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

Feature: Howard Kaylan

Autobiography or no, Howard Kaylan is an engaging, colorful character. His life story is full of highs and lows, but his highs and lows were set against the backdrop of being on one of the 1960s more popular bands (The Turtles) and then as part of the mad ensemble known as Frank Zappa‘s Mothers. In the 70s with his musical partner Mark Volman, he made a series of subversively wonderful albums as Flo and Eddie. And his activities before, after, between and behind those mileposts are all fascinating as well. Click for the full interview with Howard Kaylan.

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 nearly more than 1200 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 Lastly, you'll find a list -- no longer updated -- of unofficial/ROIO recordings that may or may not be part of my permanent collection.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

RPWL - A Show Beyond Man and Time

The last time anything truly new was released underneath the Pink Floyd banner (not counting expanded reissues of 70s albums) it was way back in 1994. That was almost twenty years ago. So if a newer band puts out music that strongly echoes (heh) the Floyd, the argument can be made: hey, nobody else was using the sound.

In fact, RPWL got their start as a Pink Floyd tribute band, not unlike The Machine. This German outfit (originally a foursome: the band’s name represents the first letter of the founders’ surnames) got its start in 1997, and evolved into making their own music on their debut God Has Failed only three years later.

Click for the full review.

Coming Soon to the Blog...

Interviews & Features

  • Ian McLagan (Small Faces)
  • Doug "Cosmo" Clifford (CCR)
  • Nik Turner (Hawkwind)
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

Album Reviews (Reissues etc.)

  • Eric Clapton - Unplugged (Deluxe + DVD)
  • Van Morrison - Moondance 2cd reissue
  • John Coltrane - Afro Blue Impressions
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

New Album Reviews

  • The Residents - Mush-room
  • The American Professionals -
    We Make it Our Business
  • Levin Minemann Rudess - s/t
  • New Model Army -
    Between Dog and Wolf
  • and plenty more. No kidding.

DVD Reviews

  • Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
  • The Rutles - Rutles Anthology
  • Here’s Edie: The Edie Adams Television Collection

Book Review

  • Lunar Notes by Zoot Horn Rollo

Featured Reissue Review

Jellyfish - Radio Jellyfish

It's pointless (not to mention plain wrong) to argue against the assertion that the "unplugged" concept had played itself out by the middle of the 1990s. But the format – originally devised (with others) by Jules Shear – was itself a good one: stripped-down, intimate live performances of rock songs. That concept was oft-abused and just plain overused, and the resulting product often added little to listeners' understanding and appreciation of the music.

But there were exceptions. And though baroque/powerpop act Jellyfish never in fact appeared on the television program MTV Unplugged, they would make use of the presentation style in a few radio performances during their time together. 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 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.