Welcome to No Surf Music:
Your source for the best in Americana, alt.country, indie rock and more
If there is one person alive upon whose grave I most hope to piss (besides, of course, LeBron James and Dick Cheney), it would have to be Robert Christgau. That’s because the self-proclaimed “Dean of American Rock Critics” has done more damage to music than just about any other writer. At the height of his career, the man listened to dozens of albums a day, scribbling out curt, virtually thoughtless “reviews” based only on those first cursory impressions. But those reviews were popular, if only because nobody else was covering rock ’n roll at the time, and so that model was copied over and over again, strangling popular music criticism in its cradle.
Music reviews don’t have to be like that. At No Surf Music, we believe art criticism and analysis can be an art in itself, and that’s what we strive for. Here, you won’t find 30- or even 300-word reviews that barely mention the music. You’ll find well-considered pieces that seek the essence of the works and strive to give true audiophiles the tools they need to discover their new favorites. We don’t publish fifty articles a week—sometimes we don’t even publish one—but we feel that what we do publish represents the highest quality music journalism produced today.
We review the best (and worst) new albums in The No Surf Review, interview the artists you need to know in Burning River Fireside Chats, and recount the most engaging live performances in North Coast Nights.
Check out the latest additions here on our homepage or click on a banner below to see all the articles in that series.
September Featured Review:
Find My Way Home
Review Date: September 2, 2014
Diana Chittester is a progressive folk artist whose album Find My Way Home examines her personal struggle for self-acceptance and understanding in a universally relatable way that demands to be heard.
August Featured Review:
Review Date: August 5, 2014
July Featured Review:
Review Date: July 22, 2014
Texas-born Cleveland transplant G.S. Harper, known locally as a top-notch songwriter & guitar player, is ready to take his show on the road. But will Sixteen Winters have you running hot or snowed in?
Smokin' Hot Interview:
#32 James McMurtry II
Interview Date: May 31, 2014
With his first studio album in six years due early next year, alt country legend James McMurtry explains why he focused more on personal writing than political & to give us a taste of what's in store.
#31 Townes Van Zandt Tribute Special II
Interview Date: May 15, 2014
For the second time we joined G.S. Harper & other North Coast musicians for his annual tribute to Townes Van Zandt to discuss the man, his music, his influence, & his importance for music lovers today.
#30 Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs
Interview Date: April 25, 2014
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs have gained a reputation as low-fi masters specializing in roots-infused craziness. We sat down with the duo just after the release of their latest album All Her Fault.
North Coast Nights is currently on hiatus while we prepare for a new format for the feature that will focus more on videos and photos to capture the concert experience. In the meantime, click here to check out NoSurfTube, our YouTube channel, where we've already uploaded tons of live videos. Check back here soon for even more live music action!
Even No Surf isn't entirely immune to end-of-the-year hoopla, so here's our list of 2012's best albums, songs and live performances, as well as our picks for Best Artist, Best Emerging Artist and Best Debut Artist. All of them win a web-based virtual statue conservatively valued at $2.76 million!