“[Taylor] Swift’s critique suggests she wants to have her pop and somehow stay above it, too.”—Ann Powers says that erstwhile country singer Taylor Swift has a new sound and a new goal: to be the world’s biggest pop star, with all the attention and provocation that comes with the job.
Over nearly two hours, WTJU veteran Aaron Margosis and Ian MacKaye spin some tunes and talk dischord history, straight edge, L.A.’s punk scene, Henry Rollins, Nazi skinheads, Fugazi’s record sales, getting courted by major labels and all sorts of subjects that would excite even a casual fan of MacKaye’s now-legendary bands and record label.
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: So to expand the scope outside of Flatbush into the New York culture and lifestyle — how does that shape you guys? Because your lyrics are beyond the universe.
ISSA: Yeah, I’m happy you said that, cause that was gonna be my answer to it. I feel like that goes back to what I was saying about New York and Brooklyn and Flatbush being at our root because I don’t really make music to try and revive New York. I find we get thrown into that. And it’s awesome that we get thrown into that, but it’s like, I have a universal perspective. I’m trying to make music for the universe. I mean — that sounded weird.
NPR librarian Robert Goldstein recalls his trip, 45 years ago, to what was rumored to be a major cultural event at a farm a few hours outside of New York City. The official Woodstock message, the festival slogan, was: Three Days of Peace and Music. But food? That was a different story.
Behold, my awesome Photoshopping circa 2009. —Lars
Passenger used to sing barefoot on street corners. Now he’s playing in sold-out stadiums. A few things haven’t changed: his bare feet – and a few of his favorite songs, which he put together in a Spotify playlist for us.
Friends, we need your help. NPR’s Melissa Block recently interviewed musician Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) and he shared a story about a chance encounter with a stranger who had a profound impact on his life. We want to find that stranger.
Here’s the deal: Last year during a tour stop in Minneapolis, Rosenberg made a late-night gas station trip to buy cigarettes. He struck up a conversation with an older man who was smoking outside next to his motorcycle. He learned that this gentlemen had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was midway through a cross-country road trip to see his family in New York, where he planned to spend the rest of his days.
Rosenberg never got the man’s name, but the experience affected him deeply. He quit smoking and wrote the song “Riding to New York.”
We’d love to reach this man or his family. If you think you might know who he is, please email firstname.lastname@example.org