Author Archive for Brent Burton

In The Wake of Record Store Day

Ben Sisario's NYT article about indie record stores was quite a bummer, but Sasha Frere-Jones blog post from last Friday got me thinking that the demise of 3,100 record stores since 2003 isn't such a bad thing.
SFJ writes: "There are many educating angels out there, and I owe several kind people a lifetime’s tuition, but, [...]

Baltimore Rules the Rock Universe

Baltimore gets "Best Scene" in the new Rolling Stone "Best of Rock" issue. Does this mean that the Baltimore scene is officially over?

The Building Where Hip-Hop Was Born

Yesterday, in the A-section, the Washington Post ran an article about DJ Kool Herc and his efforts to save the Bronx apartment building in which he invented hip-hop back in 1973.
The developer who is trying to buy the building, where DJ Kool Herc spun in the rec room, would, presumably, turn it into something other [...]

Is Rock Criticism Dead?

Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein seems to think so. Of course, what he's really talking about is consumer criticism–telling people how to spend their time and money.
I tend to agree more with Robert Christgau, who says–and I'm paraphrasing here–rock criticism isn't for fans of rock music, it's for fans of rock criticism.

Impalin’ Every Born Knight

I know. I know. It's only April. Way too early to be making predictions about Album of the Year. Plus, it's a metal record we're talkin' about and few will believe that a metal record–even a really catchy, accessible metal record–could ever be, you know, the record. (Those who already worship this album should just [...]

Why Business Is Slow

People don't seem to get this, so let's put it in cable-television terms: the reason that album sales are down is because albums used to be a monopoly of sorts (like cable packages) and once consumers had the option to pick-and-choose the songs they like, overall sales went down (which is why some stations like [...]

Pig Destroyer World Tour

The D.C. area grindcore trio Pig Destroyer doesn't play here–or anywhere–all that often. But, when it does, it plays on some pretty amazing bills.
The band's label, Relapse, just announced a new four-date world tour which includes the band's first-ever stop at the Black Cat:
PIG DESTROYER will first perform a local Washington, DC show on April [...]


I can’t really disagree with Anne Midgette, who reviewed the Washington National Opera's new production of "The Flying Dutchman” in the Washington Post. It’s a mixed bag (Senta, who was played by Lori Phillips last night, was excellent). But I will say this: the most Wagnerian elements of the opera—the creepy ghosts, the enormous bass [...]

Norwegian Jazz Alert

Ballrogg, a Norwegian duo, is coming to Blues Alley for two sets on Wednesday, April 2. The band's bassist, Roger Arntzen, is a member of In the Country, a Keith Jarrett-esque piano trio that records for one of my favorite boutique labels, Rune Grammofon. I wrote a piece about the Oslo indie and two of [...]

Dying Is the New Thriving

Eric Alterman has an article in the New Yorker this week about the state of the newspaper industry. He makes some great points, but also makes a statement that is more a wail of liberal anguish than a prediction that can be supported by history: the newspaper is in its death throes. (If that were [...]