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Bill Kopp's -- Pop music interviews, essays, criticism, analysis, news and opinion...and occasional bonus material

Feature: Dave Mason

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Dave Mason was born in Worcester England, halfway between London and Liverpool. A few years younger even than The BeatlesGeorge Harrison, Mason came up in the sort of second wave of British rock acts, first gaining fame as a member of Traffic. Alongside Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood, Mason was a major force in the band, most notably on their second LP, 1968's Traffic, on which half of the ten tracks were Mason compositions or co-writes. But Mason’s relationship with his bandmates in Traffic was always problematic: he had appeared on their debut LP (writing several songs for it as well)... Click for the full interview with Dave Mason.

About This Archive

In Summer 2009, I (Bill Kopp) began a blog; that blog is updated with new content -- reviews, essays, interviews, features and whatnot -- every business day. And that's been the case for four and a half years; there you will find more than 1400 written pieces. That blog can be accessed here. Go visit!

But prior to the start of the blog, I wrote quite a bit as well. The site you're currently viewing is the permanent archival home for that content. Here you'll find interviews with Crowded House, Flaming Lips, Robyn Hitchcock, Tommy Keene, Los Straitjackets, Andy Partridge (XTC), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Polyphonic Spree, Joe Satriani, Pete Yorn and many others.

You'll also find reviews of hundreds of releases (CDs and music-related DVDs) from the mid- to late 00's, as well as essays and other relevant items. Lastly, you'll find a list -- no longer updated -- of unofficial/ROIO recordings that may or may not be part of my permanent collection. Nobody's saying.

All told, there are countless hours (mainly because no one's counted 'em) of reading to be found in this archive. But for everything post Summer 2009 -- right up to this very day -- visit the Musoscribe blog. You can always come back here later.

Featured New Music Review

Sloan - Commonwealth

Rock fans who fall into a certain age bracket may recall the buzz around the release of Liz Phair‘s major-label debut, 1993's Exile in Guyville. As the popular story went, the album was a track-by-track feminist response to The Rolling Stones‘ 1972 double LP Exile on Main Street. Or something like that; on close examination, the argument didn’t hold up. But the album was superb, regardless. I’m not here today to convince you that Sloan‘s Commonwealth is the Canadian quartet’s answer to The Beatles‘ ... Click for the full review.

Coming Soon to the Blog...

Interviews & Features

  • Adrian Belew
  • Pugwash's Thomas Walsh
  • Swamp Dogg
  • The Blues Magoos' Peppy Castro
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

Album Reviews (Reissues etc.)

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Fire Meets the Fury
  • Old 97's - Hitchhike to Rhome

New Album Reviews

  • The Amazing - Picture You
  • Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
  • Power Pop Planet Vol. 4

DVD Reviews

  • Very Extremely Dangerous
  • DEVO - The Complete Truth About De-evolution

Book Reviews

  • Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin
  • 108 Rock Star Guitars
  • David J. - Who Killed Mister Moonlight?

Featured Reissue Review

Jethro Tull - A Passion Play

Unlike, say, Creedence Clearwater Revivial – or even The BeatlesJethro Tull have rarely been anyone’s idea of a “singles group.” As the leading folk-prog group of the rock era, the Ian Anderson-led group released a steady line of albums, one a year from 1968-80. Click for the full review.

Let me tell you what I think...

Somebody -- we think it was either Elvis Costello or Frank Zappa; recent evidence suggests Martin Mull...nobody's sure -- famously said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Well, so be it. And speaking of ol' Frank, it really was him who defined rock journalism as "people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." With that in mind, I offer as my own humble addition to that proud tradition.

I've written for No Depression, Billboard, Shindig!, Trouser Press,, Ugly Things,, WNC Magazine, and many other publications large and small. From 2005 until its demise, I wrote for Skope Magazine; from 2006 until the end, I served as Editor-in-Chief of that national music magazine. And for what it's worth, my music collection numbers in the several thousands. And I'm a musician (though the rewards for my being one are decidedly non-monetary).

I hope you find the site entertaining, and perhaps even useful.

Again, the blog contains my work from mid 2009 to present-day, but my older pieces are here Here's what's on:

  • Features - In the last few years -- and continuing still -- I have interviewed some of the most fascinating and influential artists on the music scene. Click into this section to read features on (and interviews with) Yoko Ono, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Neil Finn of Crowded House, bluesman Johnny Winter, and many, many more.

  • Reviews - Here you'll find informed reviews and critical assessments of recent music releases. You'll find some undiscovered gems, and get the lowdown on some really awful albums that should never have been released.

  • Essays - Career-spanning retrospectives on Pink Floyd and Todd Rundgren can be found here, plus interviews and features with important music-related figures. And more, of course, including stories on music-related technology.

  • The "Blast From the Past" column - Everything old is new again; as Edgard Varèse famously said, "The present-day composer refuses to die!" Read reviews of notable and recent reissues.

  • (the collection) - If I had a huge collection of unreleased music (not saying I do, you understand) this is where you'd find a current inventory of it.

  • About - About me, if you care to know a bit more.