The Signal

  • Paddy Rolling Stone

    · By David Katznelson

    “Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.”― Aldo Leopold Today the Signal is featuring the first candid interview Shane MacGowan has given to a press person in over a decade (or so the reporter, Simon Hattenstone, writes) (see below). While it is a candid interview, it could have been so much better…leaving the standard questions behind and tapping into the passions that MacGowan would more likely open up about. Hattenstone writes that it was suggested by Shane’s long-time partner Victoria Clarke that he stay around for a few days to get more opportunities for a great interview…and he...

  • Music's Ultimate Specialist

    · By David Katznelson

    “Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.” ― John Updike Those who regularly read this newsletter will know that for the past decade+ I have been working on a big project around Specialty Records, the label that was quintessential in ushering in the era of Rock n Roll. This past weekend, the owner of the label, Art Rupe, passed away at the age of 104 years old. Rupe was a master of the mid-20th century music business.  He is famous for carefully studying the releases of the day…what was selling, what seemed...

  • Knocked Sideways by the Sound

    · By David Katznelson

    “Records are magic acts. They’re not tricks or illusions. But those that mean the most often seem to explode into existence in front of us this very minute, without prep or precedent. As many times as we’ve heard them, we can still be knocked sideways by their impact. That’s some potent conjuring.” So speaks one of the elder statesmen of rock journalism Gene Sculatti in the introduction of his new book, “For The Records: A Close Encounter With Pop Music.” A fellow San Francisco native, Sculatti was one of the first writers to report on the burgeoning San Francisco scene...