Two cities duke it out on the baseball diamond – and in our studio. In this Soundcheck Smackdown, we pit the music of New York against the music of Detroit. On Motown's team is music journalist, author and Detroit resident Gary Graff; playing for the home team is Rolling Stone senior critic and author Will Hermes.
After a hiatus, the Detroit-born rock duo with the matching outfits and matching names have called it quits -- which makes them ripe for a Smackdown. Emily Rems, managing editor of Bust Magazine, and Phil Freeman, writer of the Headbang metal blog for MSN Music and editor of Burning Ambulance, join us to debate the legacy of The White Stripes. And: music writer Gary Graff tells us about the Detroit scene that Meg and Jack White came up in…and wound their way out of.
Neil Young’s 34th solo studio album is truly solo. On Le Noise, Young primarily plays crunchy electric guitar, unaccompanied by a band. The uber producer Daniel Lanois adds spooky vocal effects. Music writer and Young biographer Gary Graff gives us his take on haunting songs like “The Hitchhiker,” which was 35 years in the making.
From '60s protest singer to gritty garage rocker, from electronic vocalist to conceptual filmmaker, Neil Young has had a long and diverse career. It's so diverse that it takes two biographers to cover it.
When most music fans think of Detroit, Motown is the first thing that comes to mind. But the city’s music history includes a wealth of underappreciated rock and soul artists.