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.
May Featured Review:
Review Date: May 2, 2013
Brand Spankin' New Review:
Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)
The Low Highway
Review Date: May 9, 2013
Steve Earle spent many long hours on the road to become an Americana legend. The Low Highway is born of those travels, but will it leave you riding high or will you want to leave it in your rear view?
April Featured Review:
Old Man Markley
Down Side Up
Review Date: March 14, 2013
March Featured Review:
Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Stranger in My Land
Review Date: February 21, 2013
Roger Knox brings to life the country music tradition of his aboriginal roots in Stranger in My Land. But will the album leave you wanting to book passage Down Under or just leave you feeling strange?
Smokin' Hot Interview:
Interview Date: March 21, 2013
Rachel Brooke is making a name on the underground music scene with her old-time sound and dark lyrics. But what turned a small town girl from Michigan into a gothic country queen? Find out in our chat!
Interview Date: March 16, 2013
Interview Date: February 25, 2013
The David Wax Museum
Interview Date: February 4, 2013
Just how did a couple of kids from Missouri and Virginia, living in Boston, become so engrossed in Mexican folk music that they could create a whole new genre blending both north- and south-of-the-border traditions into their own Mex-Americana sound? Pull up a chair and find out!
The Beachland Tavern, 2/25/2013
The David Wax Museum
The Auricle, 2/4/2013
The Beachland Tavern, 1/16/13
With Southern rockers American Aquarium returning to the Cleveland stage after a long absence and paired with new local band The Greaves, a cold winter night at the Beachland Tavern was turned into a hot alt.country honky tonk heaven that No Surf just couldn't miss.
Even No Surf isn't entirely immune from 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!