I currently live in Berlin, Germany, but when I started writing, I was a student living in St. Louis, Missouri. In the meantime, I also spent some time in Austin, Texas, as well as a few other places in the USA and Germany. It should also be no surprise that my tastes have grown over the years, but some broad genres I generally like are new wave and post-punk (The Chameleons, The Cure, The Smiths, Patti Smith, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Bauhaus, etc.), Neue Deutsche Welle and its offshoots (Neonbabies, Fehlfarben, Ideal, Einstürzende Neubauten, etc.), Kosmische Musik and "Krautrock" (Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can, Faust, Harmonia, etc.), shoegaze and dream pop (Cocteau Twins, Beach House, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, etc.), and various other forms of psychedelia (Golden Dawn Arkestra, Boogarins, Quilt, Tame Impala, etc.). And of course, there are plenty of outliers, old and new (Stereolab, The Smashing Pumpkins, Die Heiterkeit, Andrew Bird, Neil Young, etc.).
Most of my reviews feature a score in the form of a letter grade, which is provided to offer a rough assessment of my interpretation of the relative quality a given recording, performance, etc. These should not be taken too seriously. The key is that C means average, decent, respectable, mildly entertaining, not bad but not my thing, whatever. B means "good" or above average, and A means transcendent, excellent, exceeding any expectations. A+ means that I cannot conceive of how something could be better. (I don't give that score often.) D is for disappointing or disinterested, and F is for failure. I don't give many D or F scores because I try to avoid bad music. You will probably see more high scores than low simply because I prefer to write about things I like. To counteract that, I try to grade even my favorite bands quite strictly. That means that a C is not bad and should not be viewed as a negative score!
If you don't know where to start, here are some of my favorite posts:
- Year-end reviews for 2021, 2020, and 2019
- Final thoughts on South by Southwest in 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014
- On the Meaning of Krautrock and Kosmische Musik
- Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
- An Essay About Packaging
- Joshua and the Ruins - The Dreaming Season: An Interview
- Metropolis: The Moroder Version and live with the Babylon Orchester Berlin
- A few thoughts on The Sound, Peter Murphy, Devo, and Hundred Waters
- Brief histories of "Militürk" / "Kebabträume" and "Blaue Augen"
Patti, you could be “a sister from another mister”…in that you uncannily share extremely similar taste in music! I will enjoy reading all your essays.
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