Front Porch

  • Overcoming Adversity: Greg Vaughan Comes Full Circle

    A nagging question sometimes rolls around my head as I see today’s youth-centered culture. Is artistic success and creative growth only for the young? Do we, indeed, burn out, fade away, and rust down to nothing in the inevitable impermanence of life? It comes in various forms as I speed my way through television streams, […]

  • Forbidden Pig Tales: Friends Remember Billy Bacon

    I loved the thought of being a “Forbidden Pig.” I had that illuminating realization that we all were Forbidden Pigs in the middle of my first Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs experience. Back in the day I only saw them a couple of times, but the music played in my head and on my […]

  • Refugee Songs: A Musical Journey

    American music is the song of a nation of immigrants. A wild, wonderful patchwork of sounds and instruments with origins in Africa, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, South America, Jamaica, and Asia among many others. Our country’s amazing musical history is a direct representation of myriad influences from global culture, blending together to create something […]

  • James Taylor Gets Reimagined at Folkey Monkey

    People in the folk community—those who enjoy hearing a good song sung by a good guitar slinger—have been wise to Folkey Monkey for a long time. Through Folkey Monkey, Joe Rathburn, who is a great guitar slinger and fine singer of songs, asks other prominent local musicians to join him for a couple hours of […]

  • All in the Family: The Brother Brothers Make It Personal

    The phrase “blood harmony” is generally used to describe the sonic effect of siblings singing together, interlocking their vocal similarities to create a sensation inimitable in its natural beauty. In the case of the Brother Brothers, an aptly named indie folk duo from Brooklyn, New York, the effect is that of identical twins. And it […]

  • Putumayo: Bringing Home the Music of the World for 26 Years

    bIf you’ve ever stepped into OB People’s Coop or waited in line under the mermaid for your Caramel-Frappo-Ocasio-Cortez-Americano-Latte, you’ve probably noticed the simple, almost childlike artwork of certain CDs, with its rich colors of amber, ocher, and burgundy. They remind you of your sister’s Guatemalan shawl, reduced down to a crisp 5″ x 5″ square. […]

  • This Ain’t No Party, This Ain’t No Disco: Tiki Oasis Goes New Wave

    Anyone who came of age in the late ’70s or the rock of the ’80s should find the theme of this year’s Tiki Oasis to be nostalgia of a more recent vintage. Whether you feasted on the ground-floor primitivism of the Ramones or the cool and calculated synth pop of the Human League, Mohawk hair-dos, […]

  • 33⅓—House of Dreams The Story of Stan Ross, His Recording Studio, and Lots of Hit Records

    On the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Vine St. 50, 60 years ago, a placard shouted MEN’S CLOTHING AT FACTORY PRICES! Inside, while men picked over bargain corduroy and gabardines, little did they know that next door, in an unassuming former storefront, musicians such as Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny and Cher, Bob Dylan, […]

  • The Texas-California Connection: Music Fest Brings Austin to SoCal

    Pop quiz: what city is known for its scenic waterfront, its world-class Mexican-American food, and its dynamic music scene? A. San Diego B. Austin C. All of the above Christopher Dale has chosen answer C (of course ) and leveraged it into a one-day musical-cultural mash-up on August 10. The TexaCali Music Festival will feature […]