It’s late November and Matthew Houck’s latest Phosphorescent album, C’est La Vie, has been out for nearly two months. By his own account, he’s recently had some of the busiest days of his entire life. And with good reason: The album’s brought his brand of spaced-out, reflective Southern rock to the masses like never before.
The Phosphorescent live band performed the record’s exuberant first single, “New Birth in New England,” on multiple late-night TV shows. Houck’s been profiled in nearly every major newspaper...
When Budi pulls into 9 Angels, a quiet café tucked beneath a passion fruit grove just south of Bali’s yoga mecca of Ubud, he makes sure to stash his motorbike behind a jungle-green wall. As we speak, Budi is present but not really there. His eyes follow passing cars as he nervously stirs his tea, his forehead damp with sweat. He insists he’s in danger any time he’s in Ubud, that he’s a wanted man.
Budi, 29 – his name changed to protect his identity – has been driving ful...
“We were either going to break up or make our best record.”
That’s how Eric Slick, drummer and percussionist for longtime Philadelphia-based indie-rock act Dr. Dog, sums up his band’s state of affairs going into their recent recording sessions a day before they debut their new material on NPR’s Live from Here. Dr. Dog did not dissolve—that much of the story is a giveaway.
And Critical Equation, the band’s 10th official release, is a deliciously psychedelic slice of vintage rock-and-roll with a fast-beating pop hea...
It's a mid-Autumn day and Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy is sitting in a small Airbnb in Venice Beach, Calif., with his closest friend, drummer and co-producer Edwin White. UberEats just delivered some vegetarian food, and both are anxiously awaiting the moment when they can dig in. White begins discussing his friend’s songs—universally relatable, warmly emotional, acoustic ballads that have, in the past few years, shown up on seemingly every wedding playlist in the Western world. And that’s when White stand...
Longtime Indy DJ Indiana Jones (or Ron Miner to friends and family) says he has watched VIP options increase over the past decade plus, spreading from private rooms at clubs and boxes at sporting events to packages tailored to every sort of event imaginable. The key, he believes, is a package that makes the buyer forget how much he even paid to be there.
“A true VIP doesn’t have to pay to get in or pay extra to be taken care of,” says Miner. “In the nightclub, a VIP will breeze past security — they kn...
I find myself writing to you tonight from a space that is nostalgic to me, but totally new simultaneously. I'm in an internet cafe in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India's southernmost state, sitting on what feels like a piano bench and pounding on a largely dysfunctional keyboard (see there, I had to type that word three times), for which I will pay roughly $0.35 an hour. I'm on a budget, so I'm on the clock.
The story I'm about to spin is far more exciting than the true reason I'm back in India. I came this time to be silent. And to sit.
There was a lot riding on this trip, my friends. Japan has been my top destination for longer than I care to remember, and we had to cancel our tickets there in 2015 due to being, well, unable to walk or move. Fittingly, the trip got off to a fairly ridiculous start.
"Where is your girlfriend?"
"My girlfriend?" I asked, staring at the Japanese gentleman at the AirAsia ticket counter in the Bali airport.
"I'm traveling alone."
"Yes, I see that sir. But where is she?"
"What? At home. In Ubud."
While my site is mostly visited by friends and family, that post rippled surprisingly far—to the point that people in Tel Aviv would stop me on the street and ask if I was ok.
For the TL:DR crowd (and it is long, I admit), it goes like this: Tali and I spent 7 months backpacking through India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. We had plans to continue on to Cambodia, Vietnam, an...
It's one of the first questions people ask me when I tell them that I spent the past 6 years living in Israel. It's a question where the emphasis comes, every time, on the 'like,' and the word is loaded with about a half dozen other questions.
- Was it scary?
- Should I believe what I read in the news?
- Did you ever meet a terrorist?
- Did you ride a camel?
- Did you ever kill someone?
These unasked questions tend to go unanswered (but the correct answers are, by the way: No, Sometimes, No, Of Course, and...