, I was 13 — just the right age to have little to no awareness of his place in the rock firmament. He’d started coming out of his mid-period slump with his previous effort, 1985’s That’s Why I’m Here, but he wasn’t […] Jeff Giles 6 min read August 21, 2014
  • The Division Bell I don’t care what’s included, there’s absolutely no possible configuration of Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell that could justify charging $135 for a deluxe box. I’m admittedly not a huge Floyd fan, and my objections stem more from the album’s overall dullness than any “Pink Fraud” Roger Waters loyalty argument, but still — I’m having a hard […] Jeff Giles 1 min read May 20, 2014
  • Thank Goodness Sonny Knight’s “Still Here” I’d never heard of Secret Stash Records before the ever-indispensable Heavy Soul Brutha hipped me to the existence of Sonny Knight and the Lakers’ new I’m Still Here LP, but based on the aforementioned evidence, I’m convinced that the Minneapolis label is doing the Lord’s work. Bluntly put, this is some fine, fine stuff — […] Jeff Giles 3 min read May 19, 2014
  • That’s What’s Up There’s just something about sibling harmony. Jeff Giles 0 min read March 19, 2014
  • Hunting the Hunter There are artists whose music I love, but whose output I find too prolific to follow — guys like Bill Mallonee, who I think is a genius songwriter but blasts records out at a bewildering pace, or Charlie Hunter, who seems to eat, sleep, and breathe with his trademark seven- and eight-string guitars strapped around […] Jeff Giles 2 min read March 6, 2014
  • Make It Your Own The old man reached under his bed and pulled out an ancient cardboard guitar case. Opening it slowly, he removed the oldest Gibson guitar I had ever seen and strummed it once with his giant brown thumb. “I gots it tuned like a banjo — the fourth string down. You tune it to suit yourself.” […] Jeff Giles 7 min read January 30, 2014
  • Strings The ukulele might be the official instrument for YouTube cover artists and Zooey Deschanel wannabes, but I’ll tell you something else it’s good for: Aging writers who have always loved music but have never had enough patience to develop any actual musical skill. If you know me, you know I was a recording artist in […] Jeff Giles 9 min read January 18, 2014
  • Sabougla Voices “Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of my art,” wrote my friend Arend Anton in a recent Facebook post. “I used to ride the waves of creativity, and this convinced me that art was spontaneous and uncontrollable. Now that I’m a bit older, the waves seem to have receded and I’ve been […] Jeff Giles 5 min read January 8, 2014
  • Shy Dog When it comes to relationships, I've never been much of a stand-up-and-fight kind of guy. When it's over, it's over, and it's time to move on. A few times, though, moving on has been easier said than done -- and with one relationship in particular... Jeff Giles 5 min read November 8, 2011
  • Many Rivers to Cross Reflections on Harry Nilsson's "Pussy Cats" and the ragged glory of the rock 'n' roll loser. Jeff Giles 5 min read November 3, 2011
  • Minnesota A few rambling thoughts inspired by an old Push Stars song and a long-ago road trip. Jeff Giles 4 min read November 1, 2011
  • Old Interview: Peter Cetera, October 1, 1992 Here’s one from the archives — one of my first major interviews, conducted with erstwhile Chicago frontman Peter Cetera while he was out promoting his fourth solo album, World Falling Down. This is kind of like looking at a dorky old photograph for me, but it was a thrill at the time, and I think […] Jeff Giles 33 min read April 30, 2011